DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado's 2023 legislative session just wrapped up - ending with Republican lawmakers walking out during the final House vote. While Governor Jared Polis said he's proud of the work done this year, House Republicans claim they were bullied for 120 days without a seat at the table.
Polis called this a historic legislative session focusing on reducing housing costs, investing in education, and the workforce, saving people money on healthcare, and making Colorado safer.
Monday night, Colorado Democrats passed a property tax bill that will ask voters to forgo part of their TABOR refunds in exchange for providing tax relief to property owners. The bill passed the House by a vote of 46 to zero with 19 excused. It was then approved in the Senate.
However, Republicans argue the bill is a way for Democrats to mislead Coloradans into giving up their TABOR refunds. In response, they walked out of the House Chambers and refused to vote on SB23-303.
Polis was also called on for a special session to properly provide tax relief to Coloradans.
In response, Polis said, "We came together over a long-term balanced solution to give voters a chance to give some of the TABOR surpluses to prevent increases in property tax bills, save businesses money, and making sure that we don’t hurt funding for our schools and fire districts."
Minority Leader Mike Lynch (R-Wellington) issued the following statement in response to House Democrats invoking Rule 16 for SB23-303.
“For 120 days, our minority caucus came to the House Chamber with the intention of collaborating despite not having a seat at the table and being told to wait outside while real decisions were being made inside. Invoking rarely - if ever - used rules doesn’t just silence us, it takes away the opportunity for the people we represent to hear what we have to say.
By walking out in protest, we sent a message to the Majority, who are mostly Metro area Democrats, that our state includes much more than the concrete and steel parts of Colorado. Our voices - that fill the Front Range and the Western Slope — deserve to have their votes counted these last 120 days.
Today, we send a message across Colorado that their voices, their children’s voices, will be heard for as long as we represent them here at the People’s House.”Minority Leader Mike Lynch (R-Wellington)
In the 2023 legislative session, 179 bills were passed.