Tempers Flare Over GOP Moves In Committee At The Statehouse

Jan 27, 2015
Originally published on January 26, 2015 7:02 am

Colorado's new Republican Senate has majority flexed their muscles at the state capitol, using their power on the Joint Budget Committee to defund a 2013 law allowing people in the country illegally to obtain a state driver's license. They also struck down a bill to harmonize Colorado's civil unions law with a gay marriage ban that was deemed unconstitutional by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. On top of that, a commission looking at pay equity between men and women was struck down.

With split legislative control and Democrats in charge of the House, how will this impact both parties politically?

We asked statehouse reporters Lynn Bartels with The Denver Post and Peter Marcus with The Durango Herald to analyze the events.

On Driver's Licenses for People In The Country Illegally

Peter Marcus, Durango Herald

"The pomp and circumstance at the start of session quickly faded and all the talk of bipartisanship faded and the immigrant driver's license issue it a great example. What we're talking about is money that is there. It's a self sustaining program that's paid for by fees from applicants. So really all [Republicans] had to do was authorize the money for a bill that was already on the books. So Democrats were particularly upset about this."

Lynn Bartels, Denver Post

"I think you're going to see some killing fields here on one side or the other. You wonder what's going to be left to send to the Governor."

On The Political Consequences

Peter Marcus, Durango Herald

"Everything the Republicans did, really didn't play into the middle class narrative Democrats are trying to push. So looking at 2016, major elections coming. Democrats are definitely going to be able to use some of these votes as ammunition to say Republicans aren't in touch with what Americans want."

Lynn Bartels, Denver Post

"In fact somebody said to me 'wow, the Senate Republicans in a single day managed to upset immigrants, women, and gays, this is great.'"

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