House Rejects Referendum for Right-to-Work, Setting Stage for Final Vote
Dispute over end of debate prompts another walkout
The right-to-work bill is eligible for a final vote in the House -- but there's once again some question of whether Democrats will show up.
Democrats kept their pledge to resume work Monday, debating amendments for five hours. It was after the defeat of the one they wanted most -- a referendum on right-to-work -- that controversy flared again.
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 Indianapolis Representative John Bartlett had been told he'd be next in line to offer an amendment. But Bartlett didn't raise his hand. Crothersville Representative Terry Goodin 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 again.
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. He 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 Tuesday whether to show up.
Democrats began the debate Monday with a rarely-used parliamentary maneuver allowing legislators to try to immediately kill a bill without further consideration. Representative Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) argues right-to-work has been so divisive that it's impeding the House's ability to conduct any other business.
Republicans rejected the motion on a party-line vote.
While the House was debating the referendum idea, the Senate took its final vote on right-to-work, approving it 28-22. Nine Republicans joined all Democrats in voting no.
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» House Democrats Slated to Return Monday (1-23-12)
» Senate Opens Debate on Right-to-Work, Rejects Referendum Plan (1-20-12)
» Democrats Recraft RTW Referendum, Say They'll Return Monday (1-20-12)
» Judge Rules on Fines Against House Democrats (1-19-12)
» House Paralyzed for Third Straight Day (1-19-12)
» House Republicans Levy Fines on Absent Democrats (1-18-12)
» Bosma Threatens Fines As House Democrats Walk Out Again (1-17-12)
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» Contentious Commitee Hearing on Right to Work Bill (1-10-12)
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» Daniels Outlines Final Legislative Agenda (12-16-11)
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» Governor Not Weighing in Yet on Right to Work Bill (11-21-11)
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