But it didn’t have to be this way.
There was a group ready to make a deal in order to get more money for roads and to spare the state a ballot fight over TABOR come fall. But Hullinghorst met those overtures with the grace of an executioner. In other words, Madame Speaker let it be known she would systematically execute GOP priorities.
Funding for rural schools added by bipartisan majorities? Speaker Hullinghorst said no.
Construction defects reform? Hullinghorst killed it.
Legislation to give funding equity to charter school students authored by fellow Democrat Angela Williams? For three weeks, the Speaker told lobbyists and legislators that the bill would never see the light of day.
And over and over and over again. The bills may be different, but the trend is the same. Speaker Hullinghorst wouldn’t deal, wouldn’t compromise, and wouldn’t even make a good faith effort to compromise.
Word on the street is that even the Hickenlooper Administration is seething over the Speaker’s arrogance. Hick wanted the hospital provider fee deal, but it died on the doorstep of the Speaker’s office.
Without her cooperation, Senate leadership really had no way to get it to the floor for a vote. Hullinghorst wanted it her way or the (unfunded) highway. There are some political realities that Hullinghorst had to face. This is a split legislature and Hullinghorst refused to work collaboratively within that environment.