Speaker Brian Bosma and Minority Leader Pat Bauer met Thursday, but House Democrats are still denying a quorum.
At the meeting in the Speaker’s office, Bauer expressed the desire to delay the right-to-work bill. Right-to-work legislation bans union contracts that require non-union employees pay fees for representation. Bauer says he wants to hold public hearings around the stateso the public can better understand the legislation.
Bosma denied the request for a delay, saying the legislature has been studying the issue for a year.
“Twenty hours of public testimony this summer, I think, answered most of the questions on most of the legislators’ minds,” he says.
If Democrats remain off the floor Friday, an anti-bolting statute levying thousand-dollar fines for three consecutive days of absence comes into play. Bosma would have to file a lawsuit in order to enforce the statute, but says he hasn’t made any decision on the fines yet. Bauer says the Speaker did advise him of the possibility in their meeting.
“Well, there’s no question that the fear of fines is a problem,” he says.
Bauer says the caucus will decide together Friday whether to return to the House floor. House Democrats are also organizing their own public hearings on Right to Work around the state. Bauer says events are currently being planned in Evansville and Fort Wayne for the weekend, with the hope of at least three more.