Indiana House Democrats Resume Boycott

by Rick Howlett on January 10, 2012

Democrats in the Indiana House of Representatives have again refused to report for legislative business in the chamber. They’re protesting a bill pushed by the Republican majority that would prohibit companies from requiring workers to pay union representation fees.

Hours earlier, the measure cleared a House committee by a vote of 8-5.

The brief committee meeting included no testimony and the Republican chairman would not allow four Democratic amendments to be heard until the bill reaches the full chamber, saying they were submitted too late.

Democrat Larry Fry called it a neglect of the Constitution.

“What are you afraid of? You have plenty of votes to pass this bill. Why wouldn’t you want to listen to people express their point of view?” Fry asked committee chairman Douglas Gutwein.

“We did on Friday, and everyone was here,” Gutwein responded, referring to a five-hour hearing conducted by the House and Senate labor committees. An identical version of the House bill is moving through the Senate.

House Democrats boycotted the first three days of the session last week. They returned to the chamber Monday but resumed their walkout after the committee vote.

Governor Mitch Daniels will deliver his State of the State address this evening. House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer says he will attend the speech. It can be heard on WFPL and wfpl.org at 7:00pm.

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