Democrats Upset After Short Right-To-Work Amendment Process

Confusion over which Democrat was to offer the next amendment may have halted the process.

Bosma

Photo: Dan Goldblatt (WFIU News)

Bosma says six seconds of silence was more than enough time for Democrats to offer another amendment before debate was closed.

The way the right-to-work amendment process ended Monday was contentious — House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) called twice for amendments, got no response, and gaveled the bill closed.

A review of the proceedings shows the call went unanswered for six seconds. Democrats say Rep. John Bartlett (D-Indianapolis) had been told he‘d be next in line to offer an amendment. But Bartlett didn‘t raise his hand. Rep. Terry Goodin (D-Crothersville) attempted to raise a point of order after Bosma announced verbally there were no further motions, but a split second before the gavel — Goodin says he would have asked Bosma to quiet the House so Bartlett could be recognized.   When Bosma declined to reopen the bill, Democrats walked out.

Bosma says he later reviewed the house video, and would have reconsidered if it showed he was too quick, but says that six-second pause gave Democrats ample opportunity.

“Clearly, there was a substantial gap between me calling for motions to amend, none being offered, and then finally engrossing the bill,” Bosma says. “So our procedures were followed — in fact, they were generous — and Democrats just didn‘t like the result.”

Bosma says the House will attempt to convene again at 1:30 Tuesday to hear amendments on 20 more bills which were waiting on the calendar when Democrats made their exit. Minority Leader Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) says Democrats will discuss this morning whether to show up. While the House was debating the referendum idea, the Senate took its final vote on right-to-work, approving it 28-22.

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