The first bill proposed by the Senate Democrat majority this session, and harped on ever since, was a protectionist bill that would give preference to contractors with at least 90% Colorado employees up to a five-point advantage over contractors who could do the job for less. Now, in a seeming rhetorical about-face, Democrats are putting their weight behind a set of state personnel reform measures that would…wait for it…allow Colorado state government to hire out-of-state employees.

Let’s get this rhetoric straight — we need more state government contractors who live in Colorado, but less resident employees? If benefits are being meted out, let’s get the widest pool, but when it’s just straight contracts, we need to limit our options?

Somebody call Rick Palacio, the Democrats message is all in a muddle.

From Senate Bill 1 (PDF):

…for a services contract that is, in either case, worth more than $1 million, the agency or body must grant a 3% preference to the bidder or offeror (contractor) if the contractor certifies that at least 90% of the employees who will perform the requirements of the contract are Colorado residents [Peak emphasis].

Ok, now compare that to the state personnel rules also backed by the Democrats’ leadership, as described by The Denver Post‘s Tim Hoover describes:

Change the current requirement that says applicants for most jobs have to be Colorado residents and give the state personnel director some discretion to alter the requirement. The change also would allow out-of-state applicants for jobs that are within 30 miles of the state’s border, where requiring only in-state applicants often makes it hard to fill jobs with qualified applicants. [Peak emphasis]

Which is it, Democrats? Protectionism or free market?

Do you want the best person for the job or just the one that can vote for your re-election?

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