Chamber Group Discusses Its Priority Bills In Meeting With Lawmakers

By Jeff Neumeyer

March 1, 2011 Updated Mar 1, 2011 at 7:20 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS, (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Business leaders from our area are trying to get a message across to lawmakers about what issues they believe deserve top priority.

With strong republican majorities in both chambers, business leaders expected progress on bills they like, but the infamous democrat walkout has thrown a wrench in the plans.

Members of the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana played host to a handful of area legislators at the new JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis Tuesday during the lunch hour.

One of the bills that particular organization favors is the “Right to Work” bill that stirred up so much controversy and is now dead.

The head of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce says industry needs cost controls, and wants legislation prohibiting union fees from being a condition of employment at most private companies.

Vince Buchanan/New Haven Chamber President: " It doesn't allow us to compete against states that currently have the Right to Work in place."

Reporter: " So, you're sorry to see that one go?"

Buchanan: " Absolutely, absolutely, but it didn't seem to be the right time."

Matt Bell/Regional Chamber of N.E. Indiana: " We have to have a balanced budget passed and in that balanced budget we want fair and equitable funding for all Northeast Indiana school corporations. We know historically we've lagged other places in the state."

Mike Row, the head of Wells County Economic Development, says several business owners have told him they're disappointed with the walk-out, but he said those same business owners are optimistic business-friendly legislation will get passed before the final gavel sounds.

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