Monday, March 28, 2011

IN Dems returning today as heroes

Teamsters rally for workers' rights in Indiana on March 10.
After 36 days in exile, Indiana's Democratic state representatives are coming back. Republican lawmakers agreed to abandon much of their anti-worker agenda. Right-to-work is dead in the Hoosier State, at least for now.

The Democrats, you'll recall, left to prevent a quorum so the Republican-dominated Legislature couldn't pass a host of anti-worker legislation.

According to Talking Points Memo, the deal looks like this (at least in part):
• Labor: Republicans have agreed to scrap the controversial right-to-work law that led the Democrats to shut things down back on Feb. 22. Republicans have also pledged not to pass a law making the state's existing ban on collective bargaining for state workers, created by (Gov. Mitch) Daniels executive order, permanent.
• Education: Daniels' signature policy agenda for this legislative session was a proposal to create a state-funded private school voucher system for low- and middle-income families. That plan will be curtailed considerably in the deal with House Republicans.
We understand the deal isn't perfect, but according to the head of the Democratic caucus, Rep. Patrick Bauer,
We've protected working people from a march to the minimum wage. We've protected collective bargaining rights for Hoosier workers and teachers. We've softened the blow to public schools and prevented a bill for private takeover of public schools. This timeout gave millions of Hoosiers a real voice in their state government.
The Indiana AFL-CIO tells us:
Today, these representatives are returning to Indianapolis to bring the fight to the General Assembly. Hundreds of working men and women will be gathering outside the Indiana Statehouse to thank these elected officials for their courageous stand for Indiana's working families.