Democrats Continue Boycott At Statehouse

By Scott Sarvay

March 7, 2011 Updated Mar 7, 2011 at 6:09 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The Indiana House starts a new week in stalemate as Democrats decline to return to the state for work.

They're still working from a hotel in Illinois, but starting Monday House Speaker Brian Bosma plans to fine each absent Democrat $250 a day until they return.

Caucus leaders said last week they're prepared to pay the fines.

Several Democrats spoke to voters online this weekend to explain the boycott which has prevented the House from doing any business for the past two weeks.

The lawmakers are protesting a handful of Republican-backed labor and education reform bills they feel attack the middle class.

(D) Minority Leader Patrick Bauer says, “Those fines are minimal compared to all the pain, that the workers and the teachers and the students are going to receive from what these bad bills are doing. So we can take some pain to help them avoid a life time of pain.

Fines have been threatened in previous House walkouts over the years, but have been waived when the minority party returns.

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