Friday, April 22, 2011
GOP Hubris in Anti-Walkout Law
Late Wednesday, the Indiana Senate voted 36-0 to essentially end the ability of the minority party to walk out of the Indiana General Assembly. The plan, introduced by my State Senator, R. Michael Young, would increase the fines to $1,000 and allow constituents to file civil lawsuits against any legislator absent for three days or more without a valid excuse. In protest, all 13 Democrats walked out of the Senate. It wasn't enough to stop a quorum.
Even House Speaker Brian Bosma expressed reservation after hearing about the plan that caused Democrats in the Indiana Senate to walkout in protest. It’s clear that Young’s plan will leave the minority party without a way to stop potentially harmful legislation in the Indiana General Assembly save Draconian fines and consequences.
This move is again, good for the GOP, the current majority in the Indiana House, but it won’t be good for them should they ever be in the minority again. I guess Young isn’t far thinking enough. That’s one option. Perhaps the GOP majority doesn’t think they will ever need to walkout (as they have a few times in the past) because they have drawn themselves a huge majority in the new legislative maps. We all know that voters change their minds quite often…especially in Indiana.
Heck, we’re a state that went Democratic for President but elected a Republican Governor. From 1998-2011, Indiana had a Republican and a Democratic Senator in the U.S. Senate. Also, 16 of the last 24 years, the State House had a Democrat sitting in the Governor’s Office and the vast majority of those years a Democratic majority in the Indiana House.
Young shows his short-sighted partisanship again with this legislation. I’m starting to wonder if the first initial Young sometimes uses stands for anything other than “Republican”.