Democrats and Republicans are at odds over issues that define their disagreements across the country.
The legislative session ends on June 25th, but Democrats are already accusing Republicans of trying to “run out the clock” on a handful of bills.
Republicans said they see a number of issues that are causing them to walkout.
Democrat Senator Jeff Golden said, “I think that the walkout is one of five or six tactics that have been used from the very first day to run down the clock.”
Republicans initially said they disagreed with the way Democrats worded some bills.
Now, they admit they’re walking out because of House Bill 2002 among others, and how it would impact gender affirming health care.
Republican Senator Dennis Linthicum said, “this entire construct that’s contained in HB 2002 is a dramatic assault against parents and parental rights.”
Linthicum said he’s participated in at least five of the six walkouts since last Monday.
He said HB 2002 would result in young children making decisions about reproductive health procedures without any guidance from parents.
“There are several clauses in there that forbid medical practitioners from sharing information with patients,” Linthicum said.
Golden said there is a lot of misinformation about what the bill would actually do if passed.
“Youngsters will have serious qualified adult guidance through any of these procedures,” Golden said.
Both senators said they don’t see an end to the walkouts anytime soon, despite laws that were passed by voters last year to limit walkouts.
Measure 113, which passed in November, would prevent state politicians from running for re-election if they have over 10 unexcused absences from floor sessions.
Senator Linthicum said Republicans aren’t worried about the consequences of Measure 113, because he believes it’s unconstitutional.
“I think that amendment, frankly, is unconstitutional given the rest of our remedy for free speech, protest and whatnot,” Linthicum said.
Golden said, “I’m hoping Republicans will come back, disagree vigorously where they want to, represent their folks, but let’s do our jobs.”
Linthicum said House Bill 2005 is another bill that needs to be changed before Republicans end their walk out.
That bill aims to punish the manufacturing or sale of undetectable firearms.
It also raises the legal age for handgun and semi-automatic rifle purchases for most people to 21.
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