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Editorial: Stalemate leaves constituents without a voice

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Indiana Lawyer Editorial

There’s a lot of shouting and political posturing going on, but we’re not at all certain there’s much in the way of listening and compromising taking place.

On President’s Day, most all of Indiana’s House Democrats left the state for Urbana, Ill., to deny their Republican counterparts a quorum with which to do business.

The stated objection at the time was a piece of legislation labeled “right to work,” which would prohibit requiring workers who are not union members to pay representation fees when unions and businesses negotiate agreements.

Republicans have said the legislation is off the table for the remainder of the session, but Democrats have since compiled a list of other pieces of legislation that they strenuously object to. Name calling ensued, and at this writing, Democrats said they wouldn’t return to the Statehouse on the next session day, Feb. 28.

The same thing is happening in Wisconsin, only in that state, it’s the Senate Democrats who have left home for Illinois. At issue there are state workers’ collective bargaining rights.

In both states, voters on both sides of the issues being so hotly contested have filled their statehouses to speak out for their positions.

We wish there was a lot more listening going on, as in politicians listening to the people trying to get their message out.

Many people have pointed out the obvious: that elections have consequences. In Indiana’s case, those who hold that opinion indicate that the House Democrats should come home and take their political lumps.

But we truly see no difference between what’s going on in Indiana now and what happened during the first two years of President Barack Obama’s presidency. Indiana’s Democrats left the state when they could affect no compromise on legislation they object to. In Washington, D.C., they have this little tool called a “filibuster.” From where we sit, it accomplished the same thing – the filibuster, or even the threat of it, brought the legislative process to a standstill.

In Indiana’s case, we have a budget to crank out during this legislative session, and we do not have the means to pay our elected officials to work overtime and complete it.

We’d like to see some indications that there’s actually talking and listening and therefore compromising taking place. In addition to the lawyers who serve as elected officials in the General Assembly, perhaps we need a few mediators to join them.•

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  1. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  2. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  3. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

  4. Put aside all the marijuana concerns, we are talking about food and fiber uses here. The federal impediments to hemp cultivation are totally ridiculous. Preposterous. Biggest hemp cultivators are China and Europe. We get most of ours from Canada. Hemp is as versatile as any crop ever including corn and soy. It's good the governor laid the way for this, regrettable the buffoons in DC stand in the way. A statutory relic of the failed "war on drugs"

  5. Cannabis is GOOD for our PEOPLE and GOOD for our STATE... 78% would like to see legal access to the product line for better Hoosier Heath. There is a 25% drop in PAIN KILLER Overdoses in states where CANNABIS is legal.

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