Wisconsin paves way: Indiana Democrats win one | WisCommunity

Wisconsin paves way: Indiana Democrats win one

Gratifying news today from Indiana, where "#444444; font-family: Verdana; font-size: small;">the Hoosier 39"  returned to the fold with positive results and cheers from crowds of supporters.

#444444; font-family: Verdana; font-size: small;">Just as in Wisconsin, state Democrats in the Indiana legislature broke quorum and fled the state more than a month ago. In Wisconsin, it was one bill but in Indiana it was a fistful of them. The Hoosier Democrats left for Illinois just as Republicans were about to ram through radical measures to gut collective bargaining, dismantle public schools, and turn the "minimum wage" into a "maximum wage" for tens of thousands of middle-class families.

#444444; font-family: Verdana; font-size: small;">As in the case of the Wisconsin 14, the action of the Indiana Democrats forced a time out and gave citizens a chance to examine the GOP agenda and rally against it. In Wisconsin, Republicans used a questionable parliamentary maneuver to enact part of its measure. In the case of Indiana, however, the Democratic Party's move prompted GOP concessions.

A compromise reached today will scale back the GOP plan to dismantle public schools and erase the worst aspects of the measure's impact on working families. Democrats proclaimed victory; Republicans said their concessions were "minor."

#444444; font-family: Verdana; font-size: small;">#292727; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18px;">

The compromise will improve other legislation introduced by Republicans. The Tribune listed the changes this evening in an on-line dispatch (URL below): 

  • Right-to-work legislation is off the table, preserving collective bargaining rights;
  • The permanent ban on public employee bargaining is off the table in the House;
  • Enabling legislation for private takeover of public schools is off the table in the House;
  • Private school vouchers will be limited to 7,500 students in the first year and 15,000 in the second year, rather than the largest voucher program in the nation the Republicans originally wanted;
  • Rather than an outright ban of Project Labor Agreements as Republicans wanted, PLAs still can be included with projects passed by public referendum; and
  • The threshold for applying the common construction wage to projects would be $250,000 for 2012 and $350,000 for 2013, rather than the job-killing $1 million threshold the Republicans wanted.

Republicans called their concessions "minor." 

#444444; font-family: Verdana; font-size: small;">The battle in Indiana is over but not the war as Republicans surely will try to ram through more bad legislation but this is a big breakthrough in the national movement to resist anti-worker, anti-middle-class legislation.

#444444; font-family: Verdana; font-size: small;">And we in Wisconsin shouldn't be too chagrined that it happened in much more traditionally conservative Indiana and not here. The Wisconsin protests, which mobilized record crowds of demonstrators, helped galvanize smaller but otherwise similar protests in Indiana and other states.

#444444; font-family: Verdana; font-size: small;">We done good. And, just like our friends in Indiana, we're not done.


March 28, 2011 - 8:22pm