As we enter the final weeks of the session, the flurry of bill signing will only intensify. Some bills are signed into law amid much fanfare and hoopla, others quietly in the governor’s office with no audience or cameras.
There is no need to worry about something nefarious being made into law in the dark of the night without proper scrutiny. Every bill, before it gets to the governor’s desk, has three hearings in each chamber and two to six committee hearings.
The proponents and opponents have ample time to cuss and discuss the merits of each bill, and by a majority vote in both chambers it has moved on to the governor.
The same cannot be said for executive orders or rule making but that’s a topic for a different day.
Last Friday the rules changed, as they do every year about this time. It was the last day the governor had 10 days to sign, veto or let the bill become law without his signature, a tool that has actually been used occasionally.
For the remainder of the session, the governor has 100 days to take those same actions. I’m not sure of the history of this rule, but it appears to have two practical effects.
First, this allows the governor to have bill signing around the state after the session has ended. For example, if a bill that affected mining operations found its way to the governor’s desk in the last three weeks of the session, he could make the trip to Clear Creek or Teller County in May or June to hold a bill-signing ceremony.
This would allow local officials and mine operators and employees to attend. It is more than a good photo-op; it gives locals the ability to highlight their region to the governor and his staff.
Second, since a veto or line item change by the governor can be overturned by a 2/3 vote in both chambers, we needed to ensure the budget would have to be dealt with while we are still in session. No one expects the governor to play games with the budget, particularly since he got everything he asked for, but why tempt fate?
As to the status of my bills that are still alive, I admit to a little concern over whether they will all make it through the legislative maze before we adjourn May 3.
With a few weeks to go, it is easy to be philosophical and say “Oh well, there is always next year.” It remains to be seen if I will still have that attitude one minute after midnight May 3.
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