At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Democrats made a big to-do about a package of jobs bills they introduced to show voters just how concerned Democrat legislators were about the fragile state of our economy.  At the news conference related to this jobs bills package, Democrat Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino told reporters:

“We have consistently placed our highest priority on accelerating our economy so we could concentrate on good jobs.”

Not surprisingly, it was all for show as the jobs package the Democrats introduced has been largely collecting dust in some legislative corner.  Let us remember that it’s the Democrat leadership that sets the calendar for the House.  As the Denver Business Journal‘s Ed Sealover wrote:

“This limited advancement of jobs bills — while the House and Senate have spent days on end discussing civil unions and firearms restrictions — has created a divide in what began as a bipartisan effort for the Legislature to do what it could to improve the economy.”

Of the the five jobs bills that Democrats hailed at the beginning of the session, just one has passed out of the House, the Advanced Industries Acceleration Act (HB13-1001).  The other four have been stuck in committee.  Here are the quagmired bills:

  • HB13-1002: Small Business Centers Appropriations (sent to Appropriations Committee on 1/29)
  • HB13-1003: Economic Gardening Pilot Project (sent to Appropriations Committee on 1/29)
  • HB13-1004: Colorado Career Act (sent to Appropriations Committee on 2/7)
  • HB13-1005: Basic Ed and Career and Tech Ed Pilot Program (sent to Appropriations Committee on 1/28)

While Ferrandino blames “the process” on the bills’ lack of movement, noting that he will not “circumnavigate the process”, several bills that were introduced after have made it through the Appropriations Committee. The most known of such bills are the gun control bills – the ban on concealed carry on college campuses (HB13-1226), background checks on gun transfers (HB13-1229) and payment of these background checks (HB13-1228) – that made their way through appropriations.

Other examples of bills that also made it through appropriations and were introduced after the business bills include:

  • HB13-1038: Voting Rights for Youth in Corrections
  • HB13-1039: Moneys Credited to Legislative Dept Cash Fund (Expands the sources of money that can be added to the legislative department cash fund)
  • HB13-1105: Energy Saving Mortgage Program (Creates a Colorado energy saving mortgage fund that provides mortgage rate reductions for those who buy energy efficient houses. READ: A nod to the green energy industry)
  • HB13-1135: Voter Pre-Registration at Age 16 (Allows those over the age of 16 to pre-register to vote in preparation for their 18th birthday)
  • HB13-1183: Extend Conservation Easement Tax Credit Cap (extends the value of the land that can be donated to conservation easements from $22M to $45M)

Maybe Coloradans should stop listening to what Democrats say and start watching what they’re doing.  HINT: Too often they’re vastly different.