LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - How is Indiana's Right to Work law working nearly a year later?
"It is working but I think it's one of many issues that plays a key role in economic development," Republican State Senator Ron Alting said.
Alting is talking about the Right to Work law passed in February of this year. Alting said since its passing more than 90 companies have showed interest in coming to Indiana, and a number have decided to plant their roots.
"Thirty-one companies have already committed and are presently in Indiana, producing more than 5,000 new jobs and putting about $500 million into their companies in the state of Indiana," Alting said.
Alting said while he believes becoming a Right to Work state has played a role in those companies coming here, he also credits a good quality of life in the Hoosier state.
Democratic State Representative Sheila Klinker said some companies like Alcoa and Nanshan already had plans to come to Indiana.
"Many of those decisions were made before Right to Work and I think they were very honest about saying that because our tax climate is very good before and after Right to Work," Klinker said.
When it comes to unions, Alting said they'll have to convince potential members to join and show them the benefits of their organization.
"Indiana State Teacher's Association Union, one of the largest in the state, has proven that," Alting said. "They're one of the stronger unions because they have been successful in convincing teachers across the state that they bring value to them, so I think that that's the key."
Indiana is the 23rd state to sign the Right to Work law and most recently Michigan became the second state in the Rust Belt to do so.
Klinker said she remembers her experience when Indiana was considering passing the bill and feels for those affected in Michigan.
"We took a very strong stance, but I think with the numbers 60/40 and 37/13 in the senate it certainly was unavoidable and I feel for the people going through that in Michigan and it's over here in Indiana and we can move forward," Klinker said.
Looking to the future, Alting said Indiana is open for business.
"Indiana really has the door open with companies coming to Indiana, where most of the states you have an exit sign of companies leaving the state, so I think you're seeing a lot of states follow Indiana and Michigan being a much more union-friendly state than Indiana was," Alting said.
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