House Democrats Fined $1,000

Indiana Statehouse

The right to work squabble at the Statehouse kicked into high gear Wednesday with House Democrats again staying away from the chamber. For the second day, the Democrats held an open caucus in the rotunda. With that, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma fined the 33 of the 40 lawmakers $1,000 for not coming back to the chamber.

17th District State Representative Nancy Dembowski was one of the Democrats who stayed away.

“The simple fact is that we are attempting to put an amendment on the right to work bill that would allow the people of Indiana to have a say. Let their voice be heard and let them vote on a referendum. Ellis Day, which is our legal agency, says that they don’t think the amendment is constitutional. We have simply asked to hold the bill for a day or two until we can put together an amendment that would allow a vote that would be constitutional and the Speaker has chosen not to allow us to do that,” said Dembowski.

Dembowski said they have only one goal in mind.

“We, in the long run, recognize we do not have the votes to stop the legislation. We’re trying to make it so the people’s voice can be heard, let the people have a say, let them learn about the bill, let them understand it, and then let them vote on it next November.”

The Democrats say the Republicans are exerting so much pressure to get this bill passed because of the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is a chance for Indianapolis and Indiana to step into the limelight. Dembowski said the Republicans don’t want the NFL Players union to set up picket lines that would disrupt the game.

“Their Players Association has come out against this legislation, chastising the leadership of the Republican Party here in Indiana for what they’re trying to do. I doubt very seriously that the State of Indiana wants to see huge demonstrations the weekend of the Super Bowl. Basically, one of the biggest unions of the world is the NFL Players Union and they’re siding with us and are willing to step out and some very prominent figures will be coming to town at that point in time. The Republicans want it done and over with prior to that.”