In 2005, the most paramount issue in the State Legislature — raising the gas tax to fund billions in transportation projects — came at the tail end of the session, as lawmakers fought tooth and nail on both sides of the debate.
Thus far this year, the issue that has come to the forefront is how the state handles its convicted sex offenders. And by contrast, the debate began, “Within minutes of the Legislature’s ceremonial opening gavels falling at the Capitol,” according to David Ammons, Political Writer for the Associated Press.
In a time in which Democrats control both the state House of Representatives and the Senate (not to mention the governor’s mansion), Republicans have recognized that it will take some evasive political maneuvering to get certain messages across. Thus, on opening day, they brought to the floor about 170 page-long House Bill 2476 — which, most notably, would increase sex offender sentences to a minimum of 25 years for child molestation, and 30 years for child rape — in an attempt to advance their Legislation quickly.