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June 08, 2006 08:00 AM UTC

Owens Signs His Last Bill

  • 3 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Bill Owens pulled out his pen for the last time as governor on Wednesday, signing a couple more bills – including a measure that cracks down on lobbyists. From the Rocky Mountain News:

The governor signed his last bill of the legislative session Wednesday, a measure that makes soliciting sex from children over the Internet a felony.

“This is the final bill I will sign as governor – that is, if we don’t have a special session,” joked Owens, flanked by law enforcement officials and lawmakers at a signing ceremony at the Boys and Girls Club in West Denver.

“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as governor. This is such an important bill. It’s a nice way to end,” said Owens, who is term-limited and will leave office in January after eight years.

Owens signed a half-dozen other bills Wednesday, bringing the total number of measures he has signed in the 2006 legislative session to 386.

Also getting the governor’s signature on Wednesday was HB-1149, carried by Rep. Morgan Carroll, which had been called the “lobby reform bill.” Owens’ signing of the bill was considered a surprise, though it would have been a tough hit for Republicans in the fall if Owens had failed to act on HB-1149 and SB-51, which limits gifts to legislators.

The new law?[HB-1149]?requires hired lobbyists to disclose the bill numbers they’re working on, their clients’ positions on bills, and any direct business relationships between lobbyists and lawmakers.

In what was a surprise move to many, the governor let SB 51 – a companion measure that bans lawmakers from accepting larger cash and in-kind gifts – become law without his signature.

“I am letting this bill become law because it’s the first step toward improving the current system, which is susceptible to abuse,” Owens said.

Nevertheless, he said he shares rural lawmakers’ concerns that limiting the ability to raise funds for “office accounts” will make it difficult for some to meet the needs of their multicounty districts and require them to pay many of their expenses out of pocket.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ron Tupa, D-Boulder, said he’s disappointed that Owens didn’t sign the bill as he initially pledged to do. Still, he praised the governor for doing the right thing to remove big money from the legislative process.

Comments

3 thoughts on “Owens Signs His Last Bill

  1. I had to have a good laugh about Morgan Carroll’s HB 1149 being signed by Owens.  After last years quote to her when he was signing one of her past bills, “Enjoy this moment, because it will not happen again.”

    Looks like ol Bill is having to eat those words now.  Bummer when pesky public opinion gets in the way of raping and pillaging the people behind the scenes.  Go Morgan!

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