March 23, 2012
(Denver) – Republicans on the House Appropriations committee failed to pass and then failed to kill a bipartisan jobs bill to invest in workforce and entrepreneurial training for Colorado’s unemployed this morning in a blatant show of partisan politics.
The action ground to a halt when Rep. Gerou (R-Evergreen) cast a “no” vote on House Bill 12-1272, and then motioned to postpone the bill indefinitely. After several minutes of hemming and hawing, Rep. Gerou reversed her motion to kill the bill, condemning this good jobs bill to limbo on the House Appropriations calendar.
“This is politics at its worst,” House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) said. “The business community supported this bill, labor supported it, and the Appropriations Committee played hide-the-ball with a good jobs bill. This is unacceptable. People in Colorado are hurting, trying to get back to work, and today’s action by Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee was a purely political move that damages the recovering economy in Colorado.”
The bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) and Rep. Robert Ramirez (R-Arvada), would have invested $8 million into enhanced unemployment benefits for unemployed Coloradans seeking workforce or entrepreneurial training for high-demand occupations. This bill would have helped those currently out of work to get the training they need to get back into the workforce while also receiving unemployment benefits.