Local News Politics

From the Associated Press

Most Indiana House Democrats weren’t on the floor Wednesday when the Republican speaker tried to start the new session, after the leader of the chamber’s Democrats hinted that party lawmakers may walk out for the second year in a row to oppose a “right-to-work” bill.

The absence of most Democrats left the House short of the two-thirds members present to continue.

House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer, who led last year’s five-week boycott, told The Associated Press that his caucus would debate during a private meeting about how to handle the GOP proposal that would make Indiana the 23rd state to bar businesses and private unions from mandating that workers pay union fees for representation.

But Democratic lawmakers seemed split on whether to make such a move. New fines and lawmakers concerned about re-election in 2012 have made the group wary of another walkout.

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