Senate Democrats Kill Two Redistricting Bills In Less Than 24 Hours
This evening Senate Democrats voted to kill House Bill 11-1319, the Colorado Communities redistricting map, in the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. The bill’s presentation came hours after Senate Republicans forced Democrats to assign the bill to a committee after enacting a procedural move to have every bill read at length until Democrats conceded to hold a public hearing.
“This is the second redistricting bill Senate Democrats killed in less than 24 hours, including one they authored,” said Senator Greg Brophy, R-Wray. “Despite the fact that we have a constitutional duty to redraw Colorado’s congressional districts, Democrats chose to punt and give this task to the courts.”
The Democrats’ decision to kill yet another redistricting proposal guarantees Colorado’s congressional districts will once again be drawn by unelected members of the court system.
“House Bill 11-1319 respected communities of interest, avoided unnecessary divisions in cities and honored the organic testimony heard at the statewide redistricting hearings,” said Brophy. “It’s clear the Democrats had no intention of passing a redistricting map and intended to give this to the courts the entire time. Their actions show a clear pattern of deception to the people of Colorado.”
Senator Brophy went on to point out several actions taken by Democrats that demonstrated their intention to give the redistricting process to the courts. Brophy referenced as evidence: House Bill 10-1408 which repealed congressional district criteria, the Democrat filibuster of their own redistricting proposal, their refusal of Republican offers to draw a bipartisan map in public, and tonight’s committee hearing.
“While Republicans were willing to concede to several of their points to draw this map, we were absolutely unwilling to compromise the Eastern Plains and communities of interest across the state to get their support. Unfortunately this means the redistricting process is now out of the hands of the General Assembly,” concluded Brophy.
House Bill 11-1319, the Colorado Communities map, died on a party-line vote. Democrat Senators Rollie Heath, Bob Bacon and Betty Boyd voted ‘no’ while Republican Senators Bill Cadman and Kevin Grantham voted ‘yes.’
Senate Democrats stop Republican effort to unfairly draw Colorado Congressional districts in their favor
“The map we saw tonight is another example of them trying to rig the game”
DENVER— Tonight, Senate Republicans continued their fight for a congressional district map that will give them an unfair political advantage. This action follows a report by the Denver Post entitled “GOP admits skewing Colorado redistricting maps,” which revealed that Republicans have been drawing maps that will give their party a long-term statewide political edge. All of this takes place as the legislature honors its obligation to redraw Colorado’s congressional lines every 10 years following the U.S. Census to account for shifts in population.
At the beginning of this legislative session, legislators formed an historic bipartisan redistricting committee. As originally conceived, the bipartisan committee was to work together to take input from people across the state and use that input to create a map that all sides could agree on. For the past 30 years, Colorado congressional maps have been settled in court, a costly and contentious outcome that legislators hope to avoid.
Tonight, Republicans argued for another skewed map before the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. Despite their protests, Democrats on the committee defeated the bill, calling instead for fair, competitive congressional districts.
State Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), co-chair of the historic bipartisan redistricting committee and chair of the State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee offered the following comment:
“Last week, Republicans admitted to deliberately drawing districts to give their party an unfair political advantage and solidify their majority for the next decade. Democrats have expressed our sincere willingness to work with Republicans. The map we saw tonight is another example of them trying to rig the game, and for us that’s a non-starter. These maps create districts that lock in people who have a darn good chance of becoming Congressmen or women for life. Colorado voters deserve fair and competitive congressional districts that allow them to hold their elected representatives accountable.”
Last week, Senate Democrats introduced the “Colorado Compromise” redistricting map. The Colorado Compromise map came together by taking public input given at meetings around the state, and it incorporates ideas advanced by both parties. The Colorado Compromise map includes districts that are competitive (five out of seven districts have less than a seven point difference between registered Republicans and Democrats) and that protect communities of interest such as city and county boundaries and transportation corridors.
Below is a copy of the Colorado Compromise redistricting map and the correlating voter registration numbers for each congressional district:
(Click to enlarge map) (Click to enlarge table)
Below are points of compromise between “The Colorado Compromise” map released today and previous maps, both Democratic and Republican:
CD2-Does not put Grand Junction and Boulder in the same district. Central Mountain Community and tourism-based economy whole while other maps put Eagle County with parts of Weld County.
CD3- Does not put Grand Junction and Boulder in the same district. Keeps Western Slope whole to the same extent that Republican maps do.
CD4-Keeps Northern Colorado together and is more compact; while other maps have put Fort Collins and Baca County (South Eastern corner of Colorado) in the same district.
CD5-Keeps El Paso County whole based upon Republican requests. 5 military bases are kept together while other maps put Park (a Central Mountain County) with Elbert (an Eastern Plains County) in the same district.
CD6-Preserves E-470, C-470, I-225 transportation corridors while alternate maps put Parker with East Colfax in the same district.
CD7-Protects city integrity while alternate maps have split cities like Arvada, Westminster and Littleton.
About the Senate Majority
Twenty Democrats comprise the majority of Colorado’s 35-member Senate.
Leadership for the 68th General Assembly includes Senate President Brandon Shaffer; President Pro Tempore Betty Boyd;
Majority Leader John Morse; Assistant Majority Leader Lois Tochtrop, and Caucus Chair Morgan Carroll
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