Sunday, March 06, 2011

More On No Show No Work Lawmakers With Government Jobs Should Be Fired

Last week I discussed how a number of the House Democrats who have remained in exile at a hotel in Urbana, Illinois in order to deny a quorum to conduct business in the Indiana House of Representatives hold government jobs from which they should be fired. As I explained it, when these lawmakers are not at the State House tending to their legislative duties, their absence from their other government jobs should not be excused. Any other employee who repeatedly fails to show up for work is immediately fired for "no show, no work." It's a common reason unemployed workers are denied unemployment benefits. The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Political Notebook asks Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, who is a Ft. Wayne city employee, whether he is being paid for two jobs he isn't working:

But Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne, is the utilities services manager for the city of Fort Wayne.


Reached at his hotel in Urbana, Ill., GiaQuinta said during all legislative sessions he works for the city only on Fridays – the day lawmakers are typically out of session. That means he gets paid biweekly for 16 hours of work.

“I only get paid for those hours I work during session,” he said.

City employees have to work a minimum number of hours a year to qualify for health insurance. He would reach that amount in even-numbered years when legislative sessions are shorter but not during odd-numbered budget-year sessions. Because of this, GiaQuinta is on the state health insurance plan instead of the city plan.

During the walkout, GiaQuinta has stayed in Illinois and therefore hasn’t worked for the city.
Did you catch that? "During the walkout, GiaQuinta has stayed in Illinois and therefore hasn't worked for the city." Not even the days the House is not in session. Yes, that makes him a no show, no work employee subject to firing. The reporters for the newspaper should have went a step further and asked the city's human resources manager what happens to a city employee who fails to show up for work without an excused absence. As I noted in my earlier story, House Democratic Leader Pat Bauer, Rep. Bill Crawford and Rep. Craig Fry have jobs working for Ivy Tech, and Rep. Greg Porter has a six-figure job working for the Marion Co. Health & Hospital Corporation. There are other Democratic legislators who hold government jobs as their regular jobs as well. Their government employers should be forced to explain why they aren't being terminated as no show, no work employees like any other employee would be treated under similar circumstances. Of course, some people would contend that some of those lawmakers' government jobs were treated as no show, no works jobs before the walkout occurred; they simply hold the government job because of political favoritism.

Beginning this week, House Speaker Brian Bosma intends to fine the lawmakers $250 a day for each day they remain in Illinois to deny the House a quorum to conduct business. I have a strong hunch many of those members cannot effort to pay those fines; however, they also can't afford to pay for their extended stay in Illinois but the Indiana Democratic Party is paying for that--likely with money it is illegally soliciting from unions and other special interest groups that benefit from the continued walkout. It's likely illegal because lobbyists are prohibited from paying for lawmakers' out-of-state travel, and lawmakers are prohibited from political fundraising during the legislative session. I suspect the fines, like the out-of-state travel, will be paid by special interest groups that benefit from the continued walkout.

UPDATE: Here's a list of 11 Democratic lawmakers compiled from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce directory who also have government-funded jobs. Yep, more than 25% of their caucus is comprised of double-dippers.

Kreg Battles, chemistry teacher, local public school
Pat Bauer, IVY Tech
Bill Crawford, IVY Tech
Craig Fry, IVY Tech
Phil GiaQuitna, City of Fort Wayne (Utilities)
Terry Goodin, public school superintendent
Earl Harris, Fixed Asset manager, Administration, East Chicago Schools
Sheila Klinker, liason for education school at Purdue University
Matt Pierce, visiting professor, Indiana University
Greg Porter, Vice-President, External Affairs,Health and Hospital Corporation
Vernon Smith, professor of Education, IU Northwest

2 comments:

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

My employer would fire me if I left unexcused for a week to attend protests.

Public employees get a lot of vacation/personal/sick time. They also get more holidays than people who work in private sector get.

All they have to do is call in say they are using their days.

Bill said...

I posted all the letters I received back from them on my blog
http://www.wjdavis.info