Indiana legislators advance right-to-work bill

January 6, 2012 - 2:50 PM
Indiana Right to Work

Protests gather outside the windows in the House chamber during a joint committee hearing on the right-to-work bills at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Republican-dominated Indiana Senate committee endorsed the right-to-work bill that has prompted a two-day standstill in the Indiana House.

The Senate labor committee voted 6-4 to send the bill to the full Senate, where the GOP holds a 37-13 majority and the party's leader has made its passage a top priority. The bill would prohibit contracts between companies and unions that require workers to pay representation fees.

Republican Sen. Brent Waltz of Greenwood joined the committee's three Democrats in voting against the bill. During testimony, Waltz question experts who back the proposal, saying he is not convinced of the measure's economic benefits.

Supporters of the bill say it would make the state more attractive to employers, while opponents maintain it is an attack on unions and would drive down wages.