Among the many pieces of legislation introduced in the Colorado General Assembly this week, highlighted by economic development and middle-class tax relief measures in the Democratic controlled House and Senate respectively, are a few real, shall we say, hum-dingers. Here’s a brief tour, with more sure to follow–post good ones you find in this space.
Guns: In addition to the “More Guns In Schools Act” we discussed yesterday from conservative Senate firebrands Scott Renfroe and Ted Harvey, GOP freshman Rep. Justin Everett is carrying this year’s version of the perennial “Make My Day Better” bill, with Sen. Kevin Grantham as the Senate sponsor. If you pay attention to its yearly introduction, debate, and death, you already know it’s opposed by more or less everybody in a public safety role.
God: Headed directly for the House State Affairs Committee, a.k.a. the “kill committee,” is Rep. Kevin Priola’s House Bill 13-1066, “Concerning the preservation of a person’s exercise of religion.” A state flavor of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, the bill (interestingly for the normally tort-hating Rep. Priola) allows for monetary damages to plaintiffs if a “substantial burden” to a person’s exercise of religion is proven. This legislation is considered by opponents as providing an affirmative defense for various kinds of discrimination.
Bedrooms: In addition to Rep. Janak “Dr. Nick” Joshi’s warmed-over “fetal homicide” bill, House Bill 13-1032, newly-elected Rep. Steven Humphrey introduced House Bill 13-1033–a no-apologies ban on abortions, with no exceptions of any kind for victims of rape or incest.
The bill prohibits abortion and makes any violation a class 3 felony. The following are exceptions to the prohibition:
A licensed physician performs a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother, if the physician makes reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with conventional medical practice;
A licensed physician provides medical treatment to the mother that results in the accidental or unintentional injury or death to the unborn child.
Teachers and public employees: Republican morale-building measures for public employees include Rep. Kevin Priola’s House Bill 13-1040 to slash public employee retirement benefits, and freshman Sen. Vicki Marble’s Senate Bill 13-017 to bust teacher’s unions. Meanwhile, the honor of carrying this year’s right-to-work (known to opponents as “work for less”) bill falls to freshman Sen. Owen Hill, who brings us Senate Bill 13-024. Sen. Hill could have made more edits to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) sample “Right to Work” bill–which Sen. Hill’s legislation is rather obviously cribbed from. But we guess he was busy.
These are just a few bills that caught our eye as they were introduced–no doubt there are more. Again, we have little doubt that every bill you see above will die in an Assembly now fully controlled by Democrats. In terms of individual legislators, particularly those representing safe red districts, these kinds of bills probably don’t hurt the reputations of their sponsors.
As for the brand of the party they all belong to…that’s really the problem here, isn’t it?