Two Good Democratic Bills Face Same Defeat in Committee

March 28, 2012

(Denver) –Two Democratic-sponsored bills with ample support were killed today in State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on party-line votes.

SB12-143, sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver), would have directed the Office of Economic Development to provide information online featuring any non-confidential, non-proprietary data pertaining to Colorado-based businesses. This would have also directed OEDIT to compile and publish the data in formats the private sector could easily access.

The bill takes cues from similar efforts in many states, like Virginia, Oregon and Utah, by directing government to convert antiquated public data into useful modern formats and make it freely available to those in the private sector.

Rep. Pabon said this bill was an attempt to bring government transparency into the 21st Century.

“Senate Bill 143 is about providing government transparency while supporting and fostering innovation in the private sector,” Rep. Pabon said. “This bill simply makes this data more accessible to the private sector and lets the market do the rest.”

SB12-93, sponsored by Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), would have created a 13-member task force comprised of various stakeholders to look at innovative new strategies to control costs of health insurance premiums for both state and local government employees. The task force would have met in the 2012 interim to study issues involving the pooling of resources among government employees in the state to purchase health care insurance. It then would have reported its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly.

Rep. Fields said she was disappointed a bill to help control health care costs was killed.

“The goal is to reduce cost and lower expenses to ultimately enhance health care outcomes,” Rep. Fields said. “This task force would have been a powerful tool to curb costs and look at innovative ways to obtain better quality health care insurance.”

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