INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The leader of the boycotting Indiana House Democrats said Thursday they are diligently working to find a way for a voter referendum on the contentious right-to-work bill, one that would survive questions on whether it is allowed under the state Constitution.
Democratic leader Patrick Bauer said the proposal could be prepared as soon as Friday, possibly clearing the way for the 35 absent Democrats to return to the House floor and allowing action on the right-to-work bill and other legislation.
House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, tried to gavel the House into order twice on Thursday. With only five of the 40 House Democrats present, there were too few members to conduct business -- the sixth of 11 days it has tried to meet this month.
Most of the absent Democrats were at a private meeting inside a Statehouse conference room. Majority Republicans voted Wednesday to impose $1,000-a-day fines on the boycotters.
Several dozen union protesters cheered from a hallway outside the House chamber as Bosma announced the House did not have a quorum. After two attempts to convene, Bosma said he would try again Friday morning.
"I really don't have a sense of much at this point," Bosma said. "No communication from the Democrats as to their intentions."