Indiana House Democrats Leave State to Block Anti-Union Bill

Taking a cue from the Wisconsin Dems, Indiana Dems have reportedly left the state, the Indy Star reports:

Indiana A source said Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.

The House was came into session this morning, with only two of the 40 Democrats present. Those two were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.

With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.

The bill which triggered the walk-out "would bar unions and companies from negotiating a contract that requires non-union members to kick-in fees for representation."


  1. Yeah, WhAt? says

    Generous labor contracts create unsustainable debt, negotiated by one generation and paid for by the next. Labor unions are great, until there is no money left. Just declare bankruptcy and rip up the union contracts. That’s what these states should do. Bankruptcy and void everything. And then what?

  2. Peter says

    @Yeah, What? You’re obviously not a student of American history. All one has to do to justify the existence of labor unions is to return to the Gilded Age. Unions help avoid tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. They create safe working conditions and help workers earn a living wage. They help workers have a say in their jobs through collective bargaining. In other words, you cannot put a price on unions. Workers in Wisconsin have agreed to pay for their benefits and pensions; they just refuse to give up their collective bargaining rights which Walker, in the name of the Koch Brothers, is attempting to undermine.

  3. Rann says

    Why did they not flee the state when it came to the banning gay marriage amendment? No, in fact ten of them including turncoat Pat Bauer voted for it! Thsi is the man who got an award from Indiana Equality last year and then votes for it. That is when he should have fleed or hmmm stood up for what is right!

  4. Rational Independent says

    YEAH, WHAT? has done an excellent job of parroting back the deceptive Chamber of Commerce-developed GOP talking points. The battles in Wisconsin and Indiana have nothing to do with budgets and dollars. Union members have already agreed to the cutbacks. The GOP is trying to ram through union busting legislation to take us back to the nineteenth century and then acting all high and mighty about how they’re acting to stave off bankruptcy. It’s a sham. Don’t fall for it. These measures have nothing to do with balancing budgets. They’re trying to break up unions in the public sector first and then they’ll go after the private sector.

  5. GraphicJack says

    while part of me loves this, another part worries that this is a dangerous precident… what’s to stop the Repugs from fleeing every time they know legislation they disapprove of is going to pass? They only have to whine about this and then they get a free pass. And if a minority party as a unit flees every time a critical vote comes up, what can possibly happen, good or bad, in terms of new policy? It would just be stale-mating for every progressive new law and nothing will ever change.

  6. BobN says

    I love the “tear up the contracts” stuff. Ever heard of rule of law?

    And the histrionics… America has never faced such a serious crisis… the end is near… blah, blah, blah. Imagine if WWII could have been ended by a 10% increase in taxes. Would there have been any hesitation? We’re not facing Armageddon. We’re facing the prospect of the rich getting their tax breaks rescinded. Oh, the humanity…

    And, yes, my own personal taxes will go up. They never should have been cut in the first place.

  7. Gregoire says

    What is amazing is the sheer disregard of history that is going on, as though people are asking, ‘Yes, why DO we have unions? What a silly idea!’

    And let’s not forget the complete ignorance of facts. This isn’t about the money. The unions have agreed to Walker’s demands.

    This is just a stab at the integrity of unions themselves, a conservative trope disguised as a ‘budget saving measure’.

    We’re seeing across the country what Tea Party-fueled politics have in store for us. We cannot back down to ignorance, degression, and lies. Because guess what? The gays are on their to-do list, too.

  8. TampaZeke says

    Yeah, you’re a misinformed idiot. How ya likin your days off, your reasonable work hours, your vacation time, your sick time, your health insurance, your pay, your benefits, your right to complain there Yeah? You can thank Unions for ALL of that. If you think big corporations would settle for anything more than slave labor and indentured servitude were it not for collective bargaining, then you’re an even bigger idiot that you’ve already shown yourself to be.

    I appreciate the gesture in Wisconsin and Indiana but I fear the precedence its setting. Republicans will do the same thing to block Democratic proposals. We’re going to end up with a government that is, believe it or not, even more broken and ineffective than it is now.

    We are truly witnessing the fall of the American age. Part of me is sad to see it go and part of me says “GOOD RIDDANCE!”; especially since America seems to stand for nothing anymore that once made it great.

