McNulty Flakes on Budget Compromise–What’s Up With The House?

UPDATE: FOX 31 updates the story:

According to McNulty, Shaffer abruptly left the dinner meeting Thursday night after McNulty told him that next year’s budget must include the “Delgrosso amendment”, a proposal from House Finance Committee Chair Brian Delgrosso, that was left out of an agreement drawn up by Senate lawmakers earlier that afternoon…

But, McNulty, who wasn’t involved in drafting the compromise, refused to back the compromise until it included Delgrosso’s amendment, which would give local governments and school districts the option of increasing the PERA contributions of its employees from 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent.

Delgrosso’s amendment doesn’t have a fiscal impact on next year’s state budget [Pols emphasis], but, McNulty argues, will enable local school districts to increase revenue and thereby keep more teachers in the classroom.

In other words, House Speaker Frank McNulty is demanding that the budget include an amendment that doesn’t impact the budget. Way to legislate like a grownup, Frank.


As FOX 31’s Eli Stokols reports:

Senate President Brandon Shaffer stormed out of a dinner with House Speaker Frank McNulty and Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp after McNulty reportedly torpedoed a proposed [compromise] on next year’s budget, according to multiple sources at the Capitol.

While the media focused on the noisy rallies and a long, emotional hearing over civil unions, Democratic and Republican senators huddled together quietly in Kopp’s office, drawing up an agreement for balancing next year’s budget on scratch paper and napkins…

But, sources close to the situation say McNulty, who wasn’t involved in drafting the compromise, is not getting on board.

Lawmakers had been hoping to reach an agreement this week so as to be able to introduce the budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12 some time next week.

Something weird is going on here, folks–House Speaker Frank McNulty isn’t supposed to be the unreasonable party in these negotiations. The fact that Senate President Brandon Shaffer was able to hammer out a budget compromise with his minority counterpart, arch-conservative Sen. Mike Kopp, is a very significant development. The Joint Budget Committee’s partisan paralysis is forcing others to come together and try to make a deal. And the clock is ticking down rapidly on this legislative session–the budget is already very late.

So what the hell is McNulty doing?

We noted earlier this week news that a significant number of Republican elected officials, including McNulty, recently quit the hard-right Republican Study Committee of Colorado policy group run by former Sen. Dave Schultheis. Along with the election of Ryan Call (instead of “Tea Party” favorite Sen. Ted Harvey) to the post of state Republican Party chairman, we were ready to interpret these moves as a sign that the GOP in this state was becoming aware of its internal failures, and might really try to put forward a newly pragmatic and moderate image.

We wrote that the day before Amy Stephens backstabbed the health care exchange bill in a flurry of nonsense about “Obamacare,” the day before Republicans in a House committee killed a civil union bill that would have passed in the full House with bipartisan support, and just as McNulty was evidently deciding to position himself to the right of Mike Kopp on the budget.

They’re determined to prove us wrong, aren’t they?


22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:


    Do the legislators get paid to reconvene in special session?

    Can the MIchigan Governor declare a fiscal emergency in Colorado and take over?

  2. All of the bull(headed)s are in rut.  Those masculine displays of not funding and shutting down the gu’mmit? — it’s in their conservative genes.

    (And, some finger wagging for Sen. Shaffer — it’s always a sign of weakness, and in invitation to future misbehavior, when you let your foes see they’ve raised your ire.  Be cool ‘bro.)

  3. A large section of the Tea Party is still bitter with him leading the charge against Dan Maes. I heard from many people at the assembly that we shouldn’t have a State Chair who was so involved in that divide.

  4. Awen says:

    “It’s past time for a responsible state budget. Let’s get it done!”


  5. shrubHugger says:

     If I were a betting person, I’d wager that Kopp (the uber-cons) are threatening certain people (McNultys and Stephens) with primaries if they don’t start tap dancing. Kopp gets to come out looking like he’s trying to be ‘reasonable’ McNutly and crew get to bear the cross and appease the right wing fringe and keep their seats.  

  6. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Could this be some behind the scenes puppet-master telling them that Colorado also has to do something to hurt the public employee unions?

    • have to be “behind the scenes” for these folks?

    • BlueCat says:

      one of the two only GP GOP state level goals du jour: doing damage to unions and privatizing public assets and functions.  Once again, no matter where you look, no matter what level, which state or the US Congress, Rs are spending all there time on everything and anything but jobs.

      • ajb says:

        If the economy recovers by the 2012 elections, Republicans lose.

        If they can keep the economy in the toilet until then, and voters blame incumbents, they stand to take the presidency and the Senate.

        So Republicans are doing everything they can to stifle job creation. This explains the sudden embrace of austerity (totally absent during the Reagan and Bush presidencies). It explains the funny little smile Boehner and McConnell get when they hear “double-dip recession”.

        It doesn’t explain why Dems aren’t introducing job legislation every week and going on offense.

        • On second thought . . .

          It doesn’t explain why Dems aren’t introducing job legislation every week and going on offense.

          . . . maybe it does?

          How can you have any “rope-a” without someone willing to roll over and play “dope”?

        • BlueCat says:

          and old Dem generals stuck on tactics from the last war. Note to DC Dem leadership: Look at the middle class revolts in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, etc. and realize you don’t have to apologize for not being Republican anymore. The zeitgeist is moving.  Tea has peaked. Over-reaching dictatorial corporate tool R Governors tanking in polls. The WI recalls have gotten off to a nice start. The time for change is now.

        • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

          Is that as a business owner I want the government to address unemployment out of pure self interest. The fact that it’s also the right thing to do is pure gravy.

          My theory is that Congress is so owned by Wall St that they can’t do anything that is not in the short-term interests of the banks.

          • BlueCat says:

            high in the hopes that it will be blamed on the failure of the Obama promise of change.  That accounts for their crusade to cut job maintaining and creating spending during a recession.  Doesn’t account for Dems pretending it makes sense to them too and giving in on it. Let’s hope the Wisconsin Revolution manages to percolate up before another great opportunity to take control of the message sails right by our Dem leaders. It’s not as if explaining this to the public should be rocket science.

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