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February 06, 2023 12:57 PM UTC

Whack Week: Crazy Republican Bills On Deck To Die

  • by: Colorado Pols
Freshman Rep. Ken “Skin” DeGraaf (R).

We’re almost a month into the 2023 session of the Colorado General Assembly, and the calendar this week turns to a number of bills introduced by the Republican micro-minority that won’t survive past their first committee hearing–but tell us a great deal about what Colorado Republicans would do with legislative power in this state if they possessed any.

The fun begins today at 1:30PM in the House State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee, affectionately known as the “kill committee” for its longstanding role as the circular file where bills required by law to have their hearing before being mercifully put down get their moment of glory. Starting with Rep. Ken “Skin” DeGraaf–we didn’t invent this nickname and we’re not sure we want to know how he earned it–who used one of his five allotted bills in 2023 on something called the Second Amendment Preservation Act:

The bill states that any federal act, law, executive order, administrative order, rule, and regulation (federal laws) that is, or accomplishes, any of the following is an infringement on the right to bear arms in Colorado:

A tax, levy, fee, or stamp not common to all other goods and services that is imposed on a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition and that might reasonably be expected to create a “chilling effect” on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
Any registration or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;
Any registration or tracking of the ownership of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;
A prohibition on the possession, ownership, use, or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
Any order to confiscate firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

You see, folks, in order to protect your federal Second Amendment rights, Rep. “Skin” says we need to nullify all other federal gun laws! The language is broad enough to theoretically include nullification of very basic gun safety protections like federal background checks, not to mention any forthcoming federal gun control legislation like an assault weapons ban. This bill along with a new version of the perennial attempt to expand the state’s controversial “Make My Day” law to include business will both go down today/tonight after the gun nuts make an as-yet-to-be-determined spectacle.

Then hold your breath for tomorrow’s hearing of the House Health & Insurance Committee! We mean it:

Freshman GOP Rep. Scott “There Is No” Bottoms.

Because on Tuesday afternoon, “anti-vaxxer” activists are set to flood the Capitol to take on the nonexistent problem of children being, as former Sen. Laura Waters-Woods explained some years ago about different vaccines, “rounded up and vaccinated.” The problem with this bill is simple: parental consent is already required for vaccinations in Colorado. The only real change this bill makes is to allow individuals to sue Texas abortion ban-style in the event the law is violated.

Rounding out the week of Republican DOA legislation on Thursday are bills that would delay the implementation of the voter-approved FAMLI paid family and medical leave program because socialism is bad, and then slash the state’s income tax by over a billion dollars with no plan to replace the revenue. And finally, there’s House Bill 23-1127 in the House Energy & Environment Committee, “Customer’s Right To Use Energy,” ending local government power to restrict natural gas in new construction–in 180-degree opposition to the state’s climate reduction strategy that depends in part on full electrification of new residential and commercial construction.

Under the voter-approved GAVEL Amendment passed in 1988, every bill introduced in the Colorado General Assembly is required to receive a fair hearing and a vote. There are no doubt plenty of Republicans who, aware of the damage these bills cause to public perception as well as their futility in a legislature dominated by the opposing party, would be fine with these bills quietly dying with no public exposure.

But that’s not how we do it in Colorado. Every cringeworthy “message bill” gets its fifteen minutes of fame.


6 thoughts on “Whack Week: Crazy Republican Bills On Deck To Die

    1. “From my cold, dead kitchen!”

      if you do the necessary reasearch, I’m pretty certain the founding fathers obviously intended to include stoves as “arms” under the Second Amendment, the “commonly used” caveat now applying to modern gas stoves?  So, there’s broad enough coverage for stoves under the umbrella of Skin’s introduced bill. And, if that gets PI’d by the libs, we’ll just have to wait for a SCOTUS case to interpret the clear original intent on a federal level.

      There’s probably also corporate suppliers of gas stoves out there who could file, claiming any bans as infringing on their free exercise of some deeply held religious beliefs?  

  1. Seems like DeGraaf is anti-hunting and anti-wildlife. The Pittman-Robertson federal excise tax on ammunition provides grants back to each state to protect wildlife habitat and enhance hunting opportunities. Based on the interpretation, guess he doesn't support P-R.

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