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House Democrats Boycott Session Again Tuesday

Indiana House Democrats did not show to the session Tuesday.

Indiana Statehouse

Photo: Jason Netherland (Flickr)

Indiana Democrats are boycotting the House because of right-to-work legislation.

Indiana House Democrats did not come to the floor again Tuesday at the scheduled start of the day‘s session at 1:30 p.m. or at a second attempt to convene at 3:30 p.m.

Early in the day, House Speaker Brian Bosma said he would increase fines for the string of absences to $4,000 if they did not appear. Democrats have skipped nine of the 14 scheduled session days thus far to protest — and slow down — a right-to-work bill.

Democrats left the floor Monday evening after the amendment process closed on right to work legislation. Minority Leader Pat Bauer says they had more amendments to offer, but none spoke up when Bosma called for them. Bosma says he will not reopen the amendment process and does not plan on contacting the Democrats.

“We’re just here to do the people’s business and I don’t think I have to reach out and hold someone’s hand and ask them ‘pretty please’ to show up at work,” he says. “That’s not my job.”

Bauer says Democrats will decide Wednesday whether to return to the floor.

“We thought we needed to have a little more study time for the public of Indiana to know what this right for work to less bill was,” he says.

An identical right-to-work bill has already passed the Senate and is expected to pass the house if there is a quorum to consider it. Right to work was 20th in line to be heard on Tuesday, behind a smoking ban and other bills awaiting potential amendments.

Five Democrats continue to defy the walkout. One Republican is out sick, leaving the House three representatives short of a quorum.

Network Indiana  contributed to this report.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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