Senate Democratic members of the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee did not attend a meeting of the committee on Monday morning in protest over what they called a “mockery of the legislative process.” State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage), Ranking Democrat on the committee, said the Democrats did not want to participate in today’s committee meeting because they felt it was an unnecessary break from the Senate’s traditional decorum.
“Our position on ‘Right to Work’ is well established, and we’ll be on the floor to vote against it on Wednesday,” Sen. Tallian said. “What we’re protesting this morning is the process by which this bill is being rammed through the legislative process for nothing more than a political statement.
“Apparently lowering wages for Hoosier workers is an emergency.”
SEN. TALLIAN: “You know, the Senate Democrats may be small in number, but we can still be the conscience of this legislature…”
State Senator Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte), also a member of the committee, said, “If we aren’t fast-tracking ‘Right to Work,’ why are they holding this special committee hearing? If this was the traditional process, as claimed, this committee hearing would be held in just over a week from now. What’s the rush?”
The Senate typically waits to act on House bills until the Senate bill deadlines have passed. Those deadlines fall this week.
SEN. ARNOLD: “Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of standing up on the Senate floor…”
State Senator Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute), said, “This is a bad bill, and it’s being pushed through like an emergency when it is not. This is not how the process typically works, and we certainly don’t believe it justifies subverting the due diligence that each law should be given.”
SEN. SKINNER: “This whole process from the beginning to the end has been a sham…”
SEN. VI SIMPSON (D-ELLETTSVILLE): “We pride ourselves in the senate to maintain and respect those traditions which are long, long standing…”
Presumably, Republicans have pushed to get the bill through the General Assembly and on the governor’s desk before this Sunday’s Super Bowl hosted in Indianapolis.