01 May Week 14
Playing Politics with 40,000 Jobs
“An Embarrassment to the Process”
With overwhelming support from both small businesses and large corporations across Colorado, my bipartisan bill, 17-1227, had the votes to pass the Senate Energy committee during its hearing this past Wednesday.
However, in a last-minute procedural move, the Republican leadership “re-routed” the bill out of the committee by sending it to the Finance committee where the Republican leadership knows they have the votes to kill it.
By doing so, the Senate Republicans are threatening more than 40,000 Colorado jobs that rely on this program.
The bipartisan bill would have extended a 10-year-old program that requires utility companies to cut energy demand by 5% over the next decade, which not only saves Coloradans millions of dollars in energy costs each year but also contributes to tens of thousands of jobs. One of the supporters, the corporation Johns Manville, employs 500 Coloradans in Mesa County whose jobs rely on these energy management programs. Republican leadership put party politics before working families.
An Attack on Basic Rights
On a party-line vote, the Senate Republicans passed Senate Bill 17-281, which requires sanctuary cities to comply with federal policy on immigration, such as detaining undocumented persons in local jails. And if they don’t, the local officials like city council members and city employees can be held liable. What about local control?
I introduced an amendment that would have removed the loss of state funding for noncompliance; however, it was denied and if the bill were to pass in the House, so-called sanctuary cities would lose all state money, which puts our public safety, public health, roads, schools, etc. at risk.
The Final Two Weeks
Two of the bills that I’m running will be heard this Monday, May 1st in the Senate State Affairs committee.
The first, House Bill 17-1310, would hold leasing companies accountable by requiring that screening and application fees for prospective tenants actually reflect the true cost. In the House, it received hours of testimony in support and I hope that it’s given a fair hearing in State Affairs.
The second, House Bill 17-1260, places a limit on campaign contributions for county offices to make it consistent with other elected offices in the state. Even though it has support from county commissioners across the state, it passed the House on a party-line vote.
While this past week marking the loss of major bipartisan efforts, including the transportation funding bill, I hope that the next two weeks prove differently.