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Right-to-work Dominates The Week At Indiana Statehouse

Governor Mitch Daniels is hoping his initiatives gain ground this session.

Indiana is close to becoming the 23rd right-to-work state in the country. After more than two weeks of delays and protests, right-to-work finally reached the House floor.

Monday, Democrats tried to amend the bill in several ways, including placing the issue on statewide referendum. But they were shut out entirely by the Republican majority, and Tuesday the Democrats opted to remain absent from the floor.

Yet the holdout only lasted a day and Wednesday, right-to-work passed out of the House 54 to 44, with five Republicans voting against it. It will now get an expedited hearing in the Senate, where it will likely pass and move to the governor’s desk before the Super Bowl.

With right-to-work finally off its calendar, the House was able to begin clearing a backlog of legislation late in the week. That includes a bill banning nepotism and conflict of interest in local government, a statewide smoking ban and a Senate bill closing gaps in the state’s human trafficking law.

The Senate, unrestrained by holdouts, cleared most of its legislation, including bills altering the state’s automatic taxpayer refund and putting unopposed candidates in municipal elections back on the ballot.

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