GOP ‘pro-business’ bills would not really have helped business
On June 26, the Times-Call ran a story titled “GOP: No progress with biz regs,” which suggested Democrats stopped several bills Republicans claimed would “help business.” This story came just days after the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce recognized Democrats for their pro-business efforts.
The story failed to mention that these extreme Republican bills wouldn’t have “helped business.” They would have helped a few lobbyists while threatening Colorado’s state budget.
One example was a bill by Republican Sen. Mike Kopp that would have crippled the bipartisan Joint Budget Committee, a hard-working group of legislators, three Republicans and three Democrats, whose mission is to balance the budget with shrinking revenues, meet the need to educate our kids, comply with unfunded federal mandates and run our law enforcement, judiciary and prison systems.
This uninformed bill by Sen. Kopp would have replaced the Joint Budget Committee with a non-elected (read: unaccountable) group from the business community. The reason this poorly reasoned, poorly written legislation didn’t survive is because it was fatally flawed.
The article also claimed a bill by Republican Sen. Shawn Mitchell was “pro-business.” The truth is Sen. Mitchell took Kopp’s feeble effort and drove it to the absurd. Mitchell’s legislation would have given a small group of business people the ability to veto legislation. This scheme makes a mockery of representative government, a fact that was lost on Mitchell.
The Denver Metro Chamber got it right when it praised several pieces of Democratic business-friendly legislation from the 2011 session. We passed bills to lessen regulation on business, but we killed extreme political grandstanding efforts in favor of real solutions to help business and put people back to work.
SEN. LOIS TOCHTROP
Business, Labor, Technology Committee