Democrat lawmakers in Indiana weren't at the Statehouse Monday morning. Instead, they began their day once again across the state line in Urbana, Illinois as they continue their protest against Republican bills they call an assault on the working class.
So when will they come back?
"It's really hard to say right now," Rep. Ryan Dvorak of South Bend told NewsRadio 960 WSBT Monday morning. "Hopefully we'll be able to be back in state very soon."
By boycotting the Statehouse, Democrats are preventing a quorum in the House of Representatives needed to conduct business.
"Right now I think all these are issues that should be on the table for discussion,” Dvorak said. “And until we start talking about them, I can't say that any one of them will be a line in the sand, but they're all incredibly important. Until we start talking about them, we're not going to be able to move forward.”
Republican Representative Tim Neese of Elkhart said it would be best if they can all talk face-to-face.
"It's somewhat like having a long-distance relationship,” he said. “It's OK short-term, but at a certain point you have to talk and discuss issues one-on-one.”
Neese said they are mandated to take up congressional redistricting and are required by the constitution to pass a state budget — neither of which has been voted on yet.
"And the budget is a very complicated piece of legislation," Neese said.
Referring to the point at which some of the basics may not get done in time, Neese told NewsRadio 960 WSBT, "In my opinion, we are there."
Democrats maintain the Republican majority isn't interested in negotiation and a boycott is their only hope for the GOP to reconsider.
Many people continue to ask, what is it costing? That all depends on who you talk to.
Democratic State Chairman Dan Parker is paying for their hotel stay, which costs $2,500 a day. Parker says when you're standing on principle, it's worth it.
Indiana's Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says the cost of the democratic walkout to taxpayers so far is $90,000. But that estimate may be deceiving, because that particular statistic is based on the daily cost to operate Indiana's House of Representatives.
But if lawmakers finish their work on time by April 29 — In spite of the walkout — there is no additional cost.
Absent Democrats have also decided to reimburse the state for the weekly per diem payment they receive. But say they will still continue to collect their salaries.
A lawmaker's base salary is $22,616.