From the Colorado Freedom Force dated Jan. 8, 2024:
On Wednesday, the Colorado General Assembly will convene.
For 120 days, representatives will scramble to pass or defeat as many bills as time allows.
But this year, the Democrats, who hold a super majority in both chambers just might be a little more cautious about following the rules.
That's not just because it's an election year, but also because a lawsuit was just filed to in a District Court against Governor Jared Polis and Speaker Julie McCluskie to overturn HB23B-1002 - the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit passed during November's Special Legislative Session which robbed over $180 million from your TABOR refunds.
In their rush to ram through this new law, Colorado Democrats violated the constitution by ignoring Rep. Scott Bottoms (the plaintiff of this lawsuit) when he repeatedly asked to be recognized from the floor, including submitting a written request to the House Clerk.
A legal victory here is not only a huge win for TABOR, but it will be a firm reminder to Colorado Legislators that Coloradans have had enough overreach, especially when it comes to increasing taxes.
If this violation of the rules sounds somewhat familiar, that's because something similar happened just a few years ago, and Colorado Republicans won their lawsuit.
When trying to pass HB19-1172, which was more than 2,000 pages long, a State Senator asked that the bill to be read aloud.
Trying to skirt the rules, Senate Democrats set up six separate laptops, each reading different sections of the bill simultaneously at a rate of 650 words per minute. As you might image, it was incomprehensible and downright chaotic.
Ultimately, the Colorado Supreme Court shot down the tactic.
It's a Strong Case
Asking to be recognized and asking for a bill to be read at length are Bottoms' constitutional right as a state legislator.
"Section 22. Reading and passage of bills. Every bill shall be read by title when introduced, and at length on two different days in each house; provided, however, any reading at length may be dispensed with upon unanimous consent of the members present. All substantial amendments made thereto shall be printed for the use of the members before the final vote is taken on the bill, and no bill shall become a law except by a vote of the majority of all members elected to each house taken on two separate days in each house, nor unless upon its final passage the vote be taken by ayes and noes and the names of those voting be entered on the journal."
"Section 22b. Effect of sections 20 and 22a. Any action taken in violation of section 20 or 22a of this constitution shall be null and void."
The Colorado Freedom Force has joined with a coalition of organizations to crowdfund the legal fees for this suit, seeking to raise a combined $30,000 as soon as possible.
It is a recurring trend to see Democrats, who hold large majorities in the Legislature, bend or even ignore the rules entirely in their quest to force through their radical agenda for Colorado.
Oftentimes, legal action is our last remaining hope to defend our rights in these instances.
But, this legal victory will carry larger ramifications than just restoring $182.5 million to TABOR refunds. A victory for Rep. Bottoms will be on the minds of representatives throughout this legislative session, likely keeping them in line and conscious of the rules a bit more than usual.
Hopefully you are ready for a busy session, because we are!
The Colorado Freedom Force