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Budget, Other Bills Await Indiana General Assembly Action

Indiana lawmakers return to the statehouse today for the final week of the General AssemblyBills awaiting final action include a $28 billion two-year budget.Democrats are calling for the removal of a Senate budget provision that takes aim at boycotting lawmakers. It would allow constituents to file suit against legislators who walk off the job, such as House Democrats did for five weeks this session over the GOP agenda. The provision, attached last week, calls for a $1,000 fine for each day a lawmaker is absent.Democrats, including Sen. Timothy Lanane, call it a poison pill."When you’re in a minority, (a boycott) might be the last card you can play and maybe you play it irresponsibly. Let the voters decide that when the time comes. Don’t turn it over to a court, don’t write a bill that says every citizen can go into court, we’re going to punish you for trying to slow down the process," Lanane said last week.Other major bills still moving through the legislature include an abortion restriction measure and a proposal to give private school vouchers to certain public school students.

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