Trying it their way, III
January 18, 2012
As we close in on recall elections—by which a minority of voters may overturn the results of the last election —we’ve sought clues to how they might reshape life in Wisconsin.
It hasn’t been arduous work; nearby states provide abundant material to forecast the conditions of civic life in a Wisconsin governed by Recall Walker enthusiasts. A few weeks ago we examined tax increases and teacher layoffs in Ohio. Last week we glimpsed union skimming of home health care dollars in Michigan. Earlier we looked at the Tax Hell of Illinois.
This week: Indiana.
Indiana is an especially apt example because outgoing Governor Mitch Daniels started several years ago to rein in government employee union excesses. The battle never ends.
The Indiana House was scheduled this week to take up right-to-work legislation. Workers would be free to join or not join unions. Unions could conduct their business as usual; they just couldn’t force workers to pay dues if they don’t want to join.
Naturally, unions hate this, and their indentured servants, Indiana House Democrats, have boycotted most session days this year to deny a quorum and prevent the House from functioning.
Sound familiar? Like Wisconsin Senate Democrats, they fled to Illinois last year. But now the Wall Street Journal reports, any member who skips out can forfeit $1,000 a day after three days.
We disagree with the Journal on one point: Indiana isn’t “the labor reform story of the year,” the fight over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker completing his term is. If Indiana lawmakers fail to enact right-to-work this winter, they can try again. If Walker is defeated in a recall, chances are they won’t.