(April 28) – Republicans on the Legislative Council this afternoon voted against collaborating to solve issues relating to affordable housing, affordable healthcare, utility rates and child welfare.
“It’s shocking to me that in a time when Colorado families are facing higher housing costs and challenges affording health care, Republicans have voted lockstep to shut down discussion and collaboration,” said Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver. “They also rejected partnering to solve issues related to child abuse and utility rates. These are complicated issues to solve and it’s a shame they turned away from working with us over the coming months to come up with solutions for Colorado families.”
The requests that failed on party-line votes include committees to study:
- Policy solutions related to housing and homelessness, including approaches to help middle-income families attain homeownership. Requested by Speaker Duran and Rep. Barbara McLachlan
- The implementation of recommendations from the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care. Requested by Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood
- Best practices for child welfare cases involving injury or potential harm. Requested by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont
- Rate increases by Black Hills Energy. Requested by Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo
The requests that were approved include committees to study:
- Prevention, intervention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support strategies for opioid and other substance use disorders. Requested by Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood
- How evidence-based and cost-effective sentencing reform could be implemented to ensure the best use of prison resources for the protection of public safety. Requested by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs
- Improving state and local public safety systems, including the growing problems of heroin and prescription opiate addiction and mental health issues that result in growing jail populations. Requested by Sen. Leroy Garcia
- How to support aspiring farmers and ranchers, while also enhancing climate resiliency, meeting growing demands for local food, promoting innovation, and sustaining rural communities and economies. Requested by Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail
The Legislative Council approves written requests for interim study committees and is composed of 18 legislators, nine from each party. Each request for an interim committee must secure 10 votes to move forward.