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Democrats Concerned About Committee Meetings, Fines

Indiana House business was delayed Thursday as Democrats met to discuss issues they’re concerned about moving forward for the rest of the session.

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Photo: Ben Skirvin

Democrats want to confirm legality of fines before agreeing to payment.

Minority Leader Pat Bauer and Speaker Brian Bosma met in Bosma’s office for nearly an hour Thursday morning.  Bauer says the primary topic was the complaint that some House committees aren’t hearing public testimony now that Democrats have returned from Illinois.

“Now they’re saying amend and vote only, that means the full committee doesn’t get the public testimony in a legal way,” said Bauer.

House Republicans held informal hearings with public testimony during the five week walkout.  Speaker Bosma says it’s up to committee chairs to decide whether or not to hear public testimony again, but that if he were a committee chair, he wouldn’t.

Bosma and Bauer also discussed the fines assessed to the Democrats for their walkout, which averaged $3,150 per legislator.  Bosma says Republicans have no plans to pull back the fines.

“We’ll be sure that it’s paid.  We’ll be sure that it’s paid in a reasonable fashion that allows families to function.  But I can tell you for fact that it will be paid.” said Bosma.

Bauer says he’s willing to pay the fines, but wants to make sure they are legal and proper.  Bosma says he will accept personal checks, and will withhold money from future per diem checks in order to collect the fines.

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