Local News Politics

The argument over the collection of fines from Democrats who boycotted Indiana House business over labor legislation is likely headed to the state Supreme Court.

Yesterday, a Marion County judge ruled that the state improperly seized the fines last year through payroll deduction and ordered a halt to the collection of additional fines imposed this year.

The judge says that state can collect the fines by taking action through the court system.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he’ll appeal the ruling. Spokesman Bryan Corbin says the fines were collected legally and the court has no constitutional right to get involved in legislative business.

“In order to make that argument we do have to go to the higher court, to the Indiana Supreme Court, to make that case. But our contention is that the whole thing should be redirected back to the legislative branch, back to the legislature where it belongs,” he said.

More than 30 House Democrats boycotted the chamber over a controversial “right-to-work” bill for five weeks last year and several more days this year. They’re challenging thousands of dollars in fines imposed by the Republican majority.

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