Mark Ferrandino's fearless House Democrats are at it again. When we say fearless, we mean they are without fear of offending their caucus leader for ignoring his will. This time, Ferrandino's caucus crossed his leadership on a bipartisan bill that sources say Ferrandino has told the GOP he supports.
Yesterday, the House Economic and Business Development Committee passed the bipartisan SUCCESS Act, without a single Democrat vote on the committee. The problem for Democrats on the committee opposing the bill in a party-line vote is the Senate sponsor of the bill is Democrat Sen. Angela Giron from Pueblo.
The bill would stop the Colorado Department of Health and Environment from automatically levying costly fines on businesses who have been shown to make a "good faith effort" at fixing the violation and "cure" the violation with 20 days.
Basically, it's a bill to stop overly aggressive bureaucrats from making life hell for small businesses who are doing their level best to comply with an endless list of mandates and regulations.
But if it's a bi-partisan bill backed by small business owners, a Senate Democrat sponsor, and supposedly House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino himself, then why did the full slate of committee Democrats vote against it?
What about Mark Ferrandino's leadership is lacking that his caucus, yet again, willfully disregards his directive?
We think it was smart of Ferrandino to not automatically oppose the SUCCESS Act, as it's a bi-partisan jobs package, and as Ferrandino has repeated ad nauseam, his caucus is supposedly "laser-focused" on jobs. (He hopes you don't read coverage of Joe Miklosi's biker gang-protection bill).
But all those political smarts will be for naught if he can't get his troops to follow suit. His House Democrats don't appear to trust him or his judgment.
Ferrandino will have to make a choice eventually when the bill comes to the floor. Will he join his caucus members in opposing a bipartisan jobs bill, or break from his party and support the bill in public?
(Photo Credit: Colorado News Agency)