[r53] Rep. Bob Cherry Statement on Democrat Procedural Moves (2/21/2008)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Start Date: 2/21/2008 All Day
End Date: 2/21/2008
(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 21, 2008 - House Republicans were disappointed Thursday because the majority Democrats unreasonably denied them the opportunity to add amendments to Senate Bill 345, which contained measures dealing with incorrect classification of employees. House Democrats, who hold a 51-49 majority, attempted to amend illegal-immigration legislation into the bill, but in a way that denied Republicans the same opportunity.

House Democrats denied Republicans the opportunity to offer amendments to toughen sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants and to deny most state benefits to illegal immigrants.

Republicans had already filed a measure with a get-tough attitude on illegal immigration, but Democrat Speaker B. Patrick Bauer refused to hand it down.

"The spirit of bipartisanship that has guided this session took a severe blow tonight," said Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield). "The majority party, instead of following rules and procedures, silenced our opportunity to speak and amend legislation. This prevented me, as well as others, the chance to change and debate the important issue of undocumented immigrants.

"This issue is of utmost importance to Hoosiers and it should be addressed in a bipartisan fashion. One party doesn't have ownership of good ideas, and to have our thoughts and additions to the bill ignored was extremely disappointing."