[r88] House Republicans and Senate Move Forward (3/17/2011)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Start Date: 3/17/2011 All Day
End Date: 3/17/2011
STATEHOUSE -As the Indiana House Democrat strike of 2011 edges toward a month long boycott, House Republicans have announced their intent to work with the willing and work around the unwilling 39 House Democrats. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R- Fort Wayne) announced today that the Indiana Senate and House Republicans will begin collaborating on legislation that has been stalled in the middle of the legislative process by the House Democrat walkout.

"We have spent the last two or three weeks taking every reasonable action possible to encourage the minority party to participate in the democratic process. We made clarification after clarification on how parliamentary matters would be handled, how bills would be addressed and how minority party members would be treated if and when they return," said Speaker Bosma.  "The time for talk is over, the time for action is now," he said.

Senate President David Long indicated that his caucus will work with both the Senate Democrats and House Republicans in order to ensure that the General Assembly has a budget to present to the people of Indiana by the end of April. He also indicated that Senate Committee Chairs will work with House Committee Chairs to amend language from pending House Bills that are in the Senate.

"The future of the democratic process is at stake," said Speaker Bosma. "It's not time for back room deals, it's not time for a strike and a shut down until a handful get their way. It's time for individuals to participate in the process that we all swore to uphold. In November, the majority of Hoosiers voted for a very important agenda that balances the state budget without raising taxes, promotes job creation and expands education opportunities. We cannot let the tyranny of the minority dictate the issues before the General Assembly," said Speaker Bosma.

As the House Democrats walkout approaches a month in length, and is now the longest walkout in Indiana state history, the likelihood of a special session at the expense of Hoosier taxpayers increases. This joint effort is aimed at preventing a special session by moving legislation that has halted and completing the constitutional responsibility of the General Assembly to pass a budget and enact new legislative and congressional maps.

"We will not allow an important agenda that protects Hoosier families, taxpayers, students, and workers, to be sidetracked by a few misguided individuals, and those who are following them," said Speaker Bosma.

"We stand united in this effort," said Speaker Bosma.

The Indiana House will reconvene on Monday, March 21st. 2011 at 1:30pm.