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House Republicans vote to fine absent Democrats

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The Indiana House Republicans passed a motion Thursday fining the Democrats who fled to Illinois last week $250 a day until a quorum is present.

The motion was brought up after Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, took roll call and noted that only 60 representatives were present so there was no quorum to move forward with legislative business.

The motion says the absence of the Democrats has cost taxpayers $250,000 and disenfranchised residents. Any representative who doesn’t return to the House on March 7 will be fined $250 a day from their session allowance or annual salary until a quorum is present.

Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, said the Republicans are hesitant to censure the absent Democrats because that would stay in the record books. They hope that the amount of the fine will make the Democrats think of the need to be home and represent Hoosiers.

“Without a quorum, none of us can conduct the state’s business,” he said.

Reps. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, and Kreg Battles, D-Vincennes, spoke out against the motion. Brown questioned where the fine will come from as Democrats have stopped taking their per diem since going to Illinois. Battles said the fine just creates a headline or a story and tries to cover up deeper issues. He wants both sides to address the chasm and for people to reach out and have discussions.

Brown took the floor again later to speak for the Democrats, saying they don’t want to come back to vote until some issues have been addressed. After he said that the fines mean absolutely nothing and they will disappear, Bosma interjected “I wouldn’t count on that,” leading Brown to become upset that Bosma interrupted him. Bosma apologized.

Less than an hour after the House reconvened for the day, the representatives passed the motion by a voice vote to fine the absent Democrats.

Before addressing the motion to fine missing Democratic representatives, Bosma announced that the deadlines for the second and third reading of bills has again been pushed back. The deadline had already been extended by a week and was set to expire today. The new deadline would be March 9 and is contingent upon a quorum being present to vote on the matter. Bosma said it would be the first order of business for the House once a quorum is present.

The House adjourned until 1:30 p.m. Monday.
 

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  1. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

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  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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