March 20, 2011
1. Economic Forecast
2. Civil Unions in Colorado
3. Meeting with Governor
4. My Bills
5. Emissions Testing in Larimer and Weld Counties
1. The Legislative Council’s economic forecast was released on Friday. It shows modest gains in revenue (about $160 million.) Coupled with some cost cutting in this year’s budget, the projected shortfall for next year is now less than $500 million. The economy is still quite weak, but these are the best numbers we have seen in a long time.
2. SB-172, creating civil unions in Colorado, has passed through three committees and is now ready to be heard on the Senate floor. With every Democrat senator as a co-sponsor, this bill will pass the Senate. Hopefully the House will be a different matter.
My primary contention with SB-172 is that it flies in the face of Colorado’s constitution, defining marriage as one man, one woman only. SB-172 creates a civil union that is as identical to marriage as can be constructed in Colorado statutes.
This is a big issue that strikes at the very core of our society. I will continue to oppose SB-172.
3. In my last report I mentioned a meeting I had scheduled with the governor. Many people sent me some great ideas to take to that meeting, for which I am quite grateful. Unfortunately, the only thing I have learned is how low a priority the governor must have for scheduled meetings with Republican senators. After agreeing to several different meeting times, the governor ended up canceling every one of them.
4. My bill continuing the authorization for the direct entry midwife program has passed the Senate and awaits action in the House. My bill requiring full disclosure of the radiation and known health risks of electronic security scanning systems is hung up in Appropriations with a nearly party-line split on the vote. The chairman (who supports the bill) laid it over, giving me time to try to find one more vote on the committee.
5. HB-1082 would suspend the vehicle emission testing program in Larimer and Weld counties. Sen. Renfroe and I are working hard to get this bill passed in the Senate. Rep. Vaad did a great job of getting all Republicans and one Democrat to support it in the House. We need three Democrat Senators, at least.