Fleeing Legislators

February 25, 2011

You’ve no doubt heard about the legislative controversy currently brewing in Wisconsin.  Democratic members of the Wisconsin State Senate have left the state, escaping to neighboring Illinois to prevent a quorum in the Republican-controlled Senate.  They did so to preclude a vote on a bill that would, among other things, significantly curtail collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Legislators from Indiana have now tried the same tactic.  As this story explains, several Democratic members of the Indiana House of Representatives have also fled to Illinois to make a quorum impossible.  A statement released by the legislators mentions eleven individual “bills of concern” and states, in part:

[W]e have relocated to Urbana, Illinois, for the immediate future. By staying here, we will be giving the people of Indiana a chance to find out more about this radical agenda and speak out against it.  We will remain here until we get assurances from the governor and House Speaker Brian Bosma that these bills will not be called down in the House at any time this session.

The bills at the heart of the controversies are available on Westlaw.  See below for search suggestions.

Wisconsin: A search for collective! /3 bargain! & da(2011) in the Wisconsin Bill Tracking – Full Text (WI-BILLTXT) database will return both the Senate and Assembly versions of the bill (both are Bill No. 11).

Indiana: As mentioned above, there are eleven bills at issue.  As an example, the first one mentioned in the statement (House Bill 1002) can be found with the following search in IN-BILLTXT: CI(1002) & da(2011).