Local News Politics

Democrats in the Indiana House continue their boycott today, staying away from the Statehouse in a dispute over a so-called right to work bill supported by Republicans.

Most House Democrats haven’t shown up today, and the lack of a quorum prevents the GOP-led chamber from conducting any business.

The bill that spurred the walkout would prohibit union membership and fees from being a condition of employment in Indiana. Democrats call it an effort to weaken unions; Republicans say they’re only trying to make the state more attractive to new business and industry.

A committee report on the bill must be approved today for it to stay alive, but Republican Jeff Espich says the boycott will put other legislation in

“It doesn’t matter whether we like the issues or not. I’ve been the minority about half the time her and I didn’t like a lot of the issues that I voted on, but I was here, and I supported those things and I was here to vote,” Espich said during remarks on the House floor.

The Indianapolis Star reports that an undetermined number of Democrats have left the state, similar to the ploy by Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate to block passage of a Republican proposal to cut collective bargaining rights in that state.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."