The current session got off to a good start after the Memorial Day weekend. The Senate spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in committees or in session on the floor basically clearing the calendar to pave the way for all things budget and some prioritized bills.
We killed, by one means or another, the majority of the bills that had been sitting there waiting for the General Assembly to reconvene. We Lost some good ones but killed a bunch of bad ones. I suspect every legislator feels the same, but there could be some disagreement on which were good and which were bad.
Early Thursday evening the Denver George Floyd protests began and turned violent fairly quickly, with gunshots at the capitol, and before the evening was out the glass in over a dozen windows and doors had been smashed and graffiti had defaced granite columns.
A state patrol car and Senate President Leroy Garcia’s truck had their windows smashed and tires slashed. Pictures are available at https://coleg.box.com/s/po1mx6hgwb3mn9sg4q96rnb8rui9nwhf.
A little after midnight, we received a text informing us that due to the violence and more protests scheduled over the next several days, the Friday and Saturday sessions and committee work had been canceled.
Makes sense to me, it’s a lot easier for the state patrol to protect an empty large granite building than a large granite building with a 100 legislators and assorted staff inside.
Friday night did bring more vandalism; this time it appears to have been with a proliferation of graffiti on any flat surface: sidewalks, the base of monuments, light standards and even a corner of the capitol building became the canvases of the spray paint crowd.
It was back to work Monday morning, I suspect the three- week time line we had at the beginning of last week may have to flex as the House is still working on the budget and likely won’t send it to the Senate until midweek at the earliest.
With some diligence the Senate could get it wrapped up by Saturday night, but no promises. There’s still some serious budget discussions that need to be had in both the House and Senate. I hope we don’t rush it for expediency’s sake.
One thing we did pass on Wednesday was the ability of members to participate remotely if they didn’t feel safe at the Capitol. Of course that discussion was all about the coronavirus. It’s amazing how quickly things can change.
I welcome your thoughts and comments on the happenings at the Capitol or back in the district. There are lots of ways to stay in touch. My office phone is 303-866-4877; mobile phone 719-351-2121; or email me at SenatorHisey@gmail.com. My Twitter handle is @SenDennisHisey and I am on Facebook as Senator Dennis Hisey.