Week 2 for Indiana Democrats in Urbana

February 28, 2011

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Some three dozen Indiana Democrats will be starting their second week living in downstate Urbana Monday.

Indiana State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, is one of them.

Reardon said contrary to some speculation, she and her Democratic colleagues are not on an extended vacation.

She said they’re not just away from Indianapolis, but away from family as well.

“This wasn’t a decision that was undertaken lightly. We understand the hardship that it’s causing our families but we believe that we needed to take this stand and slow this radical Republican agenda down with the only tool that we had,” Reardon said. “Everybody understood that when they made this decision that it wasn’t going to be easy.

GOP leaders in the Indiana House want to limit collective bargaining for teachers and adopt right to work legislation.

House Democrats left the statehouse last week causing a virtual shutdown of the legislature.

Some Democrats fear they could be arrested if they return to Indiana, although the state’s governor has so far ruled out involving the state police.

Meanwhile, Indiana House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer says Republicans aren't willing to compromise on their controversial legislation.

Bauer said the trip is costing the Democratic Party, which has been paying for hotel rooms.

But legislators have paid for their own clothing and food. 

Bauer said it's a small price to pay compared to the workers who are losing pay to protest in the capitol.

"They have given up their salaries. They're fighting for their very existence … They're fighting for their families,” Bauer said. “They're fighting to be able to put food on the table. Our sacrifice is small for what they face.”

The majority GOP plans to try to reconvene the House on Monday morning.