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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ind. Gov't. - More on: Ball in Bosma's court after Governor speaks

Updating yesterday' entry, WTHR last evening had this story with a list of the House Democrats' demands, including its list of the "bills of concern" to House Democrats:

Education

HB 1002 Charter School Expansion. Diverts state funding to experimental schools at a time when the state has cut funding to local schools by $600 million over the past two years.

HB 1003 School Vouchers. Allows a family of four making over $80,000 a year to receive taxpayer dollars to send their children to a private school.

HB 1479 Private Takeover of Public Schools. Allows the state of Indiana to take over poorly performing schools and for these schools to be managed by for-profit companies. It removes local decision making in schools.

HB 1584 Public School Waiver of state laws. Allows school boards to seek waivers of almost any school law or regulation.

Labor

HB 1468 Right to work. Places the government between employers and their workers. It weakens the ability of working people to bargain for fair wages and safe work environments.

HB 1216 Public Works Projects and Common Construction Wage. Weakens the ability of government to ensure that tax dollars are paid to the best and most qualified workers on public works projects, and that these tax dollars are spent at home.

HB 1203 Employee representations. Ends employee rights to join a union by secret ballot and opens employees up to retaliation and firing by an employer who finds out they are trying to use their right to bargain. This is preempted by federal law. Will require the state to use taxpayer dollars to defend this legislation.

HB 1450 Unemployment Insurance. Shifts hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes from big businesses to small business and will cut benefits for unemployed workers by 25%.

HB 1585 Right to work for Public Employees. Removes collective bargaining rights at the local level.

HB 1538 Minimum wages. Precludes a community from determining what wages are appropriate for its area.

HB 1001 Budget Bill. Allowed no public testimony on a school funding formula that cuts state support for K-12 across Indiana.

And Governor Daniels is not longer feeling so conciliatory, according to tweets this morning by Matt Tully of the Indianapolis Star:
Gov. Daniels just called. Re: Dem calls to kill other bills, particularly on education: "We're not doing that. Those are my priorities."

Daniels said he was "careless with my words yesterday." When he praised actions by critics he was referring to protesters not House Dems.

See this WISH TV report, headed "Rep. Ed DeLaney explains Dems' absence."

Jon Seidel of the Gary Post-Tribune reported this story from Urbana, Illinois. It begins:

URBANA, Ill. — Indiana House Democrats signed amendment proposals delivered by their staff to an Illinois hotel late Tuesday night and insisted their exodus from the Hoosier state was not prompted exclusively by Republicans’ labor bills.

Democratic Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh of Crown Point, for example, said she would also like to stop House Bill 1003, the GOP’s school voucher bill. It and many other pieces of legislation could die this week as legislative deadlines pass.

“It’s not that we’re not working,” VanDenburgh said. “We’re not in the Statehouse working. This is the only way that we can serve the people that we represent and kill the poison bills.”

Faces normally seen on the Democrats’ side of the aisle seemed to pop up around every corner in the Urbana, Ill., hotel. Northwest Indiana lawmakers said more than 100 budget amendments they helped sign will be delivered to the Statehouse Wednesday morning by their staff.

Eric Bradner of the Evansville Courier & Press has a long story headed "Indiana House Democrats flee Statehouse."

Stephanie Gattman's report for the Elkhart Truth is headed "Indiana Dems go to Illinois to strategize on 'right to work' bill."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 23, 2011 09:46 AM
Posted to Indiana Government