Speaker Garnett today aired frustration with journalism that, in “crime wave” context, pins bipartisan criminal justice policy on CO Dems.
Said some reporters are “not doing the amount of work that needs to be done.”
“It’s getting to a place where it’s misleading the public.”
— Alex Burness (@alex_burness) February 22, 2022
Specifically, state House Speaker Alec Garnett seems miffed Democrats’ 2019 law defelonizing fentanyl possession is being pinned on them.
HB-1263 passed in 2019 under a unified Democrat government with overwhelming Democrat majorities, and was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis.
Since its implementation, the law has turned into a giant landmine for Democrats because law enforcement blames it for contributing to the fentanyl epidemic and tragedies like we saw in Commerce City.
Their mistake is likely to be a massive issue in both state and congressional races, where Democrats like Yadira Caraveo and Brittany Pettersen will have to explain why they thought reclassifying thousands of deadly fentanyl doses as a misdemeanor was a good idea.
The reality is there isn’t anything to pin on Democrats, they pinned their fentanyl law to themselves.
A smattering of Republican votes does not absolve Democrats of passing and implementing this law when they control literally every lever of state government.
It’s the nature of politics. Unified government means the incumbent party owns absolutely everything the legislature and executive branch does, especially if that includes fentanyl sentence reductions while people are dying.
We realize that’s probably uncomfortable for a lot of politicians in the state capitol right now.
But it’s the truth, and some Democrats acknowledge their guilt when arguing otherwise.
Others just admit they want to be soft on crime:
We cannot go back to “hard on crime” to address public safety, for that is simply bad policy. Legislation must target the underlying causes, such as lack access to behavioral health treatment, COVID-19 stress, & underfunded K-12 schools.#copolitics #coleg https://t.co/mvpkMsU2Jz
— Senator Pete Lee (@PeteLeeColorado) February 22, 2022