On Wednesday morning, national Republican politics will shift away from Iowa and toward New Hampshire and South Carolina for the primaries there. But at the local level, where Republican politics have been turning into Republican policy, at least part of the game moves to Indiana.
The Indiana state legislature opens its session tomorrow, with the Republican majority sounding in a hurry to pass a law that effectively bans union shops. From the New York Times:
The leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature say that when the legislative session opens on Wednesday, their No. 1 priority will be to push through a business-friendly piece of legislation known as a right-to-work law.
If Indiana enacts such a law — and its sponsors say they have the votes — it will give new momentum to those who have previously pushed such legislation in Maine, Michigan, Missouri and other states.
The bill is called a Right to Work law, described by labor unions as “Right to Work for Less” because the legislation weakens unions and results in wages that are lower by an average of 3.2 percent.
When Indiana lawmakers tried this last year, Democrats walked out in order to deny them a quorum. Now that kind of boycott comes with a $1,000 a day fine, courtesy of an “anti-bolting” bill passed last year. Anticipating thousands of demonstrators in the capitol, Indiana officials last week moved to cap the number at about 1,300. The new rules get their first exception tomorrow, with a prayer group getting let in through a special entrance.