Phyllis Klosinski over at LPIN.org wrote an article on the Democrats fleeing and the Constitution. I urge you to read it.
The Democrats keep trying to cry filibuster, but that’s not what this is… A filibuster is NEVER mentioned in the rules of the Indiana House or Constitution. In my own opinion, the Democrats are clearly violating the rules, and they should face the consequences laid out by their own rules. Brian Bosma estimated this stunt has cost us $90,000 so far.
Someone else in the Libertarian Legislative Think Tank decided to look up the house rules on a member’s absence from the General Assembly. The house rules can be found here. I’ve quoted the section that best applies:
PART IV. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS A. GENERALLY
36. Attendance. No member shall be absent from the service of the House unless excused by the Speaker, is sick or is unable to attend.
43. Breaches of Order.
43.1 If a member transgresses the rules of the House, the Speaker or any other member may call the offender to order, in which case the member called to order shall immediately sit down, unless permitted to explain. The House shall, if appealed to, decide on the case, without debate, in accordance with Rule 24. If there is no appeal the decision of the Chair shall be submitted to. If the decision is in favor of the member called to order, he or she may proceed; if the decision is not in favor of that member, he or she may not proceed if any member objects, without leave of the House. If the case requires it, a member may be liable to the censure of the House.
49. Absent Members.
49.1 A member who is absent from the House without excuse may, by order of the members present, be sent for and taken into custody wherever found by the Doorkeeper or other person appointed for that purpose.
49.2 When a member is discharged from custody and admitted to the House, the remaining members shall determine whether a fine, censure or other penalty should be imposed. The House shall determine whether a delinquent member, taken into custody, shall pay the expenses incurred.
A doorkeeper’s definition:
33. Doorkeepers. 33.1 It is the duty of the Doorkeepers to attend to the House during its sessions, to maintain order in the hall, to execute all process issued by the authority of the House and directed to them by the Speaker and in all things to execute the commands of the Speaker of the House.
I know Democrats, and some libertarians, are cheering this example of democracy… We are a Republic, not a Democracy. There are written rules and they should be followed, especially when it’s costing us a lot of money.