The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – A Look at the 2020 General Assembly Session

What is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Colorado’s 2020 Legislative Session? Rick Turnquist notes the good; because of the shortened session from 120 days to 84 days, several very bad bills that would (1) dilute your vote (16-year-olds Voting in School District Elections), to (2) the youth unemployment act (Eliminate Sub-minimum Wage Employment Act) or the (3) let the bad guys break into your home legislation (Secure Storage of Firearms), were killed or died on the calendar. Rick notes three bad bills that slipped through and three downright ugly pieces of legislation that were voted upon. 

The Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly (GA) in the state of Colorado convened on January 8, 2020. Under the Colorado Constitution, a regular session is limited to one hundred twenty calendar days, so the original date for the end of the session was May 6.

But then the COVID-19 virus came to Colorado. Amid the panic of the pandemic spreading in early March, lawmakers suspended the session to allow for “stay-at-home” and social distancing. After reconvening on May 25, the GA came back to pass the 2020-21 budget and try to get some of the majority party’s legislative agenda passed.

After a few intense weeks, the GA adjourned Sine Die on Monday, June 15, 2020, on the eighty-fourth legislative day. Given the fact that the coronavirus cut 36 days from this disastrous legislative session, I would consider that part of “The Good”.

The Good

A few good things came out of this legislative session – as already mentioned it was cut short by 36 days.

Several bills that Democrats had been talking about introducing or had been introduced were postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them: a bill for a paid family and medical leave program. After the sponsors were unable to come to an agreement on what the program would look like, and with significant resistance from the business community, they opted to not introduce a paid family leave bill this year and decided to push for a ballot initiative instead.

Other bad bills that were killed (or died on the calendar) include:

  • HB 20-1149 “16-year-olds Voting In School District Elections”
  • HB 20-1141 “Fees Charged To Tenants by Landlords”
  • HB 20-1355 “Secure Storage of Firearms”
  • HB 20-1356 “Lost Or Stolen Firearms”
  • HB 20-1263 “Eliminate Sub-minimum Wage Employment”
  • HB 20-1349 “Colorado Affordable Health Care Option”
  • BH 20-1035 “Programs To Develop Housing Support Services”
  • HB 20-1162 “Prohibit Food Establishments’ Use Of Polystyrene”
  • HB 20-1163 “Management Of Single-use Products”

 

No gun control bills were passed in this session, which is a relief. A couple of bills were introduced to repeal the magazine limitation and to try to improve the so-called “red flag” law, but of course they were both defeated by the Democrats.

Good bills

In reading through the list of bills, there are very few “good bills”. They were tough to find, but the GA did pass a few I consider to be good.

  • HB 20-1051 “Identification Of Veteran Remains For Proper Military Burial” – Concerning final disposition of the abandoned cremated remains of persons eligible for interment in a national cemetery.
  • SB 20-078 “Dogs on Restaurant Patios” – Concerning the ability of a person to bring a pet dog onto the premises of a restaurant.
  • HB 20-1178 “Increase Speed Limit On Certain Rural Highways” – Concerning increasing the speed limit on rural state highways where it is safe to do so, and, in connection therewith, directing the department of transportation to identify these highways.

The first has to do with respect to our military, which I will always support, and the second two increase freedom incrementally, which is fine by me.

The Bad

Quite frankly, most of the bills introduced in this session and last year’s session with the Democrats owning the state legislature and the governor’s mansion have been terrible. This year saw several bad bills get introduced, many of them did not pass or died on the calendar. These few slipped through and will become law. My commentary is in italics.

  • SB 20-200 “Implementation of CO Colorado Secure Savings Program” – Concerning the implementation of the Colorado secure savings program to increase the amount of retirement savings by Colorado’s private sector workers, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing an appropriation. It is not the business of government to incent or otherwise provide for private citizens’ retirement savings.
  • HB 20-1143 “Environmental Justice and Projects Increase Environmental Fines” – Concerning additional public health protections regarding alleged environmental violations, and, in connection therewith, raising the maximum fines for air quality and water quality violations. Another bill hostile to Colorado’s oil and gas industry.
  • HB 20-1153 “Colorado Partnership For Quality Jobs and Services Act” – Concerning the relationship between state employees and the state as their employer, and, in connection therewith, creating the “Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act”, and making an appropriation. This bill basically allows state employees to form labor unions and engage in collective bargaining with the state and was signed into law by Governor Polis on June 16th.

 

The Ugly

  • SB 20-163 “School Entry Immunization” – Concerning the modernization of the school entry immunization process, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. This was probably the most controversial bill of the session. Hearings were held on a Sunday and hundreds of Coloradans showed up in protest against it.
  • HB 20-1031 “Replace Columbus Day With New State Holiday” – Erasing history doesn’t change it.
  • Democrats killed HB 20-1068 “Born Alive Child Physician Relationship” – Concerning the enforcement of the rights of a living child after an abortion. Democrats actually voted against protecting the life of a born-alive child, proving that they will do anything to protect abortion “rights”.

 

November 2020

Since 2007, Democrats have controlled the elected branches of government with the exception of two years in the House and four years in the Senate. Since the 2018 election, they have controlled all state offices. During that time, we’ve seen wave after wave of progressive legislation passed including more regulations and more burdens on businesses. We’ve seen outright hostility to one industry – the oil and gas industry – that provides millions of dollars in tax revenues, billions in economic development and thousands of jobs.

We’ve seen historic infringements on our Second Amendment rights including the magazine ban, universal background checks, and perhaps worst of all the Red Flag bill.

We’ve seen our traditional American values being chipped away and our Colorado way of life gutted. We see California, Oregon and New York policies being implemented here in our state. And when we look at those states – how they’re falling apart – we ask ourselves “Is this what we want for Colorado? Is this how I want to live”. People are fleeing the state – I know several who have moved in the last year – and others are thinking about it.

Make no mistake, the November election is going to be difficult. We conservative/libertarian types are facing formidable opponents in The Progressive Infrastructure, and the Democrats will have an overwhelming advantage in money, dark and otherwise.

This means that we must support conservative candidates – those who understand the proper role of government and will stay true to America’s founding principles. We must support them with money, volunteer time and social media support.

We need to stop fighting among ourselves. Once this primary season is over, we have to unite behind the winners, bury the hatchet with the people who supported their same-party opponents, and unite to win.

America is in trouble. Colorado is in trouble. We need to wrest our state back from the progressive Left – the party of anarchy and tyranny – and return to the fundamental ideas that made America great.

Join me in this fight. Stand for Colorado. Stand for America.

 

 

 

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