Colorado: Legislative Leadership Kills Transportation Bonding Bill

Although the General Assembly is not current in session, that doesn’t mean legislators are idle. Numerous interim committees have been busy preparing bills for the 2017 session.

Recently, the Transportation Legislation Review Committee (TLRC), passed the Fix Colorado Roads Act, commonly referred to as TRANS II on a solid bi-partisan vote. The TRLC is a legislative interim committee comprised of both the House and Senate Transportation Committees.   The TLRC passed measure mirrored last year’s Senate Bill 16-210. TLRC Fix Colorado Roads Act proposal created a $3.5B bonding program to accelerate projects statewide and was funded, in part, by an annual continuation of the $158M in base level of funding the Joint Budget Committee appropriated last year for transportation.

Although supporters celebrated, their success was short-lived. Several weeks later, the TRLC bill was killed by the Legislative Council on a 9-9 partisan vote. The Legislative Council (not to be confused with the non-partisan Legislative Council that provides legislative research for the General Assembly) is an executive oversight committee made up of legislative leadership. It includes House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, Senate President Bill Cadman and local legislators Brian DelGrosso, Perry Buck, Rollie Health, Kevin Lundberg, Matt Jones and Vicki Marble among others. Quite a few of these members are term-limited and will not even hold office in 2017. All the Republicans voted to support the bill and all the Democrats voted against it.

This is a real shame. If the Legislative Council had not voted to kill the bill, it would’ve been primed for introduction in January 2017 with bi-partisan support from both the House and Senate Transportation Committees. It doesn’t mean the bill can’t be successful in 2017 but its road (pardon the pun) will now be less certain.

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