Feb 4th 2012 | CHICAGO | from the print edition
INDIANA, like many manufacturing states in the Midwest, has long felt the pain of seeing jobs go overseas. In his seven years as Republican governor, Mitch Daniels’s response has been to offer a strong diet of pro-business legislation. In the past few years Indiana has cut its corporate tax rate by nearly 25%, established one of the highest R&D tax credits in the country and started work on a $10 billion infrastructure-improvement plan.
Until recently, though, Mr Daniels had resisted calls to make Indiana what is known as a “right-to-work” (RTW) state. RTW legislation allows employees to decide whether to financially support a union. Without such laws unions can insist that all workers pay dues to help fund the cost of negotiating a contract with an employer, whether or not they wish to formally join the union. Now, however, Mr Daniels says he believes the state needs to sign up as well. The new legislation was passed by the state Senate on February 1st and was signed by Mr Daniels that very day, making Indiana the 23rd RTW state in America—and the first such state in the nation’s old manufacturing belt. [More...]