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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Colorado Republicans try to stall the Democratic agenda in the final hours of the legislative session

With precious few hours left in the 2022 legislative session, Colorado Republicans are trying to shove the greater Democratic agenda into oblivion.

This strategy operates primarily in the House, where the Republican caucus is divided between more traditional conservatives who are open to dialogue with Democrats and far-right conservatives, who are less likely to pass policy than to disrupt it. show interest.

As of Monday morning, about 250 bills required final action, according to nonpartisan legislative staff. Many of them were prepared to die, anyway, because they want to spend more than lawmakers can – but many others are core to the agenda of the Democratic majority this session, including bills to promote organized labor among government workers. , including limiting the police’s ability to lie to children. Crack down on predatory vehicle towing and address unhealthy air quality.

The session is set to close at the end of the day on Wednesday, leaving lawmakers less than 51 hours left as the clock ticked at 9 pm on Monday. This third-to-last day of session was largely consumed by Republican delay tactics in the House—ordering bills to be read aloud, word-for-word; opposition to bipartisan bills; And they have no chance to lose by offering time-consuming amendments and speeches on bills.

Colorado Springs Republican and frequent obstructing state Representative Dave Williams vowed, “Conservatives will push back by running the clock on all remaining bills that harm the citizens we should serve.”

“We’re trying to ease things,” said Republican state Representative Rod Pelton of Cheyenne Wells, who, unlike Williams, rarely engages in stall tactics or speaks from the House floor at all.

It’s a situation that the Democrats, who control both the Rajya Sabha and the Senate, might have avoided. For a small handful, most of their big-ticket bills weren’t introduced until the back half of the 120-day season. The size of the outstanding bill rolls gives the GOP a greater advantage than this session, given that it shuns power in both chambers of the legislature—not to mention every statewide constitutional office.

On Monday evening, Denver State Representative Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, the assistant majority leader of the House Democrats, said it had become difficult to negotiate with the GOP. Often these delays can be prevented with a deal—which is the case all the time for a more cohesive Senate GOP—but House Republicans are so divided that it’s difficult to find consensus in that group. Several members have actively, repeatedly called on their caucus leader, Republican State Rep. Hugh McCain to undermine Loveland and actually kick him out.

“I don’t know what they’re doing, to be quite honest. I really don’t. I wish I did,” Gonzales-Gutierrez said.

She was hesitant to blame her own party for dropping so many bills for the last three days. Lawmakers have only worked one weekend in the entire session, and Democrats this past weekend declined to call on members to dent the rest of the pile.

“It’s just, unfortunately, how things turned out. I don’t know if I could have predicted it. I don’t know if any of us could have predicted it,” she said.

On Monday, after hours and hours of a slow-moving process, the House broke down so that Republicans could meet to discuss a plan. They leave the meeting without one, said Delta State Representative Matt Soper. He listed a series of bills he thinks his party hates most, including the Organized-Labor Bill (SB22-230); Bill to prevent police lying to children (SB22-23); And the Democrats’ bill was to promote election security (SB22-153).

At that caucus meeting, members were divided on how to proceed.

Akron Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf said the caucus needs to fight for GOP values, and show they are serious. But he cautioned against leaving the fight with nothing to show for it.

“My main concern is that we try too hard, and we could lose any or all of our concessions,” Holtorf said.

Holtorf is no libertarian — he dropped a gun at the Capitol this session and gave a speech Monday morning suggesting it’s plausible when victims of racist violence don’t complain about it — but some in his caucus More are correct. State Representative Ron Hanks, a Fremont County Republican who participated in the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riot, said, “I appreciate that we are working on a negotiating process. All I can suggest is that we do it for days and weeks. Look at the latter. How much could we kill, and how much could we tell the whole state that we had left 50 bills on the table because we fought this fight? And I am concerned, these amendments will not be enough.

“I’ll just say, if anyone wants to fight, I’ll make myself available.”

Soper said, “I don’t want to just report back that we killed 50 Bills. I really want to be able to say that we killed or that we amended from worst to worst. Because if I went back And I say, well, guess what, a $10 million grant for rural hospitals that’s going to help (rural districts), yeah, I killed that — that’s a really cool thing to report back. Not there. “

Democrats have ways to fight back, although they haven’t deployed them up to this point. They can limit debate and in some cases force votes. They can even reach deals to calm things down, and Senate President Steve Fienberg suggested they are open to it.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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