By Russ McQuaid
3:10 PM EST, March 1, 2011
Once again the gavel fell in the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday and once again, efforts to pass legislation was thwarted by the absence of House Democrats. It was a week ago that almost every Indiana House Democrat left for Urbana, Illinois to caucus far away from the Republican controlled House and beyond the grasp of Indiana State Police troopers, who could compel them to return to work.
Gary Democrat Representative Charlie Brown told reporters it is up to the GOP to compromise on legislation he claims would wreck public schools and the state's middle class by gutting workers collective bargaining rights. Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said his party may amend a school choice bill Democrats despise but it's up the minority party to return to work and make its best argument on pending bills. That sentiment was echoed on the Senate side where State Senator Luke Kenley of Noblesville (R) said Republicans might be willing to restore some of budget cuts Democrats oppose.
"There may be but that's part of the face to face, showing up to work process. So if they're not here I don't think we're going to be in a position to do that," said Sen. Kenley.