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Indiana House Lawmakers Back At Work

The Democratic boycott that has stalled business in the Indiana House of Representatives since late February is over. Democrats ended their protest of the Republican majority’s agenda and returned to the Statehouse today For the first time in nearly six weeks, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma was able to declare enough members present in the chamber to conduct business. Democrats and Republicans are putting their respective party spin on why the standoff ended.Minority Leader Patrick Bauer told Indiana Public Radio that Democrats were able to win concessions on some key labor and education bills during the impasse."We won a battle but we recognize the war goes on," Bauer said. Republicans agreed to shelve a contentious right-to-work bill and made adjustments to a school voucher bill and a measure dealing with union involvement in government construction projects.But Bosma says public pressure to end the stalemate also helped drive Democrats back to Indianapolis from their Urbana, Illinois hideout. Bosma also said Monday that those daily fines for Democrats’ absence that have accumulated during the walkout will not be waived as they have been in past boycotts.

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