DENVER -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper wouldn't say on Monday if he supports a proposal to ban red light cameras and photo radar vans across the state.
FOX31 Denver asked Hickenlooper about Senate Bill 181 Monday a few hours after the bill passed out of the state senate on a 21-14 bipartisan vote.
"I have not seen the version that passed, I know there were some changes made," Hickenlooper responded. "So we're going to look at that first and see what happens in the House."
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, called the bill "the most bipartisan bill of the session.
"I hope the governor will see fit to sign it when it reaches his desk," he continued.
Despite opposition from the Colorado Association of Police Chiefs and the Colorado Municipal League, the bill appears to have public opinion on its side -- and it offers lawmakers in both parties a chance to support a crowd-pleasing, consumer-focused measures just months out from an important election.
"There are a number of people who feel a level of anger at what they see as an intrusion that's not making their roads safer," Hickenlooper said. "And they see it as a way that local governments are trying to increase their revenues. So I understand the frustration."
Many in law enforcement are frustrated that the legislation is sailing along despite their concerns about public safety.
Chief Daniel Oates of Aurora has been extremely outspoken about his view that red light cameras have helped police improve public safