In an attempt to block a law from passing that would prohibit employees from being required to pay union dues or representation fees, Democratic lawmakers from Indiana are fleeing the state. In a move similar to the one taken by fellow Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin, the lawmakers are said to be going to Illinois. The up-and-leave strategy works to help block the bill, as Indiana’s house is composed of 60 Republicans and 40 Democrats. To pass a bill, the House would need a two-thirds majority to vote for it, which Republicans can’t do without at least about six Democratic votes.
This new way of delaying legislation is new; with the exception of lawmakers in Wisconsin, the act of leaving the state to avoid voting on a bill is something not known to be done before. Usually when a bill is so disliked, the public just protests against it and puts pressure on lawmakers. This new move leaves legislation in limbo and puts an unfair precedent on future lawmakers, giving them the impression they can leave anytime they don’t want to vote for anything.
This is a particularly divided country right now. Between Republicans and Tea Partiers and liberal Democrats and conservative Democrats, there is a lot of disarray right now. It shouldn’t be that surprising that lawmakers would take such a drastic move to take a stand. With a financial status as gloomy as the United States and their respective state governments right now, drastic moves have to be made to ensure financial improvement. Unfortunately, it’s not going to come without major sacrifice. And because debt and unemployment are so high, taxpayers are going to pay the brunt of it, one way or another. This is a situation that (almost) no one can like, and there’s not much we can do about it.
Ultimately, a lot of sacrifice has to be made, and no one wants to make it. If we want to turn things around, someone is going to have to budge. With lawmakers deciding they’d rather be unavailable to vote than vote no on a bill, it only delays the inevitable process of fixing their economy. Perhaps rather than take such a big stand all the time, lawmakers should use the move as a last resort. We need to change things in a big way to make things better for our country; simply leaving the state to delay legislation doesn’t do much but delay progress.
Maggie Haberman, “Wisconsin style: Indiana Dems go AWOL”, Politico.com
Editorial Staff, “Indiana Democrats Flee State to Block Anti-Union Bill: Reports”, HuffingtonPost.com