Caving into intense public pressure, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) this morning rescinded an order that would have barred thousands of Hoosiers from the statehouse as the legislature considers a so-called right to work bill. As I write, we hear that three doors are open and workers are streaming in, with lines of people wrapped around the block.
On Dec. 30, the Daniels administration announced it would limit the number of people allowed in the statehouse to 3,000, including the 1,700 employees. The ban did not include lobbyists who would continue to have unfettered access. But it would have closed the doors on thousands of workers who are planning to be in Indianapolis for the battle over the “right to work” for less legislation.
Daniels admitted the outcry over closing the doors was the major factor in his decision to rescind the restrictions. When they were announced, Indiana State AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott said:
Under this policy neither lobbyist nor donor will be turned away—yet everyday taxpaying citizens will be. This arrogant move is clearly aimed at working people who in 2011 went to the Statehouse to protest the anti-worker agenda being advanced there—and it is wrong. Our Constitution guarantees us the right to petition our government, and this limits that fundamental right.
Follow events in Indiana on Twitter with the hashtag #InUnion.