Watch Senate Republicans Waste Everyone’s Time

“Frankly, it feels like we’re negotiating with children sometimes.”

— Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (3/21/19)

Republicans in the State Senate (and to a lesser extent, the State House) have decided to go all-in on their tantrum strategy of “delay, delay, delay” because they don’t have the votes to stop legislation that makes them sad. It is perfectly within the rules for a legislator to demand that everything be read aloud, but usually nobody makes this request because it is a complete waste of time and money.

Denver7 has more on this “childish obstruction”:

“The constitution gives us the right to say ‘Slow down. Don’t make these big changes,’” Senator Own [sic] Hill from Colorado Springs said.

On Thursday, Hill requested that the Senate journal, or minutes from the previous day’s session, be read back in full before work could start. That took a half hour to complete. Hill then asked for multiple bills to be read out loud in full before they were voted on…

…The Democratic Majority Leader of the Senate disagreed with the tactic, calling it “obstructionist.”

“They’re basically slowing things down to a crawl and creating an embarrassment for the institution of the democratic process,” Senator Steve Fenberg said…

…It took the Senate two-and-a-half hours to vote on two total bills on Thursday morning. [Pols emphasis]

Per the demands of Sen. Owen Hill and friends, Senate staffers have been required to read the entire journal from the previous day, including the votes taken by every Senator on every bill (Senate Journal for March 21, 2019 starts here on page 509).

Reading the entire journal aloud on Thursday took about 48 minutes. This is what it sounded like:


Marshall Zelinger of 9News has more on the poor bastard whose job it is to read aloud to a bunch of grown men and women. We’re looking forward to Senate Republicans trying to explain this nonsense to voters in 2020.


20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    I am reminded of an observation by the late, great, Speaker Ron Strahle, R-Fort Collins.

    "The stupid ones have a role in the process too. They slow the rest of us down."

  2. unnamed says:

    The House Minority "Leader" is too busy trying to push bogus recalls.

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    The Dems need to get ahead of this. Here is a suggestion:  change the session hours. Majority leader should announce at 11:55 pm when they recess for the day that they will reconvene at 5:30 am for the reading of the journal and all bills scheduled for that day. Serious business begins at 10 am.

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Hire a motormouth to read/speak.

  5. ParkHill says:

    Well, the Democratic Party controls the trifecta. That provides ample resources for making the Republicans sorry for being obstructionist.

    Maybe take away all their office spaces, and make the share a cube-farm.

    What kind of really vindictive law could you come up with to make their lives hell? Like Trump cutting disaster relief to Puerto Rico and California, while sending crop subsidies to soybean farmers suffering from the tariffs he created.

  6. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Is the requirement to read truly in the Constitution? 

    I knew the Colorado Constitution was a long document, but I hadn't heard it reached the level of parliamentary procedure for the legislative chambers.  Articles about the court case only say the reading "violated the spirit of the Constitution"  and violated rules of the Senate.

    Does someone know if the Constitution really does go into parliamentary procedure? And if so, could you provide a reference, as I couldn't find it with a word search.

    • DENependent says:

      It is. From Ballotpedia Article V, Legislative Department

      Text of Section 22:

      Reading and Passage of Bills.
      Every bill shall be read by title when introduced, and at length on two different days in each house; provided, however, any reading at length may be dispensed with upon unanimous consent of the members present. All substantial amendments made thereto shall be printed for the use of the members before the final vote is taken on the bill, and no bill shall become a law except by a vote of the majority of all members elected to each house taken on two separate days in each house, nor unless upon its final passage the vote be taken by ayes and noes and the names of those voting be entered on the journal.

      In addition, due an amendment to Section 7 in 1988, the length of the regular session is limited to 120 days. Basically the state constitution is designed to allow just one legislator to stop everything and run out the clock. This is probably not an accident since the anti-government zealots had a good long run of getting shit in the state constitution from about 1985-2000.

      There is, however, nothing I can find about limited the length or subject of special sessions. Anyone have any reason that Polis could not summon everyone back after a week break to try again from June to December with every bill the Democrats want to pass named in the proclamation?

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        Thanks …

        I suppose I should be thankful there is a chance for illiterates to serve in the legislature without worrying they would be mislead about a bill … but a rule in the Constitution requiring a bill to be read aloud twice stretches my inclusive soul.


        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          Anything in there says they can't have ten, maybe twenty people reading different parts all at the same time

          T***plicans need to learn the Dems can play fuckee-fuckee, too.

  7. Diogenesdemar says:

    So, you’re expecting voters in Colorado Springs to actually select legislators who aren’t slow?  And, just where do you expect those legislators to be found in EpCo??

    . . . ”I’m ajust be repesentin’ them constitients what done sent me here.”

  8. 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

    The requirement to read bills at length on request is definitely the law, but I wish the media would push back a bit on statements like Hill's, where he slips in a notion that the Constitution has any relevance to the blatantly partisan strategy of abusing bill reading as a stall tactic. Plain reading of Section 22 says absolutely nothing about intentional delay – while the clause about dispensing with reading entire bills seems closer to acknowledging that legislators can decide reading a bill out loud takes more time than it's worth.

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