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So Where Exactly Are We with Right to Work and a Referendum?

Usually when writing about political events things move at a relatively steady pace.  An event occurs, we scribe about it, a subsequent event happens after that, we write about it and so on and so on.  However, with the “right to work” debate over at the Indiana General Assembly, events have been moving so quickly and so fluidly that by the time you began writing about one incident, the subsequent event had already taken place. So now that there is brief lull in the storm, let’s take a second to catch our breaths and see where we are and how close are we to this being over?

Right now, the Indiana Senate has just gone through second readings on the legislation.  Democrats offered up a number of amendments, all of which were defeated.  The most important amendment was a referendum.  In a nutshell, if lawmakers approved RTW it would have gone into effect on Nov 5, the day before the election, however the voters would get their say on Nov 6 and if they voted it down, RTW would not go into effect.  House Democrats have offered up a similar amendment scheduled to be heard on Monday, provided they show up.

Republicans argued the amendment violated two provisions of the Indiana Constitution, Article 1, Section 25

No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.

And Article 4, Section 1.

The Legislative authority of the State shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The style of every law shall be: “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana”; and no law shall be enacted, except by bill.

By allowing the public to chime in via referendum, Senate Republicans say the measure violates those two provisions and therefore would not pass Constitutional muster.  Democrats say the only way a measure can be found unconstitutional is if a court makes that decision.  And they also pointed to a number of measures whose constitutionality were debated on the floor, but later upheld by the court, i.e. school vocuhers.

The reality of this is as the Senate has moved forward and defeated the referendum amendment, it has given the House Republicans who might have been on the fence about an amendment to vote it down since they can now argue that the measure won’t pass the other chamber so there is no point in voting for it when the House is scheduled to take up the issue Monday afternoon.

Do not be surprised if RTW is passed out of both Chambers by the end of the week.

  • John Howard

    I kind of like the idea of making a referendum.  It doesn’t have a chance of passing that AND it would shut Bauer up forever, at least on that one subject.  A constitutional RTW amendment could be good.

  • Dave

    Pacification of statists with obfuscatory maneuvers (inequitably / poorly drafted referenda), prolongs the problem at the expense of solution.

    Remember the Wishard referendum, its Hallmark advocative, imbalanced premise & wording?  Recently, it’s been reported that investors are cool to assumptions / assertions of its funding method (Fitch’s downgrading of Wishard bonds); general obligation (property tax collateralized with the citizens property, and not the hospital’s revenues), vs. revenue bonds (which would’ve been based on the hospital’s “advertised” strengths).  

    Look at the history of referenda in California.  When the referee’s allowed to both “play” & manage the rules, guess who wins?  The referenda process, as currently scripted, is rubber stamped CYA for a derelict GA (after all, they’re elected, to be representatives).    

  • Pascal

    The Wishard promoters and supporters were liars.  We have an election coming up in November and that is sufficient.  What makes me think that the early date of effectiveness for the RTW law might have something to do with job announcements conditional on its swift passage?  That is, to be more clear, Mitch didn’t just fall off the pumpkin wagon.

  • Separation of Church and State

    Advance Indiana is showing a press release that shows several church preaching on right to work. Each of them should immediately lose thier tax exempt status for breaching thier responsibilities under thier Indiana and federal tax filing rules requiring them to refrain from political activity.

    Video would help in court.

  • Taxpayer

    Democrat Mickey Mauer has an article in his Indianapolis Business Journal supporting the passage of Right to Work based upon his experience as head of the IEDC and talking with Site Selection professionals about lost opportunities.

    Funny that Indiana teachers have had right to work for decades and all the new auto plants are non union too.

  • Taxpayer

    Democrat Mickey Mauer has an article in his Indianapolis Business Journal supporting the passage of Right to Work based upon his experience as head of the IEDC and talking with Site Selection professionals about lost opportunities.

    Funny that Indiana teachers have had right to work for decades and all the new auto plants are non union too.

  • Think Again

    Jesus was the original neighborhood organizer.  Just sayin’.

  • Think Again

    Sometimes, Mickey is wrong.  This is one of those times.

  • Think Again

    I have a problem with revisionist history.  Please tell me, Pascal, how this wording is lying: 

    “Shall the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana, issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance (insert the description of the project)?”

    And the Indiana Dept. of Locla Govt. Finance posted a complete unbiased summary of maximum/average bond interest rates, whcih expected payouts.

    If you think the project was to grandiose, I’ll agree.  But the referendum was hardly a lying escapade.  

  • Rico

    But his goal was not to divide the people, as today’s community organizer’s is.  Take Barry for instance. Just sayin’.

  • Scooter

    Cripes TA, for someone who trys to keep the Almighty out of virtually every facet of American life, you sure do like to envoke His name to make your point.

    I win again.

  • Pascal

    His experience vs. your experience?  Have you had any difficulty purchasing hats recently?  I’m subscribing to IBJ and can hardly wait for my first issue.

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