For the beginning of the third week In a row, we fail to have a quorum for the conduct of business, much to the pleasure of the protesters,” said Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma, referring to pro-union groups that have been holding demonstrations at the Statehouse.
House Republicans voted last week to impose fines in an effort to persuade Democrats to end their boycott, which has brought most of the chamber’s business to a halt, but Democratic leader Patrick Bauer says fines or other punishments won’t help resolve their dispute.
Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer and House Speaker Brian Bosma both signaled a willingness Monday to negotiate, but no talks were scheduled. Dozens of House Democrats remain sequestered in an Illinois hotel.
The Democrats have said they’re not willing to return unless Republicans are willing to make concessions on bills such as teacher collective bargaining rights and school vouchers. GOP members say they won’t be bullied into compromising their agenda.
The Democratic boycott that stalled House business was triggered by committee passage of a GOP measure that would prohibit companies from requiring union membership or fees as a condition of employment.