With Just Two Days to Go, Will Lawmakers Work Up to the Bell on Redistricting?

May 2011

The $7 billion budget bill may be passed, but it looks as though the Colorado Legislature won't exhale until the eleventh hour. In the little time remaining before Wednesday's midnight deadline, "wild debate" surrounds the tense redistricting issue (the Spot). Both parties want to capitalize on the re-drawing of boundaries for Colorado's seven congressional districts, particularly concerning Denver's suburbs.

Neither party is content with the other's proposed maps. The Democrats' bill died at midnight Monday when it failed to receive a vote, and Republicans' version, which the House passed late Monday, has "no chance of survival when it gets to the Democratic-controlled Senate" (Denver Post).   

House Speaker Frank McNulty's optimism waned as the debates dragged on, telling the Pueblo Chieftain, "It's unfortunate that in the end we didn't get there." Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee tweeted that Sen. Ted Harvey was playing the Jeopardy theme song on his iPad: "Thanks for the earworm!" 

Sans solution, the issue may be called into special session or decided by the courts (Associated Press). 

But wait, there's more: When this week began, there were more than 100 bills still requiring debate—issues range from marijuana to bail bonds—but it appears lawmakers are chiseling away at the list (Durango Herald). Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, suggests a work-around: “We really could come here every year and get the four or five must-do items, kill the rest, and the world would probably be a better place” (Colorado Springs Gazette).