Who’s in charge at the Colorado State Capitol these days? Big Labor:
A bill whose only aim was to make it easier for local school districts to get their new buildings inspected was blindsided today on the Senate floor by union-led opposition, with all but two of the chamber’s Democrats voting to kill the measure. Three of the Democrats who voted with the majority against Senate Bill 64 [PDF]–Sens. Bob Bacon, of Fort Collins, Rollie Heath, of Boulder, and Evie Hudak, of Arvada–had voted in favor of it in the Senate Education Committee only two weeks earlier.
What changed their minds? The bill’s sponsor, the GOP’s Sen. Keith King, of Colorado Springs, says it was the fact that the Journeyman Plumbers and Gas Fitters Union began lobbying heavily against his proposal after its uneventful hearing in committee.
King, who was left fuming today after his the voting flip-flops, said the episode shows Big Labor’s uprecedented [sic] clout at the Capitol these days with Democrats firmly in control of both chambers of the legislature.
“This was a minor bill, a clean-up bill,” he said, meaning it only was drafted to clarify and fine-tune previous legislation. “Unfortunately, this seems to illustrate the lock that organized labor has on some members of the General Assembly.” [link added]
Hearing the exchange live this morning, I was almost flabbergasted by the about-face of several Democrats who couldn’t explain why they were voting against the simple piece of legislation, and the sound of rising frustration in the voice of the normally reserved and cool Keith King.
Union interests over a minor bill to help promote more efficient school inspections. Wow. Simply wow. Is this New Jersey? Michigan? California? … or Colorado?