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Colorado Governor Issues Executive Order Demanding Legislature Consider Civil Union Bill

I mentioned earlier in the week that Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper planned to call a special session of the legislature after House Republicans stalled and killed a civil union bill likely to pass there.

HickenlooperHickenlooper has done that:

Colorado's Democratic governor called on Thursday for a special legislative session to consider a civil unions bill that would grant legal rights to same-sex couples, setting up a potential showdown with Republican lawmakers.

Governor John Hickenlooper said in an executive order calling for the session, due on Monday, that the bill was needed so couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, could "take care of each other and their families."

Hickenlooper has previously told reporters that without the bill, which failed to advance to a vote in the state House of Representatives during the regular session, the state was depriving people of their civil rights.

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  1. This sounds like good news. I have a random technical question though - what does it mean that he issued an executive order calling for a special session? Does it mean the legislators are REQUIRED to be there or face consequences? I'm just curious, I don't know how it works.

    Posted by: Lucas | May 11, 2012 12:35:28 PM

  2. Yes, The legislature is required to meet and debate and vote on the remaining bills. The executive order forces them to do this.

    Posted by: Rob | May 11, 2012 12:39:22 PM

  3. Good for him, forcing his legislators to stop playing politics and start governing in this instance. Our leaders get so caught up in playing games, thinking "If we allow them to vote, majority will pass". Well... Yeah, that's why the system is theoretically not too shabby!

    Posted by: Wdeanis | May 11, 2012 2:01:14 PM

  4. Unfortunately Rob isn't correct. The legislature is only required to convene, and then theoretically, could adjourn immediately.

    Because there were other important bills caught in the melee, that's not likely.

    What is likely, though, is that Speaker McNulty will remove BJ Nikkel (the one pro-gay Repub) from the Judicial Committee and Civil Unions will die a quick death during the special session.

    Hopefully that won't happen, but it's looking increasingly likely.

    Posted by: Aaron | May 11, 2012 2:38:51 PM

  5. Aaron,

    The bill doesn't have to pass out of committee again, and either way, if McNulty were to do that, all the blame of the bill not passing would rest on him. He would pay for it dearly in November as a result.

    Posted by: Stefan | May 12, 2012 1:40:20 AM

  6. Unfortunately Stefan, you're perpetuating bad information...

    ""This is a complete reset on where bills are assigned and what committees look like," House Speaker Frank McNulty told Fox-31 News"

    Posted by: Aaron | May 12, 2012 11:27:11 AM

  7. I'm a Denver resident and just got robo-called by a right-wing group called Compass Colorado. They want me to call Hickenlooper at 303/866-2471 and my State Senator, Mike Johnson at 720/838-7633 to complain about their support for civil unions. I called both of them to THANK them for their support; maybe some of you readers could do so, also.

    Also, Compass Colorado left their number 720/432-7362, and I called them to tell them that civil unions ARE an economic issue and WOULD bring jobs and revenue to Colorado (their complaint about the special session was that the legislature should be focused on those issues.) Start dialing!

    Posted by: Steve | May 12, 2012 2:59:56 PM

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