Local News Politics

The top Democrat in the Indiana House says Republicans are crushing job opportunities in the state with their push to pass a contentious “right-to-work” proposal during the coming legislative session.

House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer’s comments came after Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma announced today that passing the proposal will be his top priority during the session that starts in January.

Bosma and Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long both gave their backing to the “right-to-work” plan ahead of the Legislature’s Organization Day tomorrow. The GOP controls both legislative chambers.

Bosma says the measure is needed to spur job growth.

“With one in three employers that are looking for a place to locate in the nation, taking Indiana off the table because we are not a right to work state, it is time to remove that final barrier,” Bosma said at a news conference.

The legislation would remove the requirement that workers pay union representation fees as a condition of employment. Opponents say it would drive down wages and weaken unions.

The issue sparked a five-week walkout by House Democrats during the 2011 session.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)

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