INDIANAPOLIS (CBS/WBBM) — When Indiana house democrats fled the state for 34 days in February and March, the Republicans talked about preventing “bolting” by making it illegal.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, it appears the idea has fizzled, at least for now.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports
While the Democrats were holed up in a hotel in Urbana, the Republicans dug up an old “anti-bolting” law that was on the books for more than 100 years, from 1867 to 1976.
The law made it a crime for members of the General Assembly to refuse to attend sessions “with the intent to defeat, delay or obstruct legislation.”
The Democrats bolted to prevent the House from voting on legislation they said was anti-labor and anti-public education.
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) would like to see a new anti-bolting law passed, but there are now concerns about whether it is constitutional.
This is because under the state constitution, state lawmakers cannot be arrested while the General Assembly is in session unless they commit a felony, treason or a breach of the peace, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.
Bosma says it will likely be next year before any new anti-bolting law advances, the newspaper reported.
During their absence, the Democrats were fined $350 a day, but one state representative one called the fee a “poke in the eye.”