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June 23, 2006 08:00 AM UTC

Democrats Call Special Session

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  • by: Colorado Pols

In a clever move that takes some luster off Republican claims to the illegal immigration issue, Democrats yesterday called a special session on their own. From the Rocky Mountain News:

Democrats called the governor’s bluff Thursday in a high-stakes game of political poker on the issue of illegal immigration.

In an unprecedented move, Democratic leaders issued a call for a special legislative session addressing their proposal to beef up enforcement of anti-immigration laws and target employers who hire illegal workers.

The 4 p.m. call came five hours after Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald and House Speaker Andrew Romanoff met with Gov. Bill Owens, who last week threatened to call his own special session.

“It was less than a satisfactory meeting,” said Fitz-Gerald, D-Coal Creek Canyon. “I don’t really get the sense of what the governor wants to do. We must find tough, fair, enforceable and practical solutions to Colorado’s illegal immigration issues. Our call reflects that objective.”

Democrats and Owens have been skirmishing for several days over immigration.

The governor wants to revive a proposed ballot measure, shot down by a court last week, that would deny most taxpayer-funded state services to illegal immigrants. Owens says the measure should go before voters.

Owens told Fitz-Gerald in their Thursday morning meeting that the special-session agenda was his to set.

“Madam President, I’m not going to let you define the call,” he said. “That’s my responsibility.

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