Court to hear dispute over House walkouts

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Indiana House Democrats who took part in legislative walkouts in 2011 and 2012 are asking the state Supreme Court to decide whether the way the state wants to collect the resulting fines violates state law.

The court will hear arguments Thursday in the lawsuit filed by then-Rep. Bill Crawford of Indianapolis and others.

The lawsuit against Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma and other state officials contends that deducting the fines from legislators' paychecks without their consent violates state wage laws. It doesn't contest the fines themselves.

State attorneys say Indiana's wage laws don't trump legislative discipline and that it's unconstitutional for the court to intervene in the House's internal business.

Most House Democrats spent weeks at an Illinois hotel to block action on several 2011 Republican initiatives.

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