Saturday, May 5, 2012

UPDATE: Civil unions bill to live another day

Posted By on Sat, May 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Rep. Mark Ferrandino
  • Rep. Mark Ferrandino

Perhaps the civil unions bill could make it to the state House floor in time for a vote before the Legislature adjourns Wednesday, after all.

Senate Bill 2 has survived two committee votes in the Republican-controlled House, with the House Appropriations Committee remaining. But the Denver Post reports that Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen and vice chair of the Appropriations Committee, plans to vote in favor of sending SB 2 to the floor of the House.

Gerou's vote, along with full support from Democrats on the committee, would be enough to keep the bill alive. The committee action should come Monday or Tuesday.

To read the Post's latest story, go here.

However, it still has to be debated by the full House before an initial vote can take place. And if that debate doesn't happen by Tuesday, the bill would run out of time and die regardless.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he hopes the bill is considered by the full House and will sign it if passed, and the Senate already has approved it.

——————ORIGINAL POST, 4:35 P.M., FRIDAY———————

That Senate Bill 2 has made it this far in the Republican-controlled House is pretty amazing. With two committees down, the bill authorizing civil unions in Colorado now faces its final barrier Tuesday in the House Appropriations Committee.

If it moves out of that committee, it will head to the floor for a vote, where it is expected to pass.

Yesterday, in a closely watched vote in the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. B.J. Nikkel of Loveland broke with her party and voted to move the bill out of committee.

Last year, she voted in that same committee to kill a similar bill.

Next up was Finance, where another single Republican — Rep. Don Beezley of Broomfield — voted in favor of the bill.

Lynn Bartels, of the Denver Post, has a story that foreshadowed Beezley's vote:

Rep. Don Beezley hasn't said how he would vote on the bill, but prior to the session this morning, Beezley walked up to Rep. B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland, and gave her a big hug.

She cast the deciding vote Thursday that resulted in the House Judiciary Committee passing Senate Bill 2.

"I think B.J. did the greatest thing politically," he said. "She voted her conscience. I thought that was very courageous."

The bill, which was sponsored by House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino of Denver, however faces its final hurdle Tuesday in the Appropriations Committee before it can make it to the floor.

Is there gonna be another Republican willing to buck the anti-civil union crowd?

Here is the list of members for that committee, if you want to contact them over the weekend and let them know how you feel.

Reps. Marsha Looper and Bob Gardner, both from El Paso County, are clearly opposed to civil unions. Gardner voted against SB 2 in Judiciary, and Looper has publicly called civil unions a grave threat to society.

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