Indiana House Democrats Follow Wisconsin Legislators, Leave the State
According to the Indianapolis Star, the Indiana House opened this morning with only three of the state’s 40 Democratic lawmakers present. Only 58 total legislators were at the Statehouse, preventing quorum from occurring. Like in Wisconsin, Indiana’s legislature requires two-thirds of its voting members present in order to conduct legislative proceedings.
The exodus was sparked by a Republican-backed bill, which would ban all unions that require non-union members to pay dues for representation from negotiating contracts with employers.
Although Indiana’s Republican governor Mitch Daniels suspended collective bargaining for public employees on his first day in office in 2005, he has yet to issue an official statement on the bill being debated Tuesday.
14 Democratic lawmakers left Wisconsin last week to block Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from issuing a ban on collective bargaining similar to what Daniels did in 2005.
Like in Wisconsin and Ohio, protesters this week have gathered daily outside Indiana’s Statehouse.
Indiana is the second state to see its lawmakers leave town.