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Indiana Dem. lawmakers boycotting Capitol

Feb. 24, 2011 at 7:27 PM   |   Comments

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Democratic Indiana lawmakers vow to stay away from the Capitol to frustrate Republican attempts to undercut collective bargaining and union organizing.

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels accused the Democrats of showing "complete contempt for the democratic process" and said he would continue calling lawmakers into special session "from now until New Year's" if the Democrats stubbornly stay away.

The state House of Representatives adjourned Thursday until Monday, when Republican Speaker Brian Bosma said he hoped the missing legislators would return, The Indianapolis Star reported.

The Democratic House members, like their Wisconsin Democratic counterparts, left the state to deny Republicans a quorum, hoping to prevent passage of legislation that included a language giving private-sector union workers the right to opt out of their dues or fees.

Thousands of protesters, some in hard hats and work boots, crowded the Statehouse in support of the Democrats, who left Indianapolis Tuesday night and are mostly camped at a Comfort Suites Hotel in Urbana, Ill., about a 2-hour drive across the state line.

A small group of Tea Party members from Champaign, Ill., carried signs outside the hotel telling the lawmakers to go home, Fox News reported.

Democratic Indiana Rep. Charlie Brown of Gary said an effort was under way to get the Indiana and Wisconsin Democrats together for a meeting, Fox said.

Meanwhile, an Illinois GOP lawmaker said Thursday he wanted to tax the paychecks of the Indiana and Wisconsin lawmakers while they're in Illinois.

State Rep. Michael Tryon of Crystal Lake said he would sponsor a bill to impose a 5 percent individual income tax on the out-of-state lawmakers since they are ostensibly working in Illinois.

The bill was for political show since the Democratic-led Illinois House would never let the measure go through, the Chicago Sun-Times said.

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