Indiana Democratic Boycott Continues Over Labor Bill

by Rick Howlett on March 17, 2011

Republicans are trying to turn up the heat on Democrats who have boycotted the Indiana House for the past four weeks by raising the daily fine for their absence from $250 to $350.

Democrats are holding out over a Republican bill dealing with labor unions and government construction projects.

The bill would raise the threshold at which union participation and wages are required on those projects. Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says he’s made his final offer toward a compromise. He says in addition to the higher fine, discussions about a formal censure of Democrats will begin next week.

Rep. Win Moses, one of two Democrats to show up for House business Thursday, says that won’t end the impasse.

“If in fact you’re looking for compromise, in a sense of all of us working together to make this a better state, this is a harsh move, this is a poke in the eye, this won’t accomplish that,” Moses said.

Republican Rep. Jeff Espich says Democrats are ignoring a voter mandate to create jobs and improve education.

“How dare you, quite frankly. How dare you leave Hoosiers who have spoken so loudly that these are the things they care about,” he said.

The Indiana House is in recess until Monday.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)

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