The pace is intensifying under the Golden Dome with committee agendas growing in a rush to get a backlog of bills moving before the February deadline.
Early on, the bills were bipartisan and moved forward with strong support from both sides of the aisle. Now we are beginning to see a large number of agenda bills being forced through committees on party line votes.
The bottom line? With the Democrats controlling both chambers and the Governor’s office, no Republican bill will advance without the Democrats giving it their Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
One of the agenda bills (HB 19-1032 - Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education), which caused such an uproar across the state is sitting in Appropriations.
The second reading debate in the House will be ugly, but the bill will, no doubt, move on to the Senate. Ground zero for HB 19-1032 will be in the Senate where the Democrats only hold a 19-16 majority.
If you want to share your thoughts on the bill, call or e-mail the Senate sponsors: Sen. Nancy Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org 303-866-3432) and Sen. Don Coram (email@example.com 303-866-4884).
Thursday, in the House Finance Committee, I was able to be a part of a minor miracle. My “Tax Credit Employer-assisted Housing Pilot Program bill” (HB 19-1075), passed out of committee on a 7-3 bipartisan vote.
This bill seeks to establish a pathway whereby employers can receive a tax credit for providing housing for employees. Since most affordable housing projects depend upon donation of land, labor or materials or grants to succeed, this bill would empower employers to determine their own destiny in terms of housing solutions for their employees.
This marks the third time I have run the bill, so I guess the third time really is the charm.
Another bill of mine advanced through the House Education Committee on Thursday as well. HB 19-1153 (Colorado Mountain College and Direct Grants Annexation) will enable CMC to proceed with their proposed annexation in Chaffee County and will allow CMC to offer more four-year degree programs. The bill passed unanimously and is moving on through the process.
SB 19-042 (National Popular Vote), passed Senate State Affairs 3-2 on a party line vote and passed out of the Senate 19-16 on another party line vote.
The Democrats are pushing to get Colorado to give up its Electoral College votes and throw all the popular votes in with the most populous states. The Republicans believe the Electoral College was put into place by our Founding Fathers to protect less populous states (such as Colorado) from being deemed irrelevant in presidential elections.
Today, the 10 most populous states control over 50 percent of the popular vote. If the popular vote initiative goes through, 10 states will dictate the presidential results in spite of the other 40 states’ wishes.
SB19-042 will have been heard in the House State Affairs Committee Feb. 12. Look for it to advance on a straight party line vote in the House also.
There is some exciting news happening in HD 60 that does not involve politics. Cañon City is seeking to be voted onto the reality show “Small Business Revolution,” Season 4.
On Feb. 12, they will be announced as one of the top five finalists out of 12,000 applications. If Cañon City were to be selected as number one, six businesses would be given makeovers, professional services, new websites, and marketing. The city itself would receive some makeover assistance as well.
Now comes the challenge. In order to be selected as the number one city, Cañon will have to win the online contest. Voting will take place Feb. 12-19.
Based on past seasons, they will need over one million votes. As a small town of 16,000, they are going to need all of Colorado to rally in support of them. HD 60, here is our opportunity to help one of our own. Let’s get after it.