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Indiana General Assembly Begins This Week

The 2012 Indiana General Assembly convenes Wednesday with a contentious labor bill topping the legislative agenda. Republican leaders say making Indiana the nation’s 23rd so-called “right-to-work” state is their chief goal of the short, 30-day session.The legislation would prohibit companies that have organized labor representation from making the payment union dues a condition of employment.GOP lawmakers and Governor Mitch Daniels say the law is needed to make Indiana more attractive to companies looking for a place to do business.Union leaders and Democrats call it a transparent attempt to dismantle organized labor and say such a law drives down wages.The issue spurred union protests and a walkout by House Democrats during the last legislative session.Indiana Legislative Insight Publisher Ed Feigenbaum does not expect such a boycott this time."I think there will be a number of parliamentary maneuvers that Democrats will employ that will be to their strategic advantage that will show their displeasure," he said. Those maneuvers could include delays in showing up for quorum calls or otherwise disrupting business without leaving the Statehouse.Lawmakers are also expected to again consider a statewide smoking ban this session, legislation that failed to get past the committee level in 2011.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.

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