WBEZ | Pat Bauer http://www.wbez.org/tags/pat-bauer Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Indiana Dems end boycott, but threaten new one http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-dems-end-boycott-threaten-new-one-95400 <p><p>Indiana House Democrats ended their three-day boycott on Monday but they could be right back at it Tuesday.&nbsp;That’s because House Republicans are moving fast to get so-called right-to-work legislation approved as early as this week.</p><p>The House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee plans to meet Tuesday morning to vote on right-to-work legislation. Their Senate counterpart passed a similar measure late last week.</p><p>And, if the measure passes in the House committee, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), who threatened to start fining absent Democrats to a tune of $1,000 per day, says the right-to-work bill could get a final vote by week’s end in the full House — if Democrats stick around.</p><p>Democratic leaders have dangled the prospect of another walkout if Republicans don’t slow down the legislative process.</p><p>Democratic leader Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend), made the case to do just that. At the start of Monday’s House Session, he urged statewide hearings on the bill, citing recent polls that suggests half of Hoosiers don’t know enough about the hot-button issue.</p><p>“Fifty percent of the people don’t know what a right-to-work bill is,” Bauer said. “You talk to the average Hoosier and they don’t know what right work is. It sounds nice, right-to-work.”</p><p>Bauer said Indiana voters should have final say, just as they do for expensive bond issues for construction projects.</p><p>“I don’t really like referendums but if you’re going to have a referendum on a $30 million building, you ought be able to have a referendum on a bill that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars on families,” Bauer said Monday on the floor of the Indiana House.</p><p>The right-to-work bill would prohibit Indiana employers from forcing workers to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment.</p><p>Twenty-two states, mostly in the South and West, are effectively right-to-work. Economists and political observers say Indiana’s position on the issue is notable because the state lies in the traditionally union-friendly industrial Midwest. If Indiana moves forward with the proposal, the state would be the first in more than a decade to ban contracts that require workers to pay union fees for representation.</p><p>GOP proponents say passing right-to-work legislation will immediately attract jobs to Indiana.</p></p> Mon, 09 Jan 2012 22:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-dems-end-boycott-threaten-new-one-95400 Indiana budget is back in the black http://www.wbez.org/content/indiana-budget-back-black <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-14/tim berry.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Just a year ago the state of Indiana gutted &nbsp;its budget and cut spending to offset decreases in revenues brought on by the struggling economy. Pressures still exist but the state's sacrifices are now shoring up its bottom line.&nbsp;On Thursday, State Auditor Tim Berry laid out the evidence, announcing Indiana ended its 2010-2011 fiscal year in June with a $1.2 billion surplus.</p><p>"Last year, the questions that each of you had were, are you sure you can maintain a reserve balance of a $188 million,” Berry said at a press conference at the Indiana State House in Indianapolis. “It was the governor’s intention and others’ in state government to go out and find a way to reach a reserve balance by becoming more efficient.”</p><p>Berry said the state brought in 5 percent less revenue — about $1.3 billion — than was anticipated in the state budget, which was adopted two years ago. Because it spent 5.5 percent less ($1.52 billion) than it budgeted, the state ended with the surplus. Indiana operates on a two-year budget cycle.</p><p>“Without raising taxes and by carefully watching spending, Indiana state government has continued to live within its means,” Berry said. “For those who believe that raising taxes is the only way out of a fiscal crisis, I say take a look at the Hoosier State.”</p><p>But just because the state has extra cash doesn’t mean it will restore some of the cuts it made, such as in higher education and children’s health care, as Indiana House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, D–South Bend, believes should happen.</p><p>Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says the weak national economy still threatens every Hoosier.</p><p>“More money in Hoosiers’ incomes and a terrific job of cost control by state employees working together combined to produced an even stronger result than we expected at budget time,” Daniels said in a written statement. “With the national economy still limping badly, and downside risks still abounding, it is reassuring to have a safety margin that other states would love to have.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 22:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/indiana-budget-back-black Pain at the pump, even in Northwest Indiana http://www.wbez.org/story/pain-pump-even-northwest-indiana-85774 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-27/amoco.