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Most Indiana Senate Right-to-work Amendments Rejected

The Indiana Senate amended Right to Work legislation Friday, but rejected most changes.

Right-to-work legislation bans union contracts requiring non-union employees pay fees for representation. There were 11 amendments offered on the bill. The Senate approved three, all of them minor changes.

Greenwood Senator Brent Waltz is the only Republican whose amendment was defeated. He wanted to exempt the building and construction trade unions from the bill. He says he is not convinced right to work will play a major role in economic development if it is passed.

“But I am absolutely convinced of the negative impact it would have on Indiana’s building trades.”

The other seven amendments offered were all from Democrats.  They included language allowing unions to charge fees if non-members use union representation for grievances, exempting enforcement on any existing union contracts and putting Right to Work on a statewide referendum.

South Bend Senator John Broden says the legislature needs to break from the norm on referendums.

“In the 11 years I have been in the General Assembly I don’t think I’ve ever encountered an issue that more strongly begs for a vote of the people in the state of Indiana,” he says.

But opponents of the amendment say it stands on shaky constitutional ground.  right to work will be eligible for passage out of the Senate next week.

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