Colorado Home Republicans gasoline a five-hour debate over guidelines and air complaints on day one of many Colorado Springs Information
For about five hours, the Republican minority in the House of Representatives extended a debate on the Chamber’s rules into voicing complaints about the governor’s emergency powers and democratic leadership, reprimanding one legislature for referring to last week’s election protests .
“If you think you had problems last Wednesday, it may not be over,” Rep. Richard Holtorf, R-Akron, warned Democrats, referring to President Donald Trump’s meeting of supporters on January 6th Colorado Capitol The Washington, DC meeting besieged the US Capitol and resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one police officer.
“Let’s be very, very careful not to encourage any activity outside of this building,” replied newly-elected spokesman Alec Garnett, D-Denver, cutting off Holtorf.
GOP officials used Joint Senate Resolution 1, which amends pandemic-specific rules for the operation of the General Assembly, in an attempt to curtail the governor’s emergency powers, curtail the majority party’s authority, and urge approval of the rules altogether next month .
“I think the long debates today over normally quick procedural issues reflect the political turmoil we have seen nationally,” Cathy Kipp MP, D-Fort Collins, told Colorado Politics. “I hope as soon as we have a new president that the rhetoric subsides and returns to what we once thought was normal.”
Several Democrats saw no end in repeated changes by Republican officials to the emergency rules. Minority vice chairman Tim Geitner, R-Colorado Springs, denied the proposals and speeches were a stall tactic for the meeting, which is set to last for three days before suspending through mid-February.
“I know there are concerns, will the minority remain standing? Are we disturbing the first day? Folks, these are the rules … that we work by, ”he said. “That is what this debate offers us is the ability to understand the implications of this proposed rule.”
However, several Republicans seemed to be at risk of a similarly extended debate when the session resumed if the Democrats did not seriously consider their ideas.
“Are we going to do people’s business or are we just going to waste all evenings night after night and stay away from our children?” asked Rep. Shane Sandridge, R-Colorado Springs.
“I’ll tell you, it will be a long day if people don’t want to hear what is being produced,” added Holtorf. When asked what the minority party’s goal is, Holtorf told Colorado Politics, “You [Democrats] Listen and add our amendments and we will move forward. “
Under the new language in the pandemic protocols known as Joint Rule 44, Republicans opposed a provision that would allow a majority of the Executive Committee – made up of four members from the majority party and two members from the minority party – to limit the number of bills to legislators could introduce of the current five during the emergency.
The House later approved a Republican-sponsored amendment to guarantee lawmakers at least one belated bill. Democrats also backed another amendment by first-time MP Stephanie Luck, R-Penrose, to ensure lawmakers are given 24 hours notice before the General Assembly meets.
However, these changes did not come before conservative lawmakers asked for the process to be slowed down and more time to review the changes.
“The rules were drafted with no input,” Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs, accused the majority. “Not even a bit. No contribution from the minority in the house.”
“What I see this rule changing is nothing more than a takeover,” said Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs.
The democratic leadership has pushed back this characterization.
“We shared the draft language for the changes with the minority on Monday and had a very long discussion on them in the Executive Committee yesterday,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, calling them “small changes”.
Williams introduced several changes, including one to prevent lawmakers from defining “calendar days” in the pandemic rules as non-consecutive – a nod to the constitutional requirement that the session “Do not exceed one hundred and twenty calendar days. ”
“We have decided as a body to enforce this unconstitutional rule,” said Williams. “But it is done so that the majority have more opportunity to adopt the agenda that they want to adopt. And that’s wrong. “
Williams’ claim, however, was inconsistent with the interpretation of the Colorado Supreme Court. Last year, a majority of judges ruled that the legislature’s interpretation of calendar days as inconsistent was constitutional.
Another amendment from Luck would have set up a committee that convenes experts and witnesses every 10 days to review whether Governor Jared Polis’ continued emergency statements meet the legal requirements of an emergency.
The arguments were consistent with those of last year’s special session, when Republicans again used various COVID-19 relief measures to make changes to limit or reverse the pandemic health restrictions imposed by Polis. The Republican effort on Wednesday also came shortly after proposing their own candidate for House Speaker, refusing Garnett a unanimous coronation, and receiving criticism from Democrats.
The resolution to change common rule 44 was passed between 40-22, with Holtorf being the only Republican to vote in favor. The measure was passed by the Senate at age 20-15, also after a party line and a brief debate by the Senate Republicans, as opposed to the hour-long struggle of the House.
Through a similar vote on the party line, the House passed its temporary rules that had nothing to do with pandemic operations. Williams tried to put in an amendment requiring a two-thirds majority for rule changes instead of a simple majority.
When Williams was warned that previous Republican majorities had similar rules, Williams simply stated, “You shouldn’t have done that.”