Tensions Run High in the State Legislature This Session

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

Hoosiers who enjoy hand-to-hand combat from their legislators certainly have viewed the recent battles in the Indiana House of Representatives with joy.

State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) was asked if such animosity could break out in that chamber. Charbonneau said he didn’t think so and thought that was good. He said attacking each other day after day wasn’t good.

“That’s the totally wrong way to be approaching the business that we’re in,” said Charbonneau. “I think everyone wants some stability to what we’re doing in our legislature. I would get upset if I were a voter to see the continual bickering, flame throwing and stick-in-the-eye kind of approach to things. We’ve got a problem. What are we going to do to fix the problem?”

With the House flipping from the Democrat to the Republican majority, putting the Republicans in the Governorship and majorities in the House and Senate has presumably contributed to the animosity. Also, Charbonneau said, we have some volatile issues before the legislature this year.

Could Charbonneau envision the Democrats in the Senate staging a walk-out over an issue? No, he said, and told us why.

“The Senate Democrats are in super minority, which means that if they didn’t show up for a day, the Senate can still conduct its business because there’s a quorum with just the Republican Senators.”