Indy Dems still holding out

March 3, 2011

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Indiana House Minority Speaker Pat Bauer at the Comfort Suites in Urbana, Ill., on Wednesday. (Mike Puente/WBEZ)

The stalemate between Democratic and Republican state lawmakers in Indiana nears the end of its second week.

Indiana House Democrats are still held up at the Comfort Suites in Urbana, Ill., a short distance from the University of Illinois. 

They fled their state capitol to avoid a quorum and possible arrest by Indiana State Police.

House Minority Speaker Pat Bauer actually returned to Indianapolis for a little while Wednesday morning to meet with GOP leadership including Majority Speaker Brian Bosma. 

Bauer said they refuse to drop bills aimed at diminishing the impact of organized labor, gutting collective bargaining for teachers and providing taxpayer money as vouchers to allow parents to send their children to private schools.

“This is a process where we are trying to deradicalize the majority who are trying to cut the wages of thousands of workers in Indiana,” Bauer said. “When they agree that they are not going to do that or help minimize the impact of that in some way, we’ll come back.

Bauer returned to Urbana, about two hours west of Indianapolis, where he continued to caucus with about 30 Democrats staying at the Comfort Inn in Urbana.

Several Northwest Indiana state Representatives are among the group, including Dan Stevenson of Highland, Vernon Smith of Gary, Mara Candelaria Reardon of Munster and Linda Lawton of Hammond.

House Republicans will try again this morning the restart the legislative session in Indianapolis where protestors continue to show up.