Senator Charbonneau: Democrats Return to the Statehouse Could Poison Atmosphere

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

Is this the week the minority Democrat House members come back to the Statehouse? At last report, the Democrats were still holding out in Urbana, Illinois waiting for concessions to demands on education and labor bills. The Democrats have not been in the Statehouse since February 21st.

Fifth District State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) said when the Democrats finally come back, he’s fearful the atmosphere will be so poisoned that congenial give-and-take will be impossible.

“The longer this goes, the more deeply entrenched the feelings are,” said Charbonneau. “There have been walk-outs before, but never anything to this extent. Normally they’ve been resolved relatively quickly with some kind of a negotiated give-and-take you expect to see and things go on.”

The Republican Senator said he felt the House majority leadership made initial good faith efforts to bring the stalemate to a resolution.

“The leadership in the House has tried to give some concessions on certain points on bills. In fact, I think there were significant concessions early on and I thought that’s what would bring this all to a conclusion relatively quickly, but it seemed that at each point in the process and every time a concession was made, the ball changed and the target changed and the requests changed to something else. Ultimately, in those kinds of situations, people are going to throw up their hands and say wait a second.”