IN Supreme Court: Dems Must Pay 2011 Fines For Walkout (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose

June 18, 2013 Updated Jun 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Democratic state representatives who walked off the job in 2011 must pay fines.

Two years ago, the Democrats blocked a vote on the contentious Right to Work legislation, saying it would lower wages and safety standards.

Republicans said it would attract businesses.

So to prevent a quorum and a vote, the Democrats went to a hotel in Urbana, Illinois for 35 days.

The Speaker of the House garnished their wages and fined them -- totaling nearly $8,000 per member.

Today the state Supreme Court ruled 3-2 that the legislature had the right to discipline its members.

Former Democratic State Rep Win Moses says he was the only one to pay the fines up front, but says it was worth it.

“I did it out of principle and respect for my constituents who felt strongly that this was a position that I should take. I don't regret it a bit, and knew this was going to be the consequence,” says former Democratic State Representative Win Moses.

“This is an internal set of rules which the Speaker of the House was allowed to utilize to fine the members of the House Democrat caucus who left this state and refused to do their job and moved over to Illinois for six weeks. And if they didn't have this disciplinary ability, then what's to stop that from happening next time?” says Republican State Senate President Pro Tem David Long.

Under the state Constitution, there is a separation of power, which means the three branches of government -- the legislature, the courts and the executive branch -- will operate independently of each other.

The Supreme Court decided the fines were an internal matter for the legislature.

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