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Indiana Legislature

April 21, 2011

NEW: Indiana Democratic leader believes fines law illegal

INDIANAPOLIS — The leader of Democrats who boycotted the Indiana House for five weeks says he’s uncertain how they will respond to a move by the state Senate to put $1,000-a-day fines against boycotting legislators into state law.

Democratic leader Patrick Bauer says he believes the provision would be against the state constitution.

The Senate voted 36-0 Wednesday to advance the provision after Democratic senators left the floor in protest. The measure would allow a court to fine members who were unexcused for three or more days in order to prevent a quorum.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma suggested during the Democratic boycott that such a law should be considered. But he acknowledged that it might cause conflict in the House with just over a week left in the legislative session.

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