Dems Hamner and Young join powerful budget committee, Duran and May exit

Just after she was elected the first female Democratic Speaker of the House, Boulder Rep. Dicky Lee Hullinghorst was tasked with replacing two of the most powerful women in the state.

Two seats had been cleared on the Joint Budget Committee, which hammers out the first draft of the state’s $20 billion budget, after Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) left to fill Hullinghorst’s former position as House Majority leader and Rep. Jenise May lost her supposedly safe seat by 106 votes.

On Wednesday, Hullinghorst announced that she had chosen Reps. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) and Dave Young (D-Greeley) to fill the posts.

“Millie and Dave are two of the most intelligent, hardest working, most dedicated people I have ever known,” said Hullinghorst in a release.

“I am very confident that they will thrive under the heavy demands of JBC service. Their record of bipartisanship and their Western Slope and Northern Colorado perspectives will help assure that the state budget supports all areas of Colorado.”

Both Hamner and Young emphasized their bipartisan records in anticipation of serving on a six-person committee that is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

In May, House Republicans selected Rep. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) to replace Rep. Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen), who was term limited. The other new face on the committee is Sen. Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City), who joins JBC veteran Sen. Ken Lambert (R-Colorado Springs). Republicans hold a majority in the senate and can appoint two members to the JBC. Lambert was unanimously elected to chair the committee. Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), who chaired the committee in 2012, will also return as a member this year.

[Photo by Eric.]