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Gov. Hickenlooper seemed to have no more clarifying intelligence on the bill's likely materialization than do speculating members of the media.
DENVER-- Outmaneuvered over the last six days in a legislative chess game centered on a gay-rights civil unions bill here, the Colorado Speaker of the House on Tuesday, the second-to-last day of the session, effectively turned over the board. Frank McNulty, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, walked out of the House at roughly 9 p.m. and stayed away for more than two hours, letting a recess run all the while and killing the civil unions bill and nearly 40 other bills in the process.
DENVER-- It's closing time. The swing-state Colorado legislature has one day left in the regular session this year for Republicans and Democrats to come together and deliver a congressional redistricting plan to the governor. The Republican-controlled House managed to pass its version onto the Senate this morning and, after a stop-and-start filibuster that stretched into the wee hours last night, the Democratic-controlled Senate today moved its version forward for a final reading.
Democrats and Republicans held hearings on dueling redistricting maps at the Capitol Thursday while party leadership negotiated with the governor to find a solution to partisan gridlock.
House Republicans introduced their version of what could be the map of the political battlefield Tuesday. While Republicans called the map an olive branch extended to their Democratic colleagues,they actually carved out four of the seven districts to favor themselves.
Democrats and Republicans traded barbs Monday after Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, declared an end to the Joint Select Committee on Redistricting by preparing to introduce a bill to create a Democratic map. In turn, Republicans said they too would introduce a map to compete with the Democratic version.
Senator Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, said today that he would likely introduce two redistricting map bills into the Senate after committee talks broke down on redistricting. Heath said there was no reason for further conversations with Republicans, who he said did not have authority to negotiate.
Tuesday, the Colorado General Assembly's Joint Select Committee on Redistricting agreed that partisan emotions ran too high at Friday's sharing of maps, but there appeared to be little common ground on at least one major Democratic starting point--competitiveness. Republicans rejected that as a compelling factor and called for a blank map created without looking at political balance. Democrats said that voters were calling for competition in a state where many districts have solid Republican numbers.
A bill to force counties to participate in Secure Communities died in a Senate committee Monday. Opponents cited racism and opposition to forcing another unfunded mandate on rural counties.
Expressing concerns that loan sharks may become the new lenders for the poor, and saying they fear the loss of further jobs in a down economy, legislators Tuesday passed a bill to allow deferred deposit loan corporations to retain up-front fees.