COLORADO LEGISLATIVE SERVICES, LLC
The “partisan ship” set sail this week as one of the first bills to pass without any Republican support hits the Governor’s desk and it is likely the first of many.
Members of the House debated two of this year’s most controversial bills (so far), SB19-042 by Sen. Mike Foote (D-Boulder), Reps. Jeni Arndt (D-Fort Collins), and Emily Sirota (D-Glendale) which aims to ensure a presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote is the candidate elected president; and HB19-1177, also known as the “red flag bill,” by Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial), House Majority Leader Alec Garnett (D-Denver), Sens. Lois Court (D-Denver), and Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) which would allow a Colorado judge to order the firearms of a person deemed a risk to themselves or others to be temporarily seized.
On the way to Governor Jared Polis (D) is the national popular vote bill. Six Democrats (Reps. Adrienne Benavidez (D-Denver); Bri Buentello (D-Pueblo); Barbara McLachlan (D-Durango); Marc Snyder (D-Manitou Springs); Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo); and Donald Valdez (D-La Jara)) voted against the bill which passed with only their parties support in both chambers. Governor Polis has already indicated he will sign it.
These splits could be notable given Democrats commitment to work across the aisle; even controversial bills of weeks past, like the sex education bill had Republican co-prime sponsors. In that case, Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose) was a champion for the issue, serving as a Senate sponsor of HB19-1032. Looking forward, negotiations will continue on the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act which passed the Senate Judiciary committee on a party-line vote on Wednesday.
When even more contentious bills hit committees, a trend toward division will not help industries like oil and gas and pharmaceutical manufacturers who have been patiently awaiting legislation to increase their regulation promised during the campaign season.
It is rumored that bills introduced in the Senate will be slowing down with today’s rush of bills “sun-setting” a number of issues within the Department of Regulatory Agencies. In the House, there are still likely dozens of bills to come with the next deadline approaching on the 27th.
Next week, it is possible that an oil and gas omnibus bill will be introduced and with many stakeholder meetings this week dealing with general business issues being held, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance bill could also be introduced.
(R-L) Reps. James Coleman (D-Aurora), Sen. Jeff Bridges (D-Greenwood Village), Rep. Kim Ransom (R-Douglas County) and Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) accept their "Golden Apple Award" on the West Steps of the Colorado Capitol. Awards were given to these four legislators who spoke to the hundreds of students who attend school online and their families because of their championship for choice in public schools.