Just days after their counterparts in Wisconsin fled their state rather than face a vote on cutting public union benefits and collective bargaining, Indiana Democrats have done the same, according to Indiana news reports.
Only two of 40 House Democrats in Indiana showed up for roll call this morning, denying Republican leadership a quorum, thereby avoiding a possible vote on a bill that would have prohibited union contracts from requiring non-union members to pay fees.
Sources tell the Indianapolis Star that the legislators may have fled to Illinois, just as Wisconsin’s AWOL legislators did. Others may have headed for Kentucky.
The House needs five Democrats to conduct business.
“I’m shocked. This has never happened before,” said Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma upon realizing there was not a quorum. “Where are you guys? The Best Western?”
Bosma called a recess until 2 p.m., and the two Democrats present said their colleagues are “in caucus” outside the state house.
“I am not going to tell you where they are but I can assure you that all the Democrats are working very hard. There are 27 bills and one bill alone had 44 amendments. We are reviewing those very carefully. What we are trying to do is figure out a way to save the state from this radical agenda that has been forced upon us and actually we’ve been given no chance to shape or amend,” said Rep. Terri Austin, Madison County Democrat.