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Indiana Democrats call on GOP leaders to donate pay during special session

March 20, 2018

The Indiana Democratic Party is calling on the state’s two top Republican lawmakers to donate their pay during the upcoming special session of the Indiana General Assembly.

On Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered lawmakers to return to the Statehouse sometime in May for a special session after Republican supermajorities failed to come to consensus on key bills by the time this year's session ended last week.

The special session will address school safety and taxes, and it is expected to cost $30,000 per day.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody released a statement late Tuesday afternoon specifically encouraging House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President David Long to donate their pay during the special session.

“Republican leaders relinquishing their pay is a small but critical acknowledgment that they won’t personally benefit from their own ineffectiveness,” Zody said in a prepared statement. “Hardworking taxpayers deserve that much.”

House and Senate Democratic leaders Terry Goodin and Tim Lanane have announced they will donate their pay from the special session.

“Republican leaders had more than two months to get the job done, and still couldn’t get their homework in on time,” Zody said in a prepared statement. “Now they’re asking taxpayers to trust them to finish up in three days? I don’t blame Hoosier taxpayers for not trusting Indiana Republicans to do what they say.”

Through a spokeswoman, Long said he will be talking to his caucus about issues regarding pay and other matters.  "Under state law, each member of the Legislature must take their pay," he said. "However, they each have the option to donate it back to the state or to a charity of their choice."

But he said, "The important thing to remember is that we are determined to keep the special session as short and inexpensive as possible—no more than a few days, if that." 

Bosma has not publicly responded to the Democrats' call. But at least one Republican member of the House has already announced plans to donate his pay. Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, announced on Facebook on Monday that he will donate the pay to a not-for-profit.

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