PHOENIX - Arizona State Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix, is not voting on the state budget until lawmakers support his bill, which extends the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual assault to give them more time to sue their predators.
"Why can't we protect these kids?" Boyer said. "It boggles my mind."
While child rapists can be prosecuted any time if proper evidence has been preserved, their victims only have until the age of 20 to file civil suits against them.
After hundreds of U.S. gymnasts came forward to speak of sexual assault and misconduct during the Larry Nassar trial, Boyer thought survivors of child sexual assault in Arizona should get more time to bring suits against their attackers.
"So you could have all the evidence in the world, and if you're 21 years or older, the doors to the court are permanently barred to you," Boyer said.
The proposed bill would make the new deadline seven years after the survivor turns 18 or seven years after the survivor tells someone of the act.
"I think this issue is that important, and if we can't protect kids from rape and sexual assault, then I don't know what we're doing here," Boyer said.
Boyer's bill has not had a single vote on the floor or in committee, so he will not vote on the state budget until his proposal moves forward.
Boyer continues to bring up his bill, but it will not be heard on the Senate floor. Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, cut off his microphone on the floor last week.
If Boyer gets his way here, this proposal could actually be included in a finalized state budget.