Jay on the Floor of the Colorado House

March 20, 2014|Posted in: Blog Posts

Yesterday, I spent the morning at the Capital, as is my usual pattern. Again, I was a guest of one of our GOP legislators on the House floor. There is a place on the side of the room where I always sit, next to the GOP representatives.

While there, I saw the effects of what happens when you have a Democrat-controlled house of government. I saw it specifically regarding the handling of HB 1227, sponsored by Rep. Ginal (D). It was entitled “Sunset Dental Examiners Board”.

The bill was designed to keep that board in existence (not a bad idea), but a last-minute amendment also added a provision to the law which allowed a dental professional to self-refer to a support program for certain misconduct. The provision allows the professional to self-refer, and if that happens, the information from that referral cannot be used to support any criminal charges.

I understood how the provision might be beneficial to health professionals, but in some ways it seems to me to be a “get out of jail free” provision that might also be subject to abuse. I can see how people who have been criminally abused by a dentist or hygenist might really be angry if all of a sudden those people are not subject to prosecution for their crimes.

From what I could see, this amendment was added by Rep. Ginal as somewhat of a surprise during the second reading.

Rep. Gerou (R) rose and pointed out that such an amendment should have been presented to the originating committee, which has the time and expertise through experts and testimony to sort-through the real effects of this change, rather sprung upon the Representatives during second reading.

Further, Rep. Gerou had some questions on precisely how this law was supposed to work. It quickly became obvious that Rep. Ginal did not understand enough of her own bill to answer those questions, and she had to leave the podium to go get some help in doing so. She finally did provide sufficient answers to the questions, and the amended bill passed.

The conversations of the Republican legislators I heard during the discussion of these bills were that when the Republicans had the majority, “We were nice to them (the Democrats)”. But now, the Democrats are not even courteous in their actions. The Democrats are shoving bills through without any consideration of the Republican views.

In my view, it appears that the Democrats have little consideration for an orderly process in legislation, and might be in a little bit of a panic. Do they see the avalanche of votes against them on the horizon. Maybe.

We desperately need common sense in the Colorado legislature. This fall, we have a chance to achieve that result – if we elect the right people.