Democrats in Indiana's state House had fled the state, but now they're back. Originally, they had fled the state based on the right-to-work law that Republicans proposed, but they stayed away even after it was withdrawn, and seemed determined to kindnap without making any ransom demands.
Now, they're back. Here's what lured them:
Since the walkout began, Republicans have killed a "right-to-work" proposal that would prohibit union representation fees from being a condition of employment and have agreed to changes on several other bills, such as capping the number of students who could use taxpayer money to attend private schools through a voucher program. Republicans originally envisioned the largest voucher program in the nation, but later agreed to cap the program at 7,500 students in the first year and 15,000 in the second year.
Republicans also made concessions to a bill that would have originally increased from $150,000 to $1 million the point at which projects were exempt from the state's prevailing construction wage law and remove school districts and state universities from its requirements. Bosma said Republicans have agreed to set the limit at $250,000 the first year and raise that to $350,000 the second year. They also agreed to delete the school and university exemptions.
It's nice to know that wherever they go, the Democrats don't leave home without their obeisance to the union lobby. The concessions include "prevailing wage" agreements (padding for construction unions) and diminution of educational choice programs (padding for teachers' unions).
The educational concessions are particularly distressing, because Gov. Mitch Daniels campaigned on educational reforms and had feared that right-to-work legislation would interfere with them. It looks like that's happened now.