Colorado HB-1117 has now passed and will become law once the Governor signs it. How this bill moved thru the system is a perfect example of politics at it's worst. From the introduction of this "feel good" bill, it sailed thru committees despite our efforts with testimony, statistics, facts, etc. The Senate State, Military and Veterans Affairs committee was a joke. We showed up for testimony, with precise and succinct information. As we proceeded with testimony, one Senator gets up and leaves the room, another Senator moved from the seat at the table to the back and started a conversation with a staffer, one Senator was playing with the cell phone. Only 1 Senator sat there and listened to every word we had to say, and asked pertinent questions. It was obvious the majority of the committee had already decided how they would vote. It was then sent to Senate Appropriations committee and was calendared for the 17th of April. The bill was read, the final vote was a tie, 5-5. The committee Chair announces "tie vote, bill fails". That should be it right? WRONG. In all the years I have been involved with ABATE, a tie vote has ALWAYS killed a bill. It seems that in the Senate Rules of Colorado, Rule 18, Reconsideration, allows a tie vote to be reconsidered. No one that I know has ever heard of this rule. I am still not so sure it is the way this particular bill was handled is legal, I need better interpretation of this rule. ABATE was set that this bill had been killed. After review of the Senate calendar, it was noticed that this bill was calendared again for April 25th. During this hearing, HB-1117 was second on the agenda. One of the Senators on the Committee was out in the hall. It was asked by the Senate Sponsor of the bill to have HB-1117 read first. The Chair complied. The vote w as in favor to pass the bill to the committee of the whole. 1 Senator against this bill immediately changed his vote to yes so he could asked for reconsideration. You must be on the prevailing side of the vote to ask for reconsideration. Reconsideration was granted, the vote was once again tied. Therefore the original vote could not be overturned. The motions on the surface appear to be conducted correctly, but were they? Needless to say, the following 3 business days allowed the bill to pass. We could not muster enough votes to defeat this bill. This bill is for the kids you know, never mind that it is discriminatory and only requires helmets for minors on motorcycles. I am thoroughly disgusted with the manipulations of certain PUBLIC SERVANTS.
Terry Howard ABATE of Colorado State Coordinator