Where are they?
It has been an unorthodox week at the Statehouse. The democrat representatives failed to show up for work on Tuesday, preventing the House from having the necessary number of representatives present to do business. As a result, 23 bills have been killed because House Democrats did not show up to work, and we were unable to act on them before a Tuesday night deadline.
The action taken this week by the Democrats is very disappointing. Those 23 bills collectively affected every single Hoosier in the state. While I understand that they may have disagreements with some of the things we are trying to accomplish, refusing to show up is not the adult way to handle the situation and hurts Hoosiers all across the state. The democratic process is all about voicing constituents' opinions and finding compromise where possible. It is very difficult for the Democrats to represent their constituents and propose alternatives when they are not here to do the business they were elected to do.
The final deadline to vote on any House Bills that we wanted to hear this session was originally this Friday, but the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee was able to meet and extend the deadline to next Friday. Had the deadline not been extended and the Democrats not shown up, over 50 bills would have died, including the state budget - which we have a constitutional obligation to debate, vote on, and pass. Fortunately we were able to extend the deadline so that my Democrat colleagues will hopefully return to openly discuss the matters at hand. We are committed to moving forward with the Strengthen Indiana Plan that we campaigned on and were elected for, and both Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Governor Daniels are dedicated to making sure that every bill and amendment is heard on the floor in open discussion.
I can only hope my fellow representatives on the other side of the aisle will come to their senses, return to work, and perform the duties they were elected to do. Keep checking the news for updates, and please continue sending me your feedback on anything that comes up in the legislature.
Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler)