Judge Blocks Some Indiana Boycott Fines; House Democats File RTW Amendment

by Rick Howlett on January 20, 2012

A judge has blocked the collection of $1,000-a-day fines against some Indiana House Democrats who are boycotting the floor of the chamber to deny a quorum for action on a contentious right-to-work bill.

Marion County Judge David Dreyer issued a temporary injunction Thursday in the case of three Democratic representatives who have challenged the authority of the House leadership to deduct the fines from their state paychecks.

The injunction covers Democrats Shelli VanDenburg of Crown Point and Vanessa Summers of Indianapolis, who filed a lawsuit after majority Republicans voted Wednesday to start imposing the fines. It also covers Bill Crawford of Indianapolis, who sued over the collection of smaller fines from last year’s boycott.

Republican leaders maintain the fines are legal.

House Democrats, meanwhile, have filed an amendment to the GOP right-to-work bill that would call for a statewide referendum in November on the GOP measure, which would prohibit unions at private companies can require the payment of representation fees.

Boycotting members could return to the chamber today.

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

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