GOP Imposes Fines on Boycotting Indiana House Democrats

by Rick Howlett on January 18, 2012

Boycotting Indiana House Democrats are now facing fines of $1,000 per day for skipping legislative business over a labor bill pushed by the Republican majority.

Most Democrats did not show up for two quorum calls this morning, prompting Republicans to impose the fines.

The Democrats want the House to call for a referendum on the “right-to-work” issue. Such a law would prohibit unions at private companies from collecting mandatory representation fees.

Democrats resumed their walkout this week after questions arose about the constitutionality of such a referendum, saying they need more time to research it.

Republicans call that a stall tactic. GOP Rep. Timothy Brown says the Democrats should come back to work and debate the issue.

“We compel you to attend, we want you to attend. Please come do the business,” Brown said in a floor speech.

The boycotting House Democrats spent the morning in the Statehouse rotunda, where they held a caucus and spoke to labor union supporters. Minority Leader Patrick Bauer says party members will challenge any fines in court.

The House is scheduled to resume business tomorrow morning.

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