Audio Senate Democrats protest attack on worker rights

Senate Democrats protest attack on worker rights

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Today Senators Jim Arnold, Karen Tallian and Tim Skinner walked out of the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee when they were asked to vote on an amendment on SB 524 that they had not been given an opportunity to read. The Democrats said they felt the action by Republicans in the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee usurped the legislative process and was symbolic of a greater effort to dismantle the rights of Hoosier workers.

The controversy erupted over a substantial amendment to Senate Bill 524, a bill that would direct a study on whether to convert state employees’ and teachers’ retirement funds into defined contribution plans. The amendment would do away with the study entirely and immediately move forward with the changes to the pension plans.

The Democrats said they were not provided an opportunity to read the amendment before they were asked to vote on it, and they believe the process denies public employees an opportunity to weigh in on the change.

WATCH: Senators Jim Arnold, Karen Tallian and Tim Skinner discuss today’s events and how they play a role in the larger issue of protecting workers’ rights and the livelihoods of working families.

LISTEN:

SEN. TALLIAN: “We didn’t know what had happened…”

SEN. SKINNER: “I think that now this is probably the worst case scenario…”

SEN. ARNOLD: “To me this almost seems like a calculated…”

SEN. TALLIAN: “We spend one hundred fifty years in this country…”