01/26/12 After nearly 35 hours of testimony, debate, and discussion over the past year House Bill (HB) 1001, Employee’s Right to Work passed the Indiana House of Representatives 54-44. Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) authored and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) co-authored House Bill 1001, Employee’s Right to Work which would give workers the freedom to choose whether or not to financially support a union.
On November 21, 2011 Speaker Bosma announced that his number one priority this session would focus on Right to Work and bringing more jobs to Indiana. “With the latest unemployment number stubbornly hovering at 9 percent, it is important that we bring more employment opportunities to Indiana and give Hoosiers the freedom to choose how their hard earned money is spent.”
Rep. Torr began the Right to Work pursuit in 2004 when he first filed a bill on this legislation. “Evidence shows that Right to Work is a job creation strategy and in these hard economic times it is imperative that we become the 23rd Right to Work state and put the over quarter million unemployed Hoosiers back to work.”
HB 1001 was finally heard on third reading on Wednesday after the majority of the Democrat Caucus boycotted the first few weeks of session by failing to show up to work. Members of the House Republicans attempted to address Right to Work last session however the Democrats denied the House a quorum by fleeing to Illinois for five weeks. Therefore the issue was tabled and further studied in the Interim Study Committee on Employment this summer.
This session, the House conducted joint hearings with the Senate on the bill and heard over five hours of testimony and all those who wished to testify on both sides were heard. The bill passed out of committee over two weeks ago. On Monday, the bill was heard on second reading and after nearly five hours of debate nine amendments were heard and two amendments adopted.
The bill states that an employee cannot be forced to join or financially support a union in order to get or keep a job. Speaker Bosma oversaw an open and emotional debate on the bill which lasted nearly three hours.
“Passing Right to Work is what is best for Indiana. This has always been about freedom and economic opportunity for all Hoosiers,” said, Speaker Bosma. “I announced that our number one priority this session is to bring jobs to Indiana and a victory for Hoosiers has been made with the passage of this bill.”
Employees’ Right to Work bill will now move to the Senate where it will be assigned to a committee.
“We are one step closer to bringing more jobs to Hoosiers,” said Speaker Bosma.