GOP senator skeptical on Ind. right-to-work bill

By TOM DAVIES | January 6, 2012 | 11:50 AM EST

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A conservative state senator is expressing skepticism about the right-to-work bill under consideration by an Indiana legislative committee.

Republican Sen. Brent Waltz of Greenwood asked the president of the Oklahoma chamber of commerce whether the energy industry had a greater impact on that state's economic health than its adoption of a right-to-work law in 2001. Waltz says he wasn't convinced about the law's economic sway.

The Oklahoma official told the Indiana Senate and House labor committees that the law gives his state a competitive advantage over Indiana in attracting new businesses.

The committees are having a public hearing Friday on the proposal to prohibit contracts between companies and labor unions that require workers to pay mandatory representation fees. That proposal has prompted the two-day standstill in the Indiana House.