A bit of interesting news from the State Capitol… freshman Representative Kathleen Curry (D – Gunnison), also the chair of the Agriculture Committee, has asked for and received permission to take her committee on a field trip. Rep. Curry believes – and Speaker Andrew Romanoff agrees – that it is worth the taxpayer expenditure for all 11 members of the committee (and who knows how many staff?) to jaunt over to Glenwood Springs in order to discuss a bill on surface mineral rights.
When they board the bus for the Feb. 14 field trip, what lobbyist will be packing the brown-bag lunches? Will the committee members have to write a one-page essay on their experience?
Although I haven’t accessed state archival material, the course of action does seem unprecedented. No one available can recall in recent memory the Colorado General Assembly taking field trips to hold any committee meetings off-site.
Where are Speaker Romanoff’s priorities in permitting this taxpayer-funded grandstanding? In his extended remarks on the subject, he reportedly hinted at the possibility of holding committee meetings in the Capitol during evenings and weekends, too. For the sake of the Capitol’s full-time employees (e.g., maintenance, security), I hope he reconsiders.
Is he saying that four months isn’t enough time to deal with the state’s pressing problems, except by resorting to such unusual measures? What is so earth-shattering that can’t be dealt with between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday? I think the state gets along just fine – and often quite better – when the legislature is not in session.