Latest update to Colorado House Bill 1117

Up for a floor vote tomorrow  04/27/2007


I hope you will forward this email to your members.

You all have done an outstanding job at opposing this terrible bill.  Your members have been wonderful at emailing legislators with personal letters pointing out the many faults of this bill.
I want to share with you the dispicable conduct of Sens. Gordon and Tapia that allowed this bill to get out of Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
Sen. Tapia pulled this bill up out of order on the calendar and brought it to a vote while I was out of the room, in order for it to pass. 
It was my fault that I was a few minutes late to the meeting, I admit that.  I was speaking to a Budget Staff member on the stairs about a memo on a question that came up on another bill on Monday.  We were discussing that bill on Wednesday's Appropriations Committee and I wanted to report to the committee the answer to that question.
When I was not in the room, the bill, which was second on the calendar was brought up immediately before the first bill for a vote, and without my "no vote" it passed.  Sen. Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch) who has consistently voted with you to oppose this bill, was quick enough to realize that if he voted yes he could move to have the bill reconsidered for a second vote when I came back.  He did that, and the incredibly committee refused to extend this routine courtesy of letting a member vote.  This is the first time in 11 years that I have seen such incivility and brazen abuse of political power in the legislature.  They were within their right to do so, they did nothing illegal, but certainly did something immoral and out of character for a legislature they say by their very own words in their hypocritical resolution of civility that should treat other members with the respect they expect to be treated.
I was shocked as Sen Tapia and Sen. Keller whom I serve with as Senators on the Joint Budget Committee voted to deny me the chance to vote.  We work very closely on developing the state budget, and in doing so extend a lot of courtesy to each other.  Not this day.  I was denied the opportunity to vote by a motion to reconsider which they killed.  Their conduct is deplorable and represents the very worst of politics - gaming the process to get what they want even if they have to deny an elected member of the State Senate a vote.  In short, they are willing to do whatever they need to do to "win."I am thoroughly disgusted with my colleagues Sen. Gordon, Tapia, and Keller.
It is my hope this will be exposed and perhaps encourage the Senate to vote for an honest process and kill this intrusive bill.
Sen. Steve Johnson (R-Fort Collins)
Joint Budget Committee
Colorado State Senate
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