IBJNews

Indiana House leaders more genial over boycott

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

More than two weeks after Democratic lawmakers fled Indiana to block GOP-backed legislation, both sides gave optimistic signals Wednesday about resolving the stalemate — though Democratic leaders were approaching with "cautious optimism."

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said Rep. Patrick Bauer, the Democratic Minority Leader, called him earlier in the day to discuss how to handle several education and labor bills that passed committees but are now stalled by the boycott.

"I consider that to be a dramatic step forward, both the first phone call I've received in three weeks from him and the fact that they are trying to get some clarity on how we will handle business if and when they return," Bosma said. "It's my hope that's a prelude to us getting back to business."

Bauer said his conversation with Bosma, along with talks that some Republican bill sponsors about possible changes to legislation, gave him "cautious optimism."

However, the AWOL Democrats gave no indication that they would return to Indianapolis when Republicans try to resume legislative business Monday or even in time for pro-union rally Thursday at the Statehouse.

Wednesday marked the 16th day that most House Democrats have spent in Urbana, Ill., preventing any legislative action because too few members were present.

The boycotting Democrats have narrowed their list of objections to bills dealing with private school vouchers, limits on collective bargaining for teachers and exempting many government construction projects from the state's prevailing wage law.

They appear to be framing their arguments as part of a larger fight against Republican-led efforts in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states to limit collective bargaining rights for state employees and teachers. Bauer and other Democratic legislators appeared on CNN and MSNBC this week to talk about their walkout.

Union organizers plan what could be the largest protest in several years at the Statehouse on Thursday to support the Democrats' stance.

Bauer wouldn't say whether any of the boycotters would travel from Illinois to Indianapolis for the rally.

"It is really focused on the workers who are losing their jobs or being marched towards minimum wage, and the teachers who won't have jobs, and the cuts in education," he said. "I think it will show the tremendous support that we have for the actions we've taken and how many people are concerned about their job diminution or elimination."

Bauer left open the door for Democrats to return next week. When asked whether they could return on Monday, he replied, "Well, I think that might be a stretch, but I say again, 'day by day."

Some Democratic lawmakers fielded questions about wages and education from supporters during a telephone town hall session Wednesday night and reiterated that they were standing up for Indiana's working class.

"It's been a great moment of Indiana history that 39 people have stood up," said Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT