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Fines Begin Today For Boycotting Indiana Democrats

Most Indiana House Democrats remain sequestered in an Illinois hotel as their boycott of legislative business enters a third week, and daily fine of $250 for their absence will be imposed starting today.House Republicans voted last week to impose the fine in an effort to persuade Democrats to end their boycott, which has brought most of the chamber’s business to a halt.But Democratic leader Patrick Bauer says fines or other punishments won’t help resolve their dispute.His minority party walked out late last month to protest the Republican agenda, including a school voucher bill and a measure that would weaken teachers’ collective bargain power. A right-to-work bill thatdrew the ire of Democrats and labor unions has since been shelved for the session.Bauer and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma met briefly last week. Both called the discussions positive but not productive enough to end the stalemate.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.