Finishing In Record Time

In the end, state lawmakers just wanted to go home.

During the commotion of taking pictures and planning after parties, the House managed to actually get some work done yesterday before adjourning permanently for the year.

There was the vote to override Gov. Ritter’s vetoes for the sake of what Minority Leader Mike May and Democratic Rep. Bernie Buescher agreed was the preservation of the legislature’s authority. Then there were votes to approve registration of on-line pseudonyms of sex offenders and an increase in the the pay of elected district attorneys.But before long, it was all over. House Speaker Andrew Romanoff cracked his gavel one last time and reporters at the press table were forced to wake up from their afternoon narcosis.

“I feel very good. It’s been an incredible learning experience. I’m very pleased that a number of my bills have been passed into law,” said Rep. John Kefalas , a freshman Democrat from Fort Collins. “This body I believe is making progress to do the people’s work, in the areas of health care,  in the areas of renewable energy, improving our child welfare system, all of those kids of things.”

Before the session started, Kefalas discussed his plans, including a proposal to license healthcare workers who conduct kidney dialysis treatment. A bill to do just that was passed by the Senate this week, and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Kefalas, like many legislators, will also be working over the summer. The lawmaker has started a legislative caucus to address poverty issues next session, and he will also be heading a task force to research advanced voting methods. 

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that the legislature set a record by wrapping up five days early. There’s also the matter the first veto override in nearly two decades and the “constitutional turf war” that’s predicted to come because of it.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at