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Special Session Getting Heated Before it Begins

Posted: October 2, 2017 at 11:30 am by , in Capitol Coverage

Governor John Hickenlooper doubled down today (Friday) on why he thinks a special legislative session is needed. Some tax revenues, he says, are not going to places like the Denver Zoo and museums because of a mistake in a bill he signed earlier this year. Republican leaders say the problem isn’t urgent and the special session scheduled for October 2nd is unnecessary. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

The problem is in an expansive bipartisan bill to fund rural hospitals. The measure inadvertently prevented eight special districts from collecting sales taxes on retail marijuana. Voters had already approved that idea as a way to fund everything from museums to transit. Hickenlooper called the special session, but Republicans say they weren’t adequately looped in.

“Hey I accept that, miscommunications happen. That’s not a reason to say we’re not going to do this. The special districts in no way caused this, and they’re being penalized. No-one can explain to me why they’re being penalized”, said Hickenlooper.

Republicans want to wait until lawmakers come back to the capitol in January to fix the problem, which most special districts say they are ok with. But those special districts have agreed to pay the $75,000 cost of a three-day special session. Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham said in a statement that it sent a very bad precedent about the fairness of the legislative process and was quote one of the worse ideas I’ve heard from this Governor.