After a burst of optimism Wednesday that the Indiana House stalemate might soon be resolved, the two sides did not appear to be close to an agreement Thursday that would bring boycotting Democrats back to the Statehouse.

The House has been unable to conduct legislative business since Democrats fled to Illinois February 22nd in protest of Republican-led bills dealing with labor and education issues.

Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma both sounded hopeful that the impasse was near an end after meeting behind closed doors Wednesday.

But they have still not reached agreement on the final sticking point of the stalemate: a bill dealing with labor union participation on certain government construction projects.

The House was again without a quorum Thursday and is in recess until Monday.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."