Legislative procedure can be tricky for sure, but most people understand that once a committee has adjourned there are no more votes. Most people, except for the State Senate Democrats, that is.
Monday night, SB 142, which would require the federal government to give its agricultural public lands to the state that would, then, put the profits from the transaction toward education and water storage, died in committee. Then, the bill was resurrected through complex legislative procedure to allow all committee members to vote, and voted on again – after the Senate State Affairs committee had adjourned for the evening.
Committee chairman, Democrat Senator Angela Giron from Pueblo, told the Denver Post, “I messed up.”
While Republicans acknowledged it was simply an error, the bill would have brought $44 million per year to the state for education, according to Republican State Senator Scott Renfroe.
The bill remains in limbo – will it go to the Appropriations Committee or will it be heard on the Senate floor? While the legislature’s lawyers work it out, we have to ask – who’s in charge down at the Capitol?