Local News Politics

Indiana House Democrats Again Delay Legislative Business

The Indiana House of Representatives remains in recess until Monday afternoon, as the chamber did not have enough members present this morning to conduct business.

About three dozen Democrats continue their boycott of the proceedings over a Republican-led labor bill.

Democrats have filed an amendment that would require any “right-to-work” law passed by the GOP be subject to a November voter referendum.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said the amendment would be considered, but Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer told him party members need the weekend to inform the public about it.

The House has now imposed fines of $3,000 against boycotting Democrats.

However, a judge has blocked them from being deducted from two lawmakers’ paychecks as a suit challenging the fines makes its way through the court system.

A “right-to-work” bill is also making its way through the Indiana Senate, where Republicans hold a super-majority.

Local News Politics

Bauer: Indiana “Right-to-Work” Amendment Could Be Ready Friday

The leader of the boycotting Indiana House Democrats says they’re working hard to find a way for a voter referendum on the contentious right-to-work bill will survive questions on whether it’s allowed under the state constitution.

Democratic leader Patrick Bauer said the proposal could be prepared as soon as tomorrow. That could clear the way for the 35 boycotting Democrats to return to the House floor, allowing action on the right-to-work bill and other legislation.

Bauer also said he didn’t expect any court rulings until at least Friday on the legal challenge Democrats have filed over the plan by majority Republicans to dock the Democrats’ state paychecks to cover $1,000-a-day fines that started Wednesday.

Republican leaders say they believe the fines are legal and will be upheld.

Local News Politics

Indiana House Democrats Again Delay Action On “Right-to-Work” Bill

Democrats in the Indiana House are again delaying a action on a controversial “right-to-work” measure pushed by the Republican majority.

The House was supposed to consider Democratic amendments to the bill today, including a proposal to allow voters to decide if the state should adopt the policy related to the collection of union dues.

But the chamber’s Democratic Leader, Patrick Bauer, said late today it’s taking longer than expected to research the constitutionality of a referendum, a question he says was raised by Republicans.

“We need time on this one bill to at least have a fair constitutional chance to give the people a voice,” Bauer said on the House floor.

Republican Speaker Brian Bosma said the Democratic amendments would be taken up first thing at 9:00am tomorrow.

The right to work measure would prohibit unions at private companies from collecting mandatory representation fees.

The issue has sparked union demonstrations at the Statehouse and boycotts by House Democrats.

Local News Politics

Indiana House To Hold “Right-to-Work” Hearing Next Week

The full Indiana House of Representatives will hold a hearing on the contentious “right-to-work” bill next week.

It’s part of a deal between party leaders that will apparently end a Democratic boycott of House business.

The Republican-led measure would prohibit unions at private companies from collecting mandatory representation fees.

The issue has sparked union demonstrations at the Statehouse and an on-and-off legislative boycott by House Democrats.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (top) says he and Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer (below) have reached an agreement under which a hearing will be held on the bill Tuesday, with a final vote later in the week.

“And also I made….my committment to do what I believe I have done in virtually every circumstance and that is to have a full and fair debate on amendments as they’re offered,” Bosma said.

Democrats were angry that testimony and amendments were not allowed during a committee hearing on the measure this week.

An AFL-CIO town hall meeting on the issue will be held Thursday night in Jeffersonsville.

Local News Politics

Indiana House Panel Passes “Right-to-Work” Measure

From the Associated Press:

A panel of Indiana lawmakers has voted along party lines to move divisive right-to-work legislation to the full House of Representatives.
The House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 8-5 this morning to advance a ban on contracts that require workers to pay union fees for representation. The panel’s Republican chairman, Douglas Gutwein of Francesville, did not accept any changes to the measure.
Union protesters who packed the House chamber for the vote booed at Republicans and cheered for Democrats.
House Democrats cleared the way for the committee vote when they ended a three-day boycott Monday. But House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer said they may boycott again to stall the labor bill.
Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says the bill could advance to the Senate as early as Friday.

An identical Senate version of the measure has also won committee approval.

Local News

Bauer: Boycotting Democrats Returning To House Floor

From the Associated Press:

Indiana House Democrats are ending a three-day boycott of the Legislature over a contentious labor bill but are not promising to stay long enough to allow a final vote on the divisive measure.

House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer told The Associated Press that Democrats are returning “just for today.”

Indiana Republicans are pushing a right-to-work bill that would ban contracts that require employees to pay mandatory fees for union representation.

House Democrats last week denied Republicans the 67 members on the floor they need to conduct any business. But as the week wore on Democrats signaled their holdout was unlikely to last in the face of fines Republicans imposed after a five-week walkout last year over the same issue.

Local News Politics

Update: Democrats Delay Indiana House Session

Indiana House Democrats delayed the start of their chamber’s legislative session today. Most remained behind closed doors in opposition to a so-called “right-to-work” bill being pushed by the Republican majority.

The lack of a quorum forced Republican Speaker Brian Bosma to postpone the start of House business until Thursday afternoon.

House Democratic leader Patrick Bauer says party lawmakers will keep themselves out of the chamber until certain demands are met over the bill, which was blocked last year by their five-week boycott.

Bauer says they want the GOP to hold more public hearings on the measure.

Local News Politics

Indiana House GOP, Democratic Leaders Meet

A meeting Wednesday between Republican Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Democratic leader Patrick Bauer was called “positive” but did not produce an end to their weeklong stalemate.

Bauer drive to the Indiana statehouse from Illinois, where many House Democrats have been sequestered in protest of the GOP legislative agenda.

The two leaders discussed labor and education bills that Democrats find objectionable and want withdrawn from consideration.

Bosma says he won’t take any bills off the calendar. Bauer planned to return to Urbana, Illinois but said the two sides moved a bit closer to compromise.

Several other lawmakers from both parties sat in on the talks.