As we've reported, Governor John Hickenlooper called for a special legislative session following the blockage of a civil unions bill. The governor's office has identified seven bills that Hickenlooper hopes will be addressed beginning on Monday, including the controversial THC driving bill. Does that mean Hickenlooper will sign the latter if it passes? Not necessarily -- but neither does it guarantee he won't.
Here are the seven proposals cited by Hickenlooper.
• Funding of Colorado Water Conservation Board projects.
• Penalties for persons who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Authorization of civil unions.
• Administration of the unemployment insurance program to stabilize unemployment insurance rates, facilitating the issuance of unemployment revenue bonds and accelerating the creation of the Division of Unemployment Insurance in the Department of Labor and Employment.
• Creating "benefit corporations" in Colorado.
• Registering Special Mobile Machinery Fleets.
• Submitting to the registered electors of the State of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado Constitution repealing provisions deemed obsolete.
Corresponding by e-mail, Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown notes that the highlighting of these measures shouldn't be interpreted as evidence the governor supports each bill. "We did not lobby for all of them," he writes.
Brown confirms that the governor's office consulted with Republican leadership, as well as assorted Democratic representatives and senators, before finalizing the roster.
The civil unions bill is obviously getting the most attention, and in an interview with 9News, Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty made it clear he has the power to reassign the measure to another committee or take other tacks that could doom what appeared to be its likely passage. No such tack will likely be applied to the THC driving bill, however, since the majority of Republicans in the House are thought to support it.
If the seven measures in question aren't put on the agenda for the special session, does the governor have any options beyond the bully pulpit to ensure that they'll be considered? "Not that I am aware of," Brown concedes, adding, "Bills that failed during the legislative session (or might fail during the special session) can always come back when the General Assembly reconvenes in January."
With the special session looming, that seems like a very long time.
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More from our Politics archive: "THC driving bill killed in plot that snuffed out civil unions measure."