New Challenges for CO Civil Unions

As Eli Stokles reports this morning, House Republican leadership is doing their very best to use procedural methods to kill Senate Bill 2, the Colorado Civil Unions Bill.

After last night’s hearing, Gardner signed committee reports on every bill considered by his committee except the civil unions measure, an indication that House Republicans may be looking to stall the bill’s progress, knowing that only four days remain in the legislative session.

FOX 31 Denver has learned that Gardner is likely to wait until Monday, taking the full 72 hours allowed before signing the committee report; although that would still allow time for a hearing before the House Finance Committee, where a subsequent hearing before the House Appropriations Committee, and two days of votes by the full House.

Republicans on both the Finance and Appropriations Committees have indicated support for the bill – so if the hearings take place in time, the bill is likely to survive and make it to the House floor.

More after the jump…

Anyone who thought the fight was over after last night’s vote was kidding themselves.

A mere four working days from the end of the legislative session, the GOP has plenty of ways to kill the bill without having to actually vote it down. And if (when) they do, it will be easy enough to blame Senate Democrats for delaying the bill as long as they did and waiting til the last weeks of the session to pass a bill with the exact same vote count as they did a year earlier. An argument that is not, altogether, incorrect.

How many ways can they not pass the legislation without actually killing it, well:

(And in case anyone is wondering, I have heard all of these from my CO Republican friends already, so it’s not like I’m giving them ideas, here, that they haven’t already thought up.)

1. They can have each committee chair wait the full 72 hours without signing it, which means it will not make it to the house floor on time.

2. The Majority Leader could choose not to schedule a floor vote, claiming that more important things (jobs, economy, voter suppression, etc) were more important and there simply wasn’t enough time.

3. Speaker McNulty could decide that, in addition to being heard by the House Finance and Appropriations Committees, that the bill also needs to be approved by State Affairs, and maybe Agriculture, too. Why not?

4. They could amend a single word in the bill, forcing a conference committee and further approval by both the Senate and House. In fact, if they do that, it could be that the Dem controlled Senate would be the one to not pass it before the deadline.

And I’m sure there are more which we will see and hear of in the coming days.

So, the moral of the story is: No champagne til Governors name is on the bill. There is still work left to be done and very little time to do it in.

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. AndrewBateman says:

    AP contributor Ivan Moreno tweeted 10 minutes ago that Speaker Mcnulty is telling people that Democrats delayed the bill on purpose, hoping the House wouldn’t have time to pass it so that they could use it to attack GOP in the November elections.  

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