May 7, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
Two days ago we reported new information on the pending civil unions bill in Colorado. The bill needs to pass through three committees before making it onto the GOP-led House floor, where GOP leadership will then need to make a decision to take up the legislation before the session ends the day after tomorrow. The bill passed through its first two hurdles, even gaining Republican votes from the two committees it passed through. With a few Republicans announcing support for the bill’s final passage, it is almost assured to pass once it comes to the House floor, as long as leadership allows a vote.
But it now seems more unlikely that it will pass through the final hurdle:
Rep. Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan, said it might depend on whether the committees meeting this afternoon send bills to the House Appropriations Committee.
“I will make decisions from there,” he said. “This late in the process we’ll see what comes out of committees and talk about Appropriations in the morning.”
Even if no other bills are sent to Appropriations, Becker could call a hearing. Chairmen control their committee meeting schedules.
The GOP House Speaker Frank McNulty has said that even if the bill gets the necessary votes out of committee and makes it onto the floor, leadership does not have to bring it up. He says:
McNulty pointed out that last year the the Democratic-controlled Senate let bills die on the calendar.
Since this civil unions bill is about the civil rights of an oppressed minority in the state, I hope the Republican leadership might allow a vote to take place in spite of past disagreements with the Democratic party in the state. There are only a couple more days left in the session, which means it would need to be debated tomorrow on the floor if there is any hope of passage by the end of the day Wednesday.
UPDATE: Right before this post was published, this happened:
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) May 7, 2012
We will keep you posted tomorrow.