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Northwest Indiana has a reputation as having cheap gasoline prices, at least compared to Chicago. But Hoosiers themselves don’t think gas is so cheap now, not with prices at more than $4 a gallon.</p><p>Indiana House minority speaker Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, says that’s reason enough to suspend the state’s share of the sticker price.</p><p>“Paying $4.17 for a gallon of gas is unconscionable. Meanwhile, we the state are charging 40 cents approximately in taxes,” Bauer said Thursday. “Suspend it, three monthsJune, July and August, to help people get to work in the summer months at least.”</p><p>Pump prices include Indiana’s 18-cents-a-gallon gas tax and a 7 percent state sales tax.</p><p>Bauer says the $100 million in savings is about equal to a proposed cut in corporate income tax, which Republicans support. Republican leaders in the Indiana house call Bauer’s idea a political stunt, and the GOP and Democrats can’t agree on exactly how much money is at stake.</p><p>Bauer says dropping the gas tax would cost Indiana about $100 million. Indiana House Majority Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, says that figure is likely to be three times higher.</p><p>“We can’t spend money that we don’t have,” Bosma said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 00:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/pain-pump-even-northwest-indiana-85774 Return of the Dems http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-bosma/return-dems-84395 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-29/AP11032818547.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;" id="internal-source-marker_0.13231120258347917">The Indiana House of Representatives was back in business Monday for the first time in more than a month.</span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"> When House Democrats returned to their chamber on the second floor of the Indiana Statehouse, they were greeted with applause from waiting union members.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">More than 30 Democrats had fled to Urbana, Illinois, on Feb. 22 in protest of Republican-backed legislation they deemed as anti-union, anti-teacher and anti-public schools.</span> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Although the GOP controls the Indiana House, the party does not hold enough seats to call a quorum, so Democrats stayed away until Republican leadership agreed to amend certain bills.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">It&rsquo;s not clear if the Democrats&rsquo; tactic worked, although one proposal to enact so-called right-to-work laws was taken off the table by Republicans.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">House Democratic leader Pat Bauer views the walkout as a success.</span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"> &ldquo;We won a battle but we recognize the war goes on,&rdquo; Bauer said.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">House Majority Speaker Brian Bosma successfully called the House into session at 4 p.m. Chicago time.</span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"> Lawmakers wasted no time picking up where they left off; they discussed the state&rsquo;s budget and a host of bills, including one that would provide taxpayer-supported vouchers to parents who wish to send their children to private schools.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Bosma said lawmakers can&rsquo;t waste time if they hope to finish the session by the April 29 deadline.</span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">&ldquo;(Bauer) gave me his pledge that they will in good faith try to wrap this session up in regular time and deal with the important issues that face the taxpayers,&rdquo; Bosma said.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said lawmakers could be working long hours but didn&rsquo;t rule out the possibility of extending the legislative session.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">&ldquo;Our pro-jobs agenda of low spending, low taxes, and educational improvement is squarely in the Hoosier mainstream. The only thing &lsquo;radical&rsquo; about this session has been the decision by one caucus to walk off the job for five weeks,&rdquo; Daniels said. &ldquo;Now that it&rsquo;s finally over, let&rsquo;s make up the lost time.&rdquo;</span></p></p> Tue, 29 Mar 2011 04:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-bosma/return-dems-84395 Indiana Dems flee, GOP threatens fines http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-bosma/indiana-dems-flee-gop-threatens-fines <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/The Indiana House of Representatives sits empty Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis (Photo by Mike Puente, WBEZ).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Up until now, Indiana has been overshadowed by Wisconsin and Ohio in the fight over rights for unionized workers. But it is getting its turn in the spotlight.</p> <p>Hundreds of unionized workers from throughout Indiana descended on the State Capitol this week to protest what they see as series of union busting bills pushed by the GOP. Some aim to limit collective bargaining for teachers to only wages.</p> <p>Others seek to have Indiana become a right-to-work state, making mandatory union membership as a condition of employment illegal.