Indianapolis—An Indiana legislative committee is prepared to reexamine right to work legislation despite the fact that political differences on the issue brought the last session to a grinding halt.
The legislation, which gives workers at union businesses the option not to join the union, spurred massive protests and a walk out by House democrats in the spring. The democrats didn't return to statehouse until the legislation was removed from consideration.
This summer Republicans are bringing up the issue for review again with a simple belief.
"You can prove anything with numbers," said Senator Phil Boots, republican chairman of a bi-partisan study committee which will look into the issue Tuesday morning.
Senator Boots says he believes the numbers will show that giving workers the option not to join a union, creates more jobs because it helps businesses keep costs down and attracts new companies to move to Indiana.
"In today's economic environment we need to provide all the best incentives we can to industry and businesses to come to the state of Indiana," Boots said. "If this is an obstacle in that regard then we need to move it forward."
There are currently 22 right to work states in the country. Other states took up similar legislation recently, which is why Senator Boots says Indiana needs to stay competitive.
If you ask democrats they say right to work legislation does the opposite.
"It's always seen as a union / non-union thing, but I think that what's going to come out tomorrow is just how much the economy stands to lose with right to work," said Senator Karen Tallian, one of the democrats on the committee.
Tallian says she has numbers of her own, which show a negative impact on main street businesses.
"Every amount that you reduce wages, you are pulling huge amounts of disposable income out of the economy," Tallian said.
With two very different sets of numbers the question is who to believe. For now both sides say they simply hope the other will listen.
"If everybody already has their opinion formulated and they're not going to listen to the data or the information, then we are truly wasting our time," Boots said.
The meeting is open to the public, but the committee will not be hearing unscheduled public comments. If you are interested in watching, but can't make it to the hearing, you can watch it online by visiting http://media.ihets.org/senate to watch the Webcast.