May 16, 2012

(Denver) – As the 2012 legislative session came to a close today, House Democratic Leader Mark Ferrandino urged the public to judge it by its achievements, not by the 11th-hour breakdown of the democratic process engineered by Speaker Frank McNulty to kill a civil unions bill.

“I don’t want the outcome on civil unions to obscure the legislature’s real accomplishments this year,” said Rep. Ferrandino, the sponsor of the civil unions bill. “On balance, I’m proud of our work.”

“With strong bipartisan support we passed a budget that halted further cuts to K-12 education and restored the senior homestead tax exemption,” said Rep. Ferrandino (D-Denver). “We modernized the state personnel system and began to fix the Medicaid payment system.”

“And after Speaker McNulty blew up civil unions and 29 other bills at the end of the regular session, we came together in a bipartisan way to rescue the most important measures. It took a special session to finish our cleanup of the speaker’s mess, but we improved the state’s water infrastructure and saved employers some money on unemployment insurance, and both of those bills will mean more jobs for Coloradans.”

“We made other progress on jobs and economic development, despite the House Republicans’ failure to offer a jobs agenda this session,” Rep. Ferrandino said. “The Skills for Jobs Act will help Coloradans choose careers that are in demand, and we’ll be making it easier for unemployed Coloradans to get the training that will get them back on payrolls. And we’re taking the first steps to overhaul enterprise zones, the state’s largest but least efficient economic development program.”

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