Indiana Democrats Will Spend the Weekend in Urbana
(Additional reporting from the Associated Press)
Indiana House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer has confirmed that he and more than 30 other Democrats are staying in Urbana for the weekend.
Speaking with reporters Friday, Bauer said his party is committed to fight for the thousands of demonstrators that have flocked to the capitol in Indianapolis. He said Republicans aren't willing to compromise on legislation like the controversial 'right to work' measure and others that drove his party across the state line.
Bauer admits the trip is costing the Democratic Party, who's been paying for rooms at the Comfort Suites, and legislators have incurred personal expenses, like clothes and food. But he said it is a small price to pay when looking at the big picture.
"The workers are sacrificing," Bauer said. "These people - 10,000 on Thursday. They have given up their salaries. They're fighting for their very existence if you will, they're fighting for their families. They're fighting to be able to put food on the table. Our sacrifice is small for what they face."
Bauer said this legislative session is 'the most partisan session in modern Indiana history', noting that just 29% of the bills that went out of the House were bipartisan. The Democratic leader says he would be willing to change his tune if House Speaker Brian Bosma was willing to negotiate, but there has been no word of it so far.
Bauer said that he expects a group of supporters from Indiana to arrive Saturday at the hotel in Urbana where Democrats have been staying, though he was not sure how many people were coming. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have budged since the stalemate began Tuesday. The House is in recess until Monday, but protesters on both sides staged small demonstrations Friday at the Statehouse.
Bauer has said there had been discussions about commiserating with Wisconsin Democrats, who have left their state over similar issues, but he said that's not likely given the weather.
(Photo by Jeff Bossert/WILL)