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">WEATHERBY: You&rsquo;ve got the Republican people that have no regard for the common man.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s Kevin Weatherby of Indianapolis.</p> <p>He&rsquo;s a produce manager at a local grocery store and union member.</p> <p>Weatherby says he worries about his $15-an-hour wages getting cut if the right to work legislation passes.</p> <p>WEATHERSBY: You know, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But it&rsquo;s time for us to stand up.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But Democrats here aren&rsquo;t standing up &hellip; but running away.</p> <p>Just like their Wisconsin counterparts, Indiana House Democrats also fled to Illinois &hellip; not to Chicago but to the university town of Urbana, two hours away from Indianapolis.</p> <p>KUBACKI: It&rsquo;s cowardly.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s how Republican representative Rebecca Kubacki describes the actions of her Democratic colleagues on the House floor in Indianapolis on Thursday.</p> <p>KUBACKI: If you have such a strong position, come here and defend it. Come here and cast your vote.</p> <p>BAUER: Some have categorized it as bravery.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s Pat Bauer, the leader of the House Democrats who are far outnumbered by Republicans.</p> <p>Although in the majority, the GOP still needs Democrats to have a quorum.</p> <p>I spoke to Bauer in the hallway of the Comfort Suites hotel he and 30 other Democrats have been staying at in Urbana for the last two weeks.</p> <p>Bauer says staying away from the Indiana Statehouse has been the only way his party has stopped the continuation of eroding union rights.</p> <p>That erosion, he says, started in 2005 when Indiana&rsquo;s then newly elected Governor Mitch Daniels issued an executive order outlawing unionizing by state public employees.</p> <p>Wisconsin&rsquo;s Republican Governor Scott Walker hopes to emulate his mentor Daniels &hellip; a possible presidential candidate next year.&nbsp;</p> <p>House Democratic leader Pat Bauer.</p> <p>BAUER: 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. When they agree that they are not going to do that or help minimize that impact of that in some way, we&rsquo;ll come back.</p> <p>But House Majority Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, isn&rsquo;t budging &hellip; even as Friday marked the end of the second week of the walkout by Democrats.</p> <p>BOSMA: I&rsquo;m not going to concede to a list of demands. We&rsquo;re not going to agree to what they originally demanded: These 11 bills have to come off the calendar and can&rsquo;t dealt with this session. I&rsquo;m never going to concede to that particularly when it&rsquo;s only 37 people trying to tell the remaining 63 what to do.</p> <p>Unlike in Wisconsin and Ohio, in Indiana, it&rsquo;s Bosma, not Indiana&rsquo;s governor, that&rsquo;s leading the attack on Democrats.</p> <p>In fact, Daniels says right to work legislation shouldn&rsquo;t even be dealt with this year.</p> <p>But Bosma isn&rsquo;t backing down.</p> <p>He says if the boycotting Democrats aren&rsquo;t back at the Statehouse by Monday, each absent member will be fined $250 a day and faces a possible censure, a rare occurrence in Indiana. &nbsp;</p> <p>BOSMA: Live by the results and the remedy is the next election. It&rsquo;s not to go sit in the hot tube in Illinois until you get your way.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 04 Mar 2011 20:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-bosma/indiana-dems-flee-gop-threatens-fines Indy Dems still holding out http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-bosma/indy-dems-still-holding-out <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Use this one_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">The stalemate between Democratic and Republican state lawmakers in Indiana nears the end of its second week.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Indiana House Democrats are still held up at the Comfort Suites in Urbana, Ill., a short distance from the University of Illinois.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">They fled their state capitol to avoid a quorum and possible arrest by Indiana State Police.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">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.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">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.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;This is a process where we are trying to <em><span style="font-style: normal;">deradicalize</span></em><i style=""> </i>the majority who are trying to cut the wages of thousands of workers in Indiana,&rdquo; Bauer said. &ldquo;When they agree that they are not going to do that or help minimize the impact of that in some way, we&rsquo;ll come back.<i style="">&rdquo;</i></p> <p class="MsoNormal">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.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">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.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">House Republicans will try again this morning the restart the legislative session in Indianapolis where protestors continue to show up.</p></p> Thu, 03 Mar 2011 06:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-bosma/indy-dems-still-holding-out