Indiana House Democrats face daily fines

March 3, 2011

By The Associated Press

Indiana's House Republicans have approved $250-a-day fines against Democratic legislators who are boycotting the Statehouse.

The fines will start Monday. Most House Democrats skipped Thursday morning's floor session, extending their stay at an Urbana, Ill., hotel to an 11th day and preventing action on labor and education bills they oppose. The boycott denies the House the quorum needed to conduct business.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says Democratic leader Patrick Bauer has told him the boycotting members will not return Friday either. Bosma says he will hold off on formally censuring them as he had discussed earlier.

Democratic Rep. Kreg Battles of Vincennes says threatening fines won't resolve the legislative dispute. Such fines have been threatened in previous House walkouts, but have been waived when the minority party returns.

Wisconsin state senators face a similar penalty, a $100 daily fine for every day they are not in Madison.