DENVER (KDVR) — The clock is ticking for lawmakers to finish their work at the state Capitol.
With key items being worked on at the last minute, temperatures are flaring between members of different parties.
Lawmakers still have a lot of work to do before the session ends on Monday. On top of the heavy workload is tension stemming from some members saying they are not being heard.
“Right now, my caucus is irate, if you will,” said House Minority Leader Mike Lynch.
Republicans at the state Capitol said they are fired up over measures with big implications, like the land use bill, landing on the House floor during the final week of the session.
“Limited the debate to four hours on a bill that was amended 55 times over the course of 48 hours. It started at 90 pages, it’s now at 150 pages. We’re just really upset that the governor is not getting the input even from his own party. He is passing legislation, trying to push through legislation,” Lynch said.
Republicans said they feel they are not being heard as Democrats enacted Rule 14 to limit debate on hot topic bills, so lawmakers do not speak on the matters for hours on end. In response, Republicans asked for several bills to be read at length. The land use bill took about four hours to be read in its entirety Friday.
It eventually passed by a vote of 37-28. Other lengthy bills like the property tax proposal backed by the governor are still yet to be debated on the House floor.
“I think really working with the minority and being in conjunction and cooperating and vice versa, I think that’s how we set the tone for the weekend. We do have a lot of work to do but again, it’s really centered around positive policy for Colorado and focusing on how we are going to get that done rather than thinking about how long we are going to be here,” said bill sponsor Rep. Iman Jodeh.
Democrats are warning constituents not to get lost in the hoopla.
“We have passed policies that help our children in schools, that reinforce the importance of mental health, we are taking care of making health care affordable, that are addressing our housing crisis. These are really important topics that do not discriminate anywhere in the state. Those are things that we have already gotten done,” Jodeh said.
Lawmakers are set to end this year’s session on Monday. At the rate things are going, lawmakers expect a lot of long hours of work and debate between now and then.