House Dems Resume Boycott Over Right-To-Work

Democrats Walk Out After Failed Amendments

House Democrats have resumed their boycott over divisive right-to-work legislation.

Most of the House's 40 Democrats skipped an afternoon session of the House on Tuesday. The move comes one day after Democrats lost an effort to put the right-to-work measure on the ballot.

Democrats have boycotted to deny Republicans the 67-member quorum needed to work on any proposals. Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma put the House in recess until Wednesday.

"We will attempt to reconvene tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. It will be my intention to move immediately to the second reading calendar and go to House Bill 1004 and work our way through," Bosma said. "If that is not an option and we are again denied the opportunity to work on the people's business, I'm quite certain we'll see another motion pursuant to Rule 4 (to fine absent Democrats $1,000 a day)."

Minority Leader Pat Bauer was vague when asked if Democrats would be back Wednesday.

"Well, it could be as early as tomorrow, but who knows what ill wind may blow between now and then," he said.

Bauer denied that the timing of the Super Bowl has any impact on his caucus' daily decisions on whether or not to show up.

Democrats risk losing bills that are dear to many of them, like the smoking ban, if their protest continues.

"I'm not in the business of issuing threats. I'm only the recipient of threats, so they know very well where the job place is and when they're supposed to be here," Bosma said. "As long as their strike continues, that's on their head, not mine."

Jan. 31 is the deadline for the House to pass its own bills, and since the right-to-work bill is eligible for a final vote, Democrats would have to stay out for the next week to kill it. However, deadlines can be moved, as they were during last year's five-week Democratic walkout to Illinois.

The Republicans are pushing to make Indiana the 23rd state to bar unions from collecting mandatory fees for representation.

The measure passed the Senate Monday.

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