As I was getting ready to prepare my weekly post, I read the Indiana Association of United Ways’ (IaUW) policy update newsletter and thought that I couldn’t have summed it up any better. Thanks to Lucinda Nord for making this post easy for me this week!
Meltdown at the Statehouse
Oh, my! Political pundits and policy wonks are challenged to call what might happen next in our Statehouse or with the scores of bills that hang in limbo.
In case you have missed the news (is this even possible?), the House Democrats left the state, leaving 3 Democrats for procedural actions during scheduled sessions. Democrats left in protest of the right-to-work bill and other bills they consider are hurting education and the middle class–bills related to use of tax dollars in private schools, minimum wage, collective bargaining, school funding formula and more. House Republicans continue to convene session and remain steadfast that they will push through an aggressive set of reforms related to education, collective bargaining, local government and more–issues Republicans say they were charged to do by the sweeping elections of 2010. Governor Daniels has indicated he will call Special Sessions until the end of 2011 if necessary, even if it affects his role in national politics and the 2012 presidential election.
The Indiana General Assembly has two required obligations this session:
1) to pass a 2-year state budget and
2) to redraw the congressional and state legislative district maps
So what is the status? The Senate continues to work on the handful of bills that passed the House before the walkout. The House Rules Committee passed an extension for 2nd and 3rd reading deadlines–this committee report is awaiting adoption by the full House once a quorum is achieved. Representatives in both caucuses continue to meet and strategize about bills–both here or in Illinois. We wait and see–no one really knows how this will turn out.