Seats on one side of the Indiana House were nearly empty today as House Democrats departed the the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation.
A source tells the Indianapolis Star that Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.
The House was came into session twice this morning, with only three of the 40 Democrats present. Those were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.
With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.
The issue is “Right to Work” Legislation and it is unclear whether Indiana GOP Governor Mitch Daniels supports the efforts of his own party to push the legislation forward.
Union supporters say the bill which has sparked the protests, House Bill 1468 such a measure would weaken bargaining power because companies under collective bargaining agreements would no longer have to hire union members. Supporters, including the state’s Chamber of Commerce, say it would makes Indiana more appealing to business and will bring jobs to the state.