Weekly Legislative Summary for the week of January 7-13 2012

So far in only three days the House has introduced 80 bills and the Senate has introduced 67 bills which if the 5 bill maximum is followed then we only 353 more bills to be introduced!! :)  The legislative schedule states that all must be introduced by February 1st which is the 22nd day of the session.

With “election season” fast approaching it will be interesting to see what type of bills will be submitted as will all of the legislators play it safe, shoot for the moon or use to re-invent themselves.

On the Republican side Rep. Looper is shooting for the moon with being the House sponsor for SB12-053 which is aimed at repealing SB11-200 Health Insurance Exchange that House Majority Leader Amy Stephens sponsored.  The bill was passed with 13 Republican yes votes for both the House and Senate and one House Democrat voting no and so it would seem that Rep. Looper is drawing the line in the  sand as to who is a more pro-liberty legislator.  This bill also has Senator Tim Neville who replaced Senator Kopp, and is off to a blazing start in his first session and unfortunately also his last session due to the nightmare on Sherman Street reapportionate maps.

There are several other bills introduced by Senate and House Republicans which all really seem to focus on more transparency in government, less regulation and consistent application of the regulations.

SB12-006 which is sponsored by Sen. Neville and Rep. Holbert and will focus on creating a task force to review the State’s regulatory system and seems to be modeled after SB11-167 which Senator Kopp had sponsored last year but was killed in the Legislative Council Committee.

HB12-1009 sponsored by Rep. Gerou and Sen. Lambert is a bill that should already be in place and so kudos to Gerou and Lambert (both are on the Joint Budget Committee) for sponsoring this bill.  State agencies and departments are required to report all federal monies received but this bill adds the additional reporting requirements of:

1. purpose of the money and where used

2. total amount of ALL federal moneys received by the agency

3. The percentage of the agency’s total spending that is from federal moneys AND

4. Plans for operating if there is a reduction of 5% or more from the federal moneys for a program AND/or

5. A 25% or more reduction in the TOTAL amount of all federal moneys the agency receives

The Democrats this session simply seem to be regurgitating the same tried and failed legislation from past sessions with bills such as Rep. Hullinghorst’s pay-go bill HB12-1039 which on the surface sounds good (don’t they all?) but in reality is just window dressing and fodder for the media as there is no real substance to the bill.  No tax increase without any offsetting expenditure decrease and no tax decreases without any offsetting revenue and so in the end there is no gain – just more political posturing.

The theme for both parties is job creation but it seems that the Democrats still cling to the belief that jobs are created via the government becoming an “angel investor” and deciding who is going to receive preferential treatment.  HB12-1044 will set up a Colorado Technology Transfer Grant program with a $5,000,000 fund that must be spent by July 1, 2015.  Now before all of you private FOR PROFIT tech firms start spending the money – the money does not go to you.

Nope not one penny because you are a for profit and while the intent is to create jobs it just won’t be with you.

The money is going to be GIVEN to:

“RESEARCH INSTITUTION” MEANS AN INSTITUTION LOCATED  AND OPERATING IN COLORADO THAT IS A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, NONPROFIT INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION, A NONPROFIT TEACHING HOSPITAL, OR A PRIVATE, NONPROFIT MEDICAL AND RESEARCH CENTER.

Now I am wondering if Minority Leader Ferrandino has checked with Rep. Hullinghorst as it would seem that his bill conflicts with the Pay-Go bill above???

One last bill I would like to highlight is SB12-001 who Senator Hudak is the lead sponsor and has the title of “Hire Colorado Act” which after reading I believe should be renamed to “Fire Colorado Small Business Act”.  The bill claims to be about spending YOUR tax dollars with vendors who are companies that employ Coloradoans and will thus create more jobs.

The first hurdle (requirement) is that this law will only apply to contracts valued at $1 million or more and so a)if the contract is for less than $1million the State does not care who gets the job or if the employees have the entitlements/benefits deemed proper by the Nanny State and b) 90% of employees must be Colorado residents (no mention if they are illegally here in the country) c)employer must provide healthcare benefits that are the SAME as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and no mention of what happens if found unconsitutional d) a retirement benefit that DOES NOT require the employee to contribute more than the employer and finally e) must offer an apprentice program that meets all requirement as set forth by the Dept of Labor.

Now maybe I am wrong but it would seem that the ONLY companies who can meet ALL of these requirements will be UNIONIZED firms and/or Large companies – you know the 1% the OWS has declared as vile and the Democrat party has eagerly endorsed.

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The bills so far introduced by Republicans gives me hope that maybe this session the principles of Limited Government, Liberty and Rule of Law will not be just empty rhetoric but actually honored and put into practice.

The bills so far introduced by the Democrats only reaffirm their love affair with Big Government and their willingness to use YOUR money to keep their “mistress”  Big Government fat and happy.

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