When you’ve got a divided legislature one thing that frequently happens is one party introduces a bill to score political points or highlight a wedge issue. They know the bill won’t go anywhere but at least they can raise some money and fire up their base. At most, they can hope to churn up some headlines that can be used in a campaign mail piece later on.
Yet, a recent flashpoint this session has left us scratching our heads as House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst is spending all of her political capital on the battle to exempt the hospital provider fee from the state’s TABOR revenue cap. We know Democrats want to keep as much public money in their grubby little hands as possible, but it’s not like this issue can be translated into an election year boost. It’s actually kind of boring and complicated and certainly doesn’t make for a good sound bite.
Senate Republicans are standing firm in their belief that exempting the fee would violate the constitution, and Hullinghorst’s bill is DOA in the upper chamber. This is an easy win for Senate President Bill Cadman. He gets to stick up for the constitution and keep government from becoming even more bloated. And it doesn’t take him 600+ nuanced words to explain his position.
Yet, Hullinghorst continues to press the issue at every turn. It’s well within her right to do so. We are just blown away by the amount of political capital she is wasting on this right now. Seriously, why charge the hill to get the hospital provider fee turned into an enterprise fund? Just typing that sentence made us yawn. Any smart political operator would have moved on by now.