Enough is enough. The absent Democrat legislators have successfully sabotaged government in the State of Indiana. They have subverted the functioning of the Indiana Constitution and chipped away at the very foundation of governing in our society. Every one of them should be removed from office for dereliction of duty to represent the voters in conducting the business of the Indiana General Assembly. Rule by mob or rule by temper tantrum is unacceptable. Hopefully, voters will remember this come the next election day.
In case the Democrats missed it, they lost the last election. The Republicans gained majorities in both the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate. Indiana has a representative government that requires elected representatives to be present in General Assembly chambers to vote up or down on legislation presented for vote. Under the State Constitution, the minority was not given the option to strike like a union might choose to do.
It is unconscionable the Democrats would now seek to control the legislative process by refusal to show up for the work they were elected to do. They have demanded and succeeded in getting the “Right to Work” bill pulled off of the agenda. They have demanded several other pieces of legislation not be brought to the floor for debate and vote or they will take their marbles and go home to Urbana, Illiniois.
This is the worst case of dereliction of duty ever seen in Indiana. The absent legislators did take an oath of office. The House Rules clearly state (IV-A-36) that “No member shall absent himself from the service of the House unless he is excused by the Speaker, is sick or is unable to attend”. The Rules further empower the Speaker to fine and censure absent members and adjourn from day to day until a quorum of 2/3rd of the members is present. Fines have been imposed now at the rate of $350 per day per legislator absent. Hopefully, these fines will not be negotiated away at some point. Punishment is due.
The behavior of the Democrats should not and cannot stand. The voters of Indiana spoke in the last election and the business of Indiana must move forward. If the Democrats don’t like being in the minority, they have every opportunity to change that in the next election. In the meanwhile, they need to suck it up and behave like responsible legislators rather than spoiled losers. Our form of representative government cannot function this way. If they cannot adhere to the rules of governing under our State Constitution, they should step down in favor of someone who will; someone who will not dishonor the oath of office as they have.