It seems a little bit of Wisconsin has come to Indiana.
Reports from inside the Statehouse indicate House Democrats are leaving the state to block a House vote on the so-called "Right to Work" (RTW) bill — a bill that would effectively strip unions of their negotiating power statewide.
A source said Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.
The House was came into session this morning, with only two of the 40 Democrats present. Those two were needed to make a motion, and a seconding motion, for any procedural steps Democrats would want to take to ensure Republicans don’t do anything official without quorum.
With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.
In our attempts to verify the Star report, a spokesman for House Democrats tells NUVO he can not independently confirm information from the Star's unnamed source, only that House Dems are still "in caucus" and discussing the issues. He did not communicate their present whereabouts.
If true, the move comes on the heels of a House committee hearing yesterday, in which the bill was passed 8-5 along partisan lines.
Union organizers staged a surprise sit-in in front of the Senate this morning in protest of several bills currently making their way through the statehouse, including a teachers bill and RTW.
According to Allison Luthe, lead organizer for Jobs with Justice, a union coalition, about 25 of the hundreds of protesters in attendance sat down in front of the Senate. Senators Vi Simpson (D-Bloomington), Karen Tallian (D-Portage) and Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) emerged from the Senate Chambers to cheer them on, Luthe said.
It was the second consecutive day of organized worker protests at the Statehouse. Yesterday's protests drew crowds of hundreds. [Click here for a photo slideshow of yesterday's protests.]
NUVO will have more extensive coverage from reporters inside the Statehouse later today, once we see how this all shakes down. Stay tuned!