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Indiana House speaker set to fine boycotters

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Indiana's Republican House speaker says he's ready to fine and formally censure Democrats boycotting the Statehouse.

Most House Democrats skipped Thursday morning's floor session, extending their stay at an Urbana, Ill., hotel to an 11th day and preventing action on labor and education bills they oppose.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says Democratic leader Patrick Bauer has told him the boycotting members will not return Friday either.

Bosma says he'll release details of the proposed fines Thursday but that he'll wait until Monday before imposing them.

Democratic Rep. Kreg Battles of Vincennes says threatening fines won't resolve the legislative dispute that prompted the boycott.

Such fines have been threatened in previous House walkouts over the years, but have been waived when the minority party returns.

Bauer drove back from Illinois and met with Bosma for 50 minutes Wednesday in the GOP leader's Statehouse office. Bauer had two other House Democrats with him in the meeting, which also was attended by four other majority Republicans.

Most House Democrats have been staying in Urbana since last Tuesday, when they began boycotting the House to derail labor and education bills by denying the House the quorum needed to conduct business. The boycott already killed a "right-to-work" bill that unions opposed.

The meeting signaled improving relations for the leaders involved in the ongoing impasse. But it's not clear what the talks actually accomplished. Bauer has repeatedly said he wants to negotiate on GOP-proposals that Democrats consider an assault on the middle class. And Bosma has repeatedly said he'll talk to Bauer, but won't negotiate a back room deal or agree to take GOP proposals off the table.

Republicans are already planning changes to a private school voucher bill that Democrats oppose. The bill would use taxpayer money to help parents send their children to private schools. Bosma said the bill needs to be changed to get enough support from his own caucus to pass, and Republicans will introduce an amendment limiting the number of students who can participate in the program and adding more restrictive income level requirements. Bauer said Tuesday that those changes were a good step forward.

The Democrats' boycott has already killed a "right-to-work" bill that would have prohibited union membership from being a condition of employment. Republicans say they won't try to resurrect that proposal this year. Bosma says he will not allow the boycott to kill other bills and plans to extend legislative deadlines to keep the other proposals on the House calendar alive as long as necessary.

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  • craziness
    what is wrong with these politicians?democrats and republicans alike.they work for us or do they?they should be trying to get JOBS,JOBS JOBS...cause they surely wont be representing me.sit down and negotiate on all these bills that are just wrong for IN.
  • Disappointed Democrat
    Regarding the Republicans doing the same thing, perhaps I am wrong,; but, as I recall, they left the chamber and refused to come back, but they did not leave the state; and, I also seem to recall that they did not fare well in the next election.

    I personally hope they lose so badly in the next election that their are none left. Both parties have moved to the opposite ends of the spectrum, so perhaps we need to wipe them out so we can get some new blood in the house who are not so narrowly focused.
  • here is the link
    Here is the direct quote as reported in the Lebanon Reporter newspaper:
    http://reporter.net/local/x186196635/Education-tops-legislative-meeting
  • Bauer Fiscally Neglegent & Bought Man
    Bauer has power but does not have a clue. Just look how he has straped his own home county, shambles for South Bends economy & top 10 on dieing cities in US. Sooner he is gone the better. He has been bought & stuffed & no more than someones puppit. Ethics, Integrety has been replaced with greed & Bias.
  • Boots
    I went looking for this SUPPOSED QUOTE after a teacher friend of mine threw it out as fact. I found the link to it on a teachers association website. They say he IMPLIED this statement & then further down in the article at least 3 times I believe, the writer used the phrase I PRESUME HE MEANT as their examples that he wants to pee on people in the free & reduced lunch program.
    • Hmm...
      I am a VERY disappointed Democrat. My party is behaving badly and needs to stop. However, that said, you should realize (and recognize) that the Republicans did the same thing about 10 years ago. It should be "shame on them all, not just a shame on the Democrats."
      • Fines are not enough
        How about the fact they are not honoring their oath of office? Why can't the attorney general get involved, it seems to me they are breaking the law by ignoring their duty as elected officials. How long would we allow the governor or a mayor to intentionally stay out of town? And yeah, who is paying for their travel? Is surely better not be from taxes!
      • Take the time to review the bills
        The Democrats are doing the only thing that they can do to stop bad bills from becoming law. Plese take this time to review those bills!

        An example of a state senator promoting the school voucher bill: Indiana State Senator Phil Boots (Republican) reported at a Boone County Chamber of Commerce Luncheon that children on free and reduced lunch programs were "underachievers" and that Indiana's needs charter schools to concentrate on the "overachievers" who are the future of our state. How sad that this is the view of the leaders of our state. This is according to the Lebanon Reporter Newspaper. Is this what we want?
      • Only One Winner
        This has gone too far. Only winner by far is the Urbana Comfort Inn - by the way, is that being paid for out of the Dems' per diem (which taxpayers pay too)?
      • Hang em!!!!!!!
        No one else is goping to get by with walking away from their job. Too bad all we can do is fine them. Let's all remember this when election time comes.f48n5
      • Another day at the statehouse
        What do they pay the fines with, assumingthey are not waived?...our tax dollars, or lobbyists money, no doubt. As for the legislation, all I want to know is wht they are going to do about the economy and jobs...precious little here about that...so who cares about it.
      • Go get 'um Brian!!!
        Go after them. Make 'em pay. If most any of us peons would walk away from our jobs and hide out for a couple weeks, you think we wouldn't have to pay a huge price. We would lose our jobs. Sure wish there was some way they would lose theirs, but a fine is better than nothing. What a bunch of losers!!! Whiney little sniveling runts. Cry babies all of them.
      • Threatening?
        Fines for dereliction of duty should not be a threat but a requirement. The fact that bills were not voted on may be a blessing.

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