Republicans Will Have Trouble Explaining This in 2020

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The editorial board of the Aurora Sentinel is seeing the same thing as everybody else and suggests that Gov. Jared Polis call a special legislative session to focus on health care bills:

All the time-wasting stunts have pushed important bills to the end of the session. These Republican antics will now likely cost every Colorado resident money and heartache as the clock runs out against critical issues such as health care…

…There is no way state lawmakers can successfully tackle these big-ticket items among myriad other bills and obstruction from Republicans — in less than a week.

Polis needs to call a special session.


Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) watching a movie on Monday

Chase Woodruff of Westword picks up on a theme we’ve been highlighting at length in this space for some time now: Republican lawmakers in Colorado have taken their gleeful obstructionism to such an extreme that real Coloradans could soon begin to suffer as a result…

An arms-race of parliamentary tactics has ensued, as Democrats invoked a rule limiting debate on each bill to an hour, and Republicans responded by offering dozens of doomed amendments to various pieces of legislation in an attempt to slow things down further. In more than five hours of floor work early Tuesday morning, the upper chamber was able to advance just four pieces of legislation.

Tensions appear to be rising once again in a legislative session that has often been fraught with conflict. Republicans are posting photos of Democrats sleeping at their desks. Democrats are sharing videos of Republicans watching poorly reviewed Mark Wahlberg movies on their cellphones. Things are getting weird.

But with the clock ticking and dozens of major bills hanging in the balance, the stakes for Coloradans are high. Some of the most notable pieces of legislation remaining on the calendar will have to get through a legislative bottleneck in the Senate in the next two days if they are to have any chance of passing.

Woodruff highlights a handful of bills in need of some legislative laxative, including HB-1261 (Climate Change); HB-1210 (Minimum Wage); and HB-1032 (sex education). To that list, we would add HB-1168 (Hospital Reinsurance); HB-1216 (Reduce Insulin Prices); HB-1085 (Grants for Low Income Seniors With Disabilities); HB-1120 (Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention).

Republicans in the State Senate are continuing to slow down discussion in the final week of the 2019 session because of certain bills that they don’t like, but that could mean that plenty of other important — and not particularly controversial — pieces of legislation don’t get finished. Lower health care costs, reduced prices for insulin, programs to help seniors with disabilities, and youth suicide prevention efforts — this is the price of Republican obstructionism.

Tastes like chocolate(d)

Oh, and what about “rural Colorado,” which Republican lawmakers always claim is woefully underrepresented? SB-267 (Rural Grant Program), SB-020 (Wildland Fire Airspace Patrol System), and SB-107 (Broadband Infrastructure Installation) are at risk of dying on the vine BECAUSE Republicans are pouring molasses onto everything. Sorry about that rural grant program, but we needed to make sure that somebody read the daily journal out loud!

During their prolonged bouts of time-wasting at the State Capitol this legislative session, Republicans have repeatedly insisted that voters elected them to…not do anything, which is weird. But they have also argued that there must be more — MORE! — time for debate so that they can air all of their grievances without having to risk spraining a muscle in their shaking fists. Predictably, this is having the opposite effect of what Republicans are pretending to desire.

Colorado Republicans are betting that voters will appreciate these antics more than they might lament any lack of legislative results. That’s not a bet we’d want to take next year.


15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. gertie97 says:

    There, Alva. You have a picture of the actual reptilian Ray Scott. That's as productive as he's been in years.

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    Seems to me the Governor could make a pretty solid case that health care funding is of extraordinary importance, and thus could merit a special session of some length to adequately cover HB-1168 (Hospital Reinsurance); HB-1216 (Reduce Insulin Prices); HB-1085 (Grants for Low Income Seniors With Disabilities); HB-1120 (Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention) — and perhaps a couple of others that focus on reducing health insurance prices and hospital fees for those living someplace other than the Front Range..

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Absolutely. I don't know why they don't just do that. Let them cancel their vacation plans and spend the summer in Denver collecting their per diems and watching movies on the i-phones while Owen Hill demands that all bills be read at a speed that Ray Scott can understand.

      Hick called a special session back when Frank McNutty would not allow the House to vote on civil unions and Hick went on to get re-elected. And civil unions eventually passed only to be superseded by marriage equality.

  3. notaskinnycook says:

    I don't know about anyone else, but if I was of a mind to run for office, I sure would love to run against one of these Republican jokers. I wonder how they're going to explain pissing away the last week of the session this way while their constituents' medical bills continue to rise.

    • Mr. L. Prosser says:

      I live in Ray Scott's district. I moved here because I love the red rock desert country, definitely not for the politics or to live among right wingers. I can guarantee if Scott were up for election and you ran against him you would lose.

      • Duke Cox says:

        So sadly true. I have lived mostly on the western slope since 1973…it has always been a place where Republicans can do no wrong and Democrats can do no right.

        That is not likely to change for awhile. 

  4. 2Jung2Die says:

    Interested in opinions – when the Senate GOP flak says:

    “Any bills that die on the calendar are the result of poor calendar management by the Democrats,” Republican Senate spokesman Sage Naumann said. “If bipartisan pieces of legislation are unfortunately postponed to the next session in an effort to stop bills that violate the rights of our constituents and put their livelihoods at risk, then that’s a price we’re willing to pay.”

    Is he actually saying two different things – that the GOP is "willing to pay" a price that leads to bills dying on the calendar, yet bills dying on the calendar is entirely the fault of Dem calendar management?

    The quote is from a CPR report in case anyone is, like, into context.

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