MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Democrats are calling what happened a lawless act. Republicans say it was well within the law, and necessary.
The final day of 2019's legislative session ended with a bang.
A number of contentious issues led to repeated bickering in the house, including a controversial Medicaid Bill.
Democrats staged a walkout to avoid a vote. Republican speaker Glen Casada allegedly had the doors locked to keep a qourum.
Representative Mike Stewart said Democrats were blocked from leaving. He also said Memphis lawmaker G.A. Hardaway got into a physical altercation with security.
"So what we saw today is the lawlessness and the culture of arrogance that we've seen demonstrated throughout this session in ways that has no precedence just was lifted to an entirely new level where you actually had a member Representative Hardaway physically restrained from exercising his right as a member to simply walk out into the hallway," he said.
However, Speaker Casada said he had every right to lock the doors.
"It cannot be allowed. To walkout and ignore your constitutional duties," he said.
Aside from the explosive incident, Republican Governor Bill Lee believes the session went smoothly.
"It’s been a pleasant revelation to see the commitment of folks to genuinely work together," he said.
WREG called Representative Hardaway for comment, but he has not returned the call.