Ind. Dems may be fined, censured

INDIANAPOLIS, March 3 (UPI) -- Indiana's House speaker said Thursday he might censure and fine Democrats boycotting the chamber to prevent a vote targeting labor unions and public education.

"We have little choice left but to consider these measures," Republican Brian Bosma of Indianapolis said.


The rare censure would be a formal "shame on you that will be entered in the permanent records of the General Assembly," The Indianapolis Star quoted Bosma as saying.

"We will give members, I believe, an opportunity to return on Monday to avoid these actions, but we're at the point where we have little choice but to compel attendance after two weeks of very expensive taxpayer waste of money," he said.

Democrats have shut down the House since Feb. 21, holing up in Urbana, Ill., to deny Republicans the 67-legislator quorum needed to vote on bills.

The Democrats say one of their biggest concerns is a bill to use public tax dollars to pay for private school tuition for some students.

State Rep. Kreg Battles of Vincennes -- one of three Democrats on the floor Thursday -- said any move to fine boycotting Democrats would not speed their return.


It would be "just one of a series of things that only divide instead of bringing us together," the Star quoted him as saying.

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