House Democrats Hint They May Remain In Illinois The Remainder Of Session

With special interest groups illegally funding their out-of-state exile in Urbana, Illinois to further their legislative agenda, House Democrats appear content to remain there the remainder of the legislative session if it furthers their union bosses' agenda. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider explains:

One House Democrat says his party will continue its standoff for "as long as it takes" to win concessions from Republicans on bills involving labor unions and public schools -- even if it means a government shutdown this summer.

Legislative leaders in both parties said they hope Indiana is not facing that sort of doomsday scenario. But no one seemed to have a plan yet on how to avoid it.

Shrugging off the $250 per day fines being levied against them, Democrats began their third week at an Urbana, Ill., hotel Monday. Their goal: deny House Republicans the quorum of 67 lawmakers to do business in order to stop bills that would weaken collective bargaining and shift funds from public to private schools.

Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin, said Democrats are willing to stay out until April 29, the statutory deadline for the legislature to end this session, and even through special sessions that Gov. Mitch Daniels would surely call.

If the standoff persisted until June 30, the deadline for passing a new budget, portions of state government would have to shut down.

"We will stay out as long as it takes," said Goodin, one of three Democrats on the House floor Monday. "The principles we are fighting for here are the very principles that our party is founded upon: working families, public schools and Hoosier children. . . . We cannot turn our backs now. We cannot go back and erase 50 years of what our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents fought for." . . .
Rep. Terry Goodin (D-Austin) is one of those double dippers serving in the legislature. He is pulling down $130,000 a year to serve as superintendent of the Crothersvile Community Schools. The question is why he is permitted to refuse to show up for his job at the State House and not return home to the school system he is suppose to be in charge of running. The taxpayers of his school district should be demanding the school board fire him for dereliction of duty since he isn't showing up to work for either of his taxpayer-funded jobs. It is even more disturbing to think his exile is being funded, in part, by the teachers unions. This makes it evident he is not on the side of taxpayers when discussions at his school district turn to the negotiation of salary and benefits for teachers employed by his school district.

When will Republicans in the legislature please demand that Attorney General Greg Zoeller get off his butt and investigate the illegalities behind the funding of the Democrats' exile in Urbana?