(Indianapolis, Ind.) - There are more signs Indiana’s statehouse standoff may be coming to an end soon.
House Democrats bolted the state for Illinois three weeks ago in a bid to stop legislation targeting unions and education by preventing a quorum necessary for votes to be cast.
Democrat Minority Leader Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) and Republican Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) have been talking of a return. They met Wednesday to talk about ending the impasse.
Bauer told the Indianapolis Star he believes minority Democrats will return to work next week, although he wouldn’t guarantee it.
"I'm hopeful Monday is a work-day for everyone," he said, adding that it’s a “day by day” decision on whether to bring his caucus back.
Bosma said Republicans have been waiting patiently.
“We are firmly in the position we have been in for the last three weeks, that the calendar we have before us will be dealt with at some point,” the speaker said.
Republicans agreed to kill “right-to-work” legislation that triggered the Democrat walkout, by sending it to a study committee for the rest of the year. Democrats still want a promise that other bills they opposed won’t be revived, including private school vouchers, restricting collective bargaining for teachers, and project labor agreements.
The House will not be in session Thursday or Friday because remaining members won’t be able to stay in the regular hotel rooms. Fans descending on Indianapolis for the Big Ten basketball tournament will be using those rooms.
Since the “right to work” bill and other legislation began receiving support from GOP members in the legislature, unions have been flooding the statehouse with protests.
Another rally is being planned Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The “We Are Indiana” Rally is hosted by Stand Up for Hoosiers, a coalition of organized labor, education, community and social advocacy groups.
The rally is expected to draw about 25,000 union members from around the state.