By Colleen Ferreira (email@example.com)
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5:13 PM EST, December 12, 2012
SOUTH BEND - Michigan made history Tuesday when it became the 24th state to sign on with right-to-work, and it's only the second midwestern state to pass the bill behind Indiana.
But does that mean we're now in direct competition with our neighbors?
Some say it’s too early to tell if this law will directly impact jobs and companies coming to both states, but others say they already see a positive difference since right-to-work passed in Indiana.
And now the real question is: When Indiana and Michigan are on the same playing field, will they be in direct competition for the top spot?
The rallying continued on Wednesday. Protestors in Lansing won't let go of their fight against the right-to-work bill.
But it's a done deal. Michigan Governor Rck Snyder signed the bill on Tuesday.
“This is an opportunity if they wanna join unions, they can. If they don't wanna join the union, they don't," said Benton Harbor Representative Al Pscholka.
Pscholka was an advocate. He's looking forward to what the bill can bring to the state.
"We are hoping it brings additional investment and new opportunities," he said.
Change that some in Indiana already see since right-to-work went into effect here in July.
"RTW has aided in our ability to attract expansions that might have gone to another state. The big question now is how we measure up against Michigan," said Kyle Hannon with the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. "The ink was barely dry on the governor's signature before companies started calling the state expressing interest.”
But others aren't so sure they see the immediate difference.
"There's not choosing Indiana and Michigan over Ohio and Wisconsin. The difference in wage rates are not gonna turn into we're gonna get more jobs than Michigan," said Professor Paul Mishler with Indiana University South Bend. He said people are giving the right-to-work law more credit than it deserves.
"There are increases in economic activity in all these states because the economy is getting better," Mishler said.
Michigan's right-to-work law will go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, and we don't know when that will happen just yet.
Then, we'll get to see firsthand if the two states will go neck and neck at some point, competing for new jobs.
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