“Drinking with Dad” bill defeated; state worker pay raises approved

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Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, at the Capitol earlier this year.

DENVER — A proposal to allow Coloradans between 18 and 21 to drink alcohol with their parents went down faster than an ice cold Coors Lite on a hot summer’s day.

The so-called “Drinking With Dad” bill from a Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, would have allowed parents to buy alcohol for their children at Colorado bars and restaurants if they were 18 and older but not 21 yet.

Brophy argued that the bill would have helped parents teach adult children how to drink responsibly in public and that similar laws passed by other states have helped to lower the rate of drunk driving fatalities and underage DUI’s.

“It’s only right that when someone’s son comes home from serving in the military on the front lines that they’re able to buy that son a beer,” Brophy said.

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee disagreed, voting 4-1 against Senate Bill 54.

“I’m convinced that this bill will have another day,” Brophy told FOX31 Denver following the hearing. “You will be able to have margaritas with mom some day on a patio at a restaurant and it will be a step in the right direction.”

JBC approves pay raise for state employees

Also Wednesday, the Joint Budget Committee gave preliminary approval to a pay raise for state workers that exceeds the budget request from Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The new budget proposal would include a 2 percent baseline increase plus additional funding for merit raises, for a total potential raise of 4.4 percent for high performing state employees.

Colorado state employees have not seen a base pay increase four years and, according to a recent study paid for by Colorado WINS, the union that represents them, those workers are making an average of 9 percent less than their private sector counterparts.

The JBC’s action today is encouraging news for public workers throughout Colorado who have been falling behind for almost five years,” said Colorado WINS President Patty Moore, who works at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. “This is a step in the right direction after years of doing more with less.”

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