|Indiana House of Representatives|
House Democrats are leaving the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation, The Indianapolis Star has learned.
A source said Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.
The House came into session this morning, with only two of the 40 Democrats present. Those two were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.In Indiana, there is a legal requirement that an elected member of the General Assembly be present and vote. In a few rare cases, the state police have been ordered to return legislators trying to avoid a controversial vote From my time working in the legislature, I remember a Republican legislator who, instead of staying to vote on an anti-union bill which was unpopular in his district, decided to drive back to his Lake County home. The Republicans needed his vote though and the state police was ordered to intercept the legislator and bring him back to the state house.
With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.
The deadline for House bills to pass out of that chamber is this week. If the Democrats do not return, the House will not have the 2/3 quorum to conduct business and scores of House bills will die.