Courtesy of Stand for Colorado
Democrats were able to push through more legislative priorities this session in the state Assembly than they have in many years. Some predicted after the November election that Coloradans would see overreach from lawmakers who wouldn't need to prioritize bipartisanship with a trifecta of power in the state House, Senate and governor's office.
Whether you believe that overreach did in fact occur probably depends, at least in part, on your political beliefs. But Kim Monson, host of radio talk show Americhicks
, says the "Stand for Colorado" rally she's planning goes beyond simple party divides.
"Most people across the spectrum... JFK Democrats, unaffiliated libertarians and conservatives, generally they want to be left alone to live their lives," Monson says. "When you look at all these issues that we'll be talking about, what you see is the heavy hand of force. And that is something that is antithetical to the rugged western Colorado spirit."
The goal of the rally is to raise awareness around legislation passed this session, which Monson believes demonstrates overreach by lawmakers.
A Facebook event
promoting the rally — scheduled from 4 to 5:30 p.m. May 10, on the steps of the state Capitol in Denver — had 154 people "Going" and another 840 "Interested" as of the morning of May 10.
A long list of speakers will discuss several pieces of legislation, including the National Popular Vote law, oil and gas law, red-flag law, sex-ed law, vaccination bill (which failed) and more.
Stand for Colorado supporters will also hold concurrent rallies in Grand Junction, Gunnison, Alamosa, Woodland Park and Montrose. People hoping to refer the National Popular Vote issue to the November ballot will be at all locations collecting signatures.
Brita Horn, former Routt County treasurer, will address House Bill 1322
, Expand Supply Affordable Housing. The bipartisan bill, which takes $30 million a year from the state's unclaimed property trust fund for affordable housing initiatives, amounts to "raiding the piggy bank," Horn says.
According to the Great Colorado Payback website
(which you can search to see if you have any unclaimed property), the fund includes "abandoned financial assets such as stocks and dividends, mutual funds, checking and savings accounts, unpaid wages, securities, life insurance payouts, uncashed checks that are without activity for a certain period of time, as well as the contents of safe deposit boxes for which the rent has been expired for at least five (5) years."
House Bill 1322 passed the House on a vote of 45-18, and the Senate 23-12. Its sponsors included Reps. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, and Perry Will, R-New Castle, along with Sens. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Don Coram, R-Montrose.
“I am thrilled this bill has now passed both chambers with bipartisan support," said Roberts, who was quoted in a May 3 statement from House Democrats. "This a responsible way to support affordable housing without raising taxes."
The Colorado Apartment Association, which opposed a bill that would have allowed local rent-control measures, also endorsed HB1322.
But Horn thinks the bill is a bad idea.
In the event of another Recession, Horn says, "people are going to start looking in [the unclaimed property trust fund], looking for their money to get back — and with interest — and we're going to be so depleted it's going to be an unfunded liability... When that happens, it's going to be on the backs of the taxpayers to backfill it."
Joining Horn at the state Capitol will be Monson, Monument Mayor Don Wilson, Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer and more than a dozen others. Visit standforcolorado.com
for a full list of Denver speakers, and locations for the other rallies.