(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he will call special sessions at the Statehouse until the end of the year if he has to so that all the work gets done.
Activity has come to a standstill with House Democrats hiding out in Urbana, Illinois, in an effort to kill several pieces of legislation.
“If it takes special sessions from now to New Year’s, we will hold them and we will send the bill to Leader Bauer and to the Democratic Party of Indiana. I see no reason for that to be necessary. They can come back, and I hope they will tomorrow. We can just get on with business, and that is what I would appeal to them to do,” Daniels said at the statehouse Wednesday.
Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) said they have not decided how long they will stay away but said they are determined to do what they can to stop the agenda of Republicans in the House.
"The past few days have seen an unprecedented attack on Hoosier families by a radical House Republican agenda that will hurt millions in both the classroom and the pocketbook," the party said in a group press release.
DeLaney said his party needs to "take a little breath and think about" how to go forward with their opposition.
Republicans at the Statehouse say they will not pursue any more action on a right to work bill, which prompted House Democrats to leave the state. State Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) said the legislation will be sent to a study committee, essentially killing it for the remainder of the 2011 session.
“I do hope that having made their point, scored one victory on the big issue, they will decide to come back to work. Let’s do the people’s business, together,” Daniels said.
Even if the right-to-work bill has been killed, Democrats said they're not ready to return to the state capitol. They have given Republicans a list of eleven bills they object to, including school vouchers and a bill to fix the state's bankrupt unemployment fund.
“Democrats are looking to engage in a negotiation and to remove, from the minority position, items from the agenda for the rest of the session. That’s what their demand was,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma.
“You know, if they persist, the Democratic Party of Indiana will need a rebranding effort because this is as anti-democratic as behavior can be,” Daniels said.