(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 19, 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.
"At the beginning of session, I touted that this was the most bipartisan session I had ever experience," said Rep. Randy Borror (R-Fort Wayne). "Unfortunately, this ended yesterday when Democrats ignored the voice of the people by altering the constitutional amendment to ensure the property tax relief we are working to pass this session, remained permanent.
"Today they took it a step further, and blocked my colleagues and I ability to voice our constituents' request to strengthening our states illegal immigration laws.
"Over and over my constituents have reiterated that they want tougher immigration laws and reduced property taxes. As their representative, I am ashamed to tell them their voices were not heard because Democrat blocked my ability to voice their opinions through the amendment process.
"The House Democrats have shown a blatant lack of respect for the legislative process, and I will continue to work to pass the legislation my constituents have demanded."
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.