House Democrats Refuse To Show For Session

House Democrats refused to attend a 1:30 p.m. session called today. They are in caucus with no sign of coming out.

  • Indiana House Chamber

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    Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

    Republicans fill the Indiana House chamber, but Democrats did not show up for session.

  • Protestors

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    Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

    Protestors crowded the halls of the statehouse in response to right-to-work legislation on Wednesday, January 4, 2012.

  • protestors

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    Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

    Demonstrators in the Indiana statehouse protest over right-to-work legislation that is set to be a key priority in this session.

Updated 6:15 p.m., 3:55 p.m.

Democrats failed to show for the House of Representatives session that was called at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Republicans were in attendance, but Democrats are currently in caucus on the third floor of the statehouse, where they have been since about noon.

House Democratic leader Pat Bauer said at a press conference Democrats will not attend session until they have assurances that right-to-work legislation will not be “railroaded” through the legislature. Bauer says the public needs time to give their input and to be educated on the issue.

“This is such an important bill, such a controversial bill, the whole state ought to hear from it,” he said. “We don’t need to ram it through.”

At a separate press conference, Bosma said he is frustrated and wants the Democrats to show up and do their jobs.

“These are middle class jobs that we’re talking about,” he said. “We have to support our middle class here in this state and that’s exactly what this is about, despite the rhetoric you hear from the other side.”

AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott, who is a registered lobbyist, was in the caucus with the Democrats. Bosma said he was “shocked” that a registered lobbyist was in the meeting and said it is something that has never happened before to his knowledge.

House Speaker Brian Bosma has requested a meeting with Bauer, and Bauer says he plans to meet with the speaker sometime today.

Bosma maintains that there is no way right-to-work will be taken off the legislative agenda. Democrats say they will stay in Indianapolis and have no plans to leave the state.

Indiana Public Broadcasting Brandon Smith contributed to this report.

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