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Illinois is now free of fleeing Democrats

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011

* After about a month in self-imposed exile, Indiana House Democrats have finally left Urbana and headed home to Indianapolis. Here’s what they got

So-called “right to work” legislation, which bars companies and unions from negotiating a contract that requires non-union members to pay fees for representation, is off the table, at least for now. House committee passage of this bill on Feb. 21 triggered the walkout. The measure is headed to a study committee.

Also dormant are 22 other bills that were approved in committee but did not clear the legislative process because of the walkout. Those include one that bars a future governor from signing an executive order allowing collective bargaining for state employees; another that would allow private companies to take over failing public schools; and one that bars funding to Planned Parenthood. However, the Senate still could deal with some of those issues.

House Bill 1003, which would allow some public school students to use state dollars to pay private school tuition, will be changed. Republicans have agreed to limit the number of vouchers to 7,500 in the first year and 15,000 the second.

House Bill 1216, which affects project labor agreements and wages paid on public construction projects. Current law requires the agreements, which guarantee a certain number of union jobs in exchange for no-strike pledges, on all projects that cost more than $150,000. As introduced, that threshold shot up to $1 million, with all school and university projects exempt. Republicans agreed to a series of changes during the walkout, lowering the threshold last week to $350,000 and including schools and universities. The final proposed amendment — put on the table late Thursday and filed in the House on Monday — phases that in over two years.

* The spin wars have begun in earnest

House Speaker Brian Bosma, an Indianapolis Republican, said it was “public pressure” that drew the minority party back.

Not so, Democrats said.

“We are coming back after softening the radical agenda,” said House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer, a Democrat from South Bend.

“We won a battle, but we recognize the war goes on.”

Republicans, though, said the changes to which they’ve agreed probably would have happened during the regular course of action anyway.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

6 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 29, 11 @ 7:36 am:

    Looks like the Indy Dems got quite a bit. I imagine the legislative majorities in Wisconsin and Indy will look for opportunities to change those quorum rules in the future.


  2. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Mar 29, 11 @ 9:19 am:

    Part of what got the Indiana Dems rethinking their position is that each had accrued over $3k in fines for their dereliction of duty.

    “So-called “right to work” legislation…”

    If it isn’t a right to work without having to hand over money to a union whether you want to or not, I don’t know what is. Often, we also see unions invoke workers rights, but this really only means a right for union work, which is nothing more than a monopoly at work.


  3. - Belle - Tuesday, Mar 29, 11 @ 9:49 am:

    It’s been good for the hotel business in the normally quiet winter season.
    Maybe the hotels could use it for a slogan next year: ILLINOIS: where Midwestern Dem’s go to ESCAPE the pressures of the job!


  4. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Mar 29, 11 @ 10:01 am:

    So much for the Illinois winter occupancy boom.

    Hey, that hotel tax revenue adds up!


  5. - Responsa - Tuesday, Mar 29, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    I wish I could see the humor in the fleeing legislators’ antics that many here do and have been. Be they Dems or Repubs I would feel exactly the same. Do your job. Show up for work in your own workplaces in your own state. Sleep in your own bed. Understand that you represent your constituents–all of them (who are not politically monolithic and have varying points of view)–to the best of your ability and try not to look so obviously beholden to a special interest. Recognize that you’ll win some and you’ll lose some and that elections have consequences. This has been a very sad chapter in Midwestern governance IMO. I hope this sort of legislative tantrum thing does not become commonplace.


  6. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Mar 29, 11 @ 3:48 pm:

    If you don’t like things, run away. Great message to the babies


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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