  9. Wes says

    Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work nine or ten months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do — babysit!

    We can get that for less than minimum wage.

    That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning — that equals 6-1/2 hours).

    So each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585 a day.

    However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

    LET’S SEE….

    That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

    What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6-1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

    Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

    The average teacher’s salary (nationwide) is $50,000.

    $50,000/180 days = $277.77 per day / 30 students = $9.25 / 6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student — a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)

    WHAT A DEAL!!!!

    Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

  10. Bruno says

    @Gregoire: Yes, the gays are on their to-do list…in Indiana significantly. Too bad the Democrats didn’t abdicate when the anti-gay amendment was passing that legislature.

  11. morphoist says

    Any legislative body that will deliberately abdicate during the passage of bills, no matter how negative to the ideals of their own party, is not fit to govern.

  12. anon says

    These kind of overly dramatic tactics have a short shelf life because at some point they will have to return to get something done. Essentially, they are saying that as long as Republicans are in charge the legislature should not be in session. Why not just vote against the proposal and then reverse the loss in the next election? Eventually, it will look like these guys are taking their orders from the union.

  13. says

    @yeah “ass” what

    There are NO deficit problems. It is all a revenue problem so stop supporting the tax cuts for the wealthy that concentrates wealth in a few hands and there is no problem


    when economic equality and the spread of wealth more evenly distributed amongst the largest majority of people possible…and a single person (yes it meant white males at the time sorry)could make an income to feed house clothe and educate a family of 4…………… as vs now with concentration in the top 2%’s hands the Us was 1/3 unionized… was also the time of americas greatest strength and prosperity

    Now with the middle class being devestated and shrunk with the greatest concentration of wealth in the fewest hands in america the number of unionized americans has fallen under 9%

    Surprise surprise history shows that american strength prosperity and economic equality is when unions are strong. Weak to non existent unions= america suffers and falls

  14. says

    PS @ Rational

    The whole needing a quorum rule usually/ only involves state budgets. All other bills do not require such so repubs couldn’t get away with doing it for every bill they disagreed with

  15. walter says

    i think the legislatures in this country are getting pretty bad when they run away from problems rather than addressing them. the repuks have shown themselves to be the party of the rich entitled than anyone else. keep the bush tax cuts at any cost. time the the repks go the way of the know nothing party.

  16. Mac McNeill says

    And where do you get that teachers only work 180 days a year? In some states they work year round for the same pay as they did when they worked from September (August in states with bad weather) through June.

    I’m in an association with the county I work for and for the last 3 years we have taken cuts. The two years prior to that we had no increase. We pay 50% of our retirement.

    The Republicans complain about the Unions and the Associations having so much power. We cannot strike. We as employees negotiate our contract with a professional negotiater on their side. And the County Commmissioners Board is 4/5 Republicans, and has been for 20+ years. Now explain to me how the Unions have an upper hand?

  17. josh2727 says

    If I’m correct people are saying that the runaway legislators are protecting democratic ideals…..but in reality aren’t they subverting the democratic process by leaving? As we are often told, elections have consequences Democrats didn’t turn out in 2010 and now are facing the results. The next election should be even more important.

  18. says

    This walkout has done some GOOD! Now the Republican Governor, Mitch Daniels, is publicly saying the GOP should drop this bill so the state can get back to work on REAL issues that the politicians campaigned on. IT WORKS!

  19. says

    “…elections have consequences…”

    an already tired canard pulled out of repub butts when they have lost the argument on unions

    If they actually believed that then they would have voted yes to every single Obama/dem piece of legislation bet6ween 2000-2002

    After all elections have consequences per them and america did overwhelmingly swept Obama and dems into control of all 3 branches of government

    Not even hours after the 2000 elections repubs were crying and pleading to accept them as the “LOYAL opposition”

    Blah, hypocrites

  20. SONNIE says

    @Rann and Bruno, you are so right. I was thinking the same thing. Why didn’t the BASTARDS leave this hell-hole when it was time to vote on the amendment to ban gay marriage AND civil unions? Also, Pat Bauer is an ASS anyway.

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