Governor Hickenlooper called a special session in early October so legislators could fix a mistake in Senate Bill 17-267, passed last spring, that is costing public entities across the state millions of dollars in lost pot tax revenues.
Legislators passed the bill with an error in it that keeps voter-approved special districts across the state from collecting marijuana sales taxes to fund their services. Many of the affected districts, like the Denver Regional Transportation District, the Denver Zoo, the Denver Botanic Gardens and Museum of Nature and Science are on the front range, but western slope entities are losing critical funding as well. Western slope districts losing funds because of the error include the Gunnison Valley Regional Transportation Authority, the Summit Combined Housing Authority, the Roaring Fork Regional Transportation Authority, the San Miguel Regional Transportation Authority and the Edwards Metropolitan District.
At a special session convened to address the problem during the first week of October, a bill to fix the error that originated in the Democratic-controlled House passed by a 37-25 vote, mostly along party lines. Our very own Rep. Dan Thurlow (R-Mesa County), was the only Republican House Representative who voted for the fix. In arguing to pass it, Thurlow said, “We’re here. We spent the money [for the special session]…I think we should just go ahead and fix it.”
Ray Scott is one of Three Responsible for Tanking the Fix
Sounds like common sense, right? Well then, Thurlow was the only Republican with common sense.
State Senator Ray Scott, a Republican of Mesa County who even serves on the Senate Transportation Committee, voted against the fix.
Scott was one of three Republican senators who blocked the measure from passing, resulting in the special session ending without the bill being fixed.
Why would any legislator refuse to fix an error in a bill that is hurting his constituents, when he’s at the Capitol at a special session called for that very purpose?
Ray Scott wouldn’t say. The Denver Post editorial board called the vote “shenanigans” by Republicans, saying the “three GOP lawmakers [who tanked the fix] cast a spiteful, obstructionist vote to score political points and punish innocent government entities with small but significant erroneous budget cuts.”
The most likely reason Ray Scott voted against fixing the typo? The two bills introduced to fix it (one in the Senate and one in the House) were both drafted by Democrats.