DENVER One of the few proposals that Gov. John Hickenlooper has publicly supported died quietly Wednesday afternoon.
Unlike past governors who laid out detailed lists of favorite bills each January, Hickenlooper did not approach the Legislature with a long agenda when he took office.
But he did call for legislators to create a business impact statement to show how a bill might burden businesses. The Legislature already prepares fiscal impact statements to show how bills will affect the states bank accounts.
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, did not have a sponsor for the bill, so Republican Sen. Shawn Mitchell adopted the idea and turned it into Senate Bill 116.
I thought that was a wonderful idea, Mitchell said. Thats what Senate Bill 116 is, a pro-jobs measure, a good-government awareness measure, something to let us consider the impact of our actions.
Mitchells bill languished on the Senate calendar for three months until the State Affairs Committee took it up Wednesday afternoon. By that time, Mitchell knew his bills fate the committee often serves as a disposal ground for unwanted bills.
The panels Democratic majority killed it, 3-2.
If business fiscal impact statements, why not non-profit impact statements as well? Theres any number of impacts that we dont really consider, said Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood.
Mitchell replied that business activity is what funds the government, and the Legislature is more meddlesome with businesses than with other groups.
You should start with the feet you step on the most, he said.
It was not clear Wednesday whether Hickenloopers team had lobbied for Mitchells bill.
Ironically, Mitchell got an unfavorable fiscal impact statement on his bill. The Legislatures staff, which prepares the statements, estimated it would need an additional 6.3 employees and $402,000 to hire enough people to prepare business impact statements for an estimated 500 bills a year.
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