Indiana News

Bosma Threatens Fines As House Democrats Walk Out Again

Referendum plan for right-to-work ruled "unlikely" to be constitutional


House Speaker Brian Bosma
( file photo: Eric Berman) 

Republicans are threatening fines after House Democrats' third walkout in 13 days.


Democrats trying to stop a right-to-work law had pinned their hopes on an amendment requiring voters to approve it by referendum. But the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency says while there have been local referenda, it's "unlikely" that a statewide referendum on a law would pass constitutional muster.

Democrats say Republicans sought the legal opinion. Minority Leader Patrick Bauer accuses House Speaker Brian Bosma of blindsiding him and "trying to prevent (Democrats) from freedom of speech." He says Democrats need "several days" to find a way around the problem.

Bosma notes Bauer pledged Democrats wouldn't delay the bill any longer. He says he'll impose thousand-dollar fines on any Democrats who don't show up Wednesday morning.

Four Democrats, including Bauer, showed up for what was scheduled to be a debate on the referendum and 43 other amendments to the right-to-work bill. Coupled with Republican absences, that left the House nine members short of a quorum.

L-S-A cites a 1909 Indiana Supreme Court ruling stating, "Everything essential to the completion of the law...must emanate from the General Assembly and other constitutional authorities." The court draws a distinction between voter ratification of a statewide law, and referenda with only local effect, where voters are granted "the power to assist in (the law's) execution."

Democratic boycotts have now disrupted five of the eight scheduled workdays for the full House.

» Small Compromise on Right to Work (1-13-12)
» Union Workers March Through The Snow (1-12-12)
» Thaw in Relations in Indiana House (1-11-12)
» Daniels Makes Right-to-Work Pitch in State of the State Address (1-10-12)
» House Democrats Stage Another Boycott (1-10-12)
» Senior Groups Blast Right To Work (1-10-12)
» Contentious Commitee Hearing on Right to Work Bill (1-10-12)
» House Democrats' Walkout Ends (1-9-12)
» Democratic Leaders Hold Right-to-Work Hearing in Fort Wayne (1-8-12)
» House Democrats' Caucus Chair Quits Post Over Walkout (1-6-12)
» Senate Panel Approves Right-to-Work Bill (1-6-12)
» Democratic Representative Speaks on Right-to-Work (1-6-12)
» Why Is "Right-To-Work" So Controversial? (1-5-12)
» House Still Paralyzed As Democrats Continue Boycott (1-5-12)
» Another Session, Another Walkout (1-4-12)
» Daniels Outlines Final Legislative Agenda (12-16-11)
» Daniels Weighs Political Impact of Right-to-Work (12-12-11)
» Governor Not Weighing in Yet on Right to Work Bill (11-21-11)
» GOP Leaders Will Push Right-to-Work Bill (11-21-11)
» State Senator Speaks on Indiana Becoming a Right-to-Work State (11-15-11)
» Study Panel Recommends Right-to-Work Law (10-26-11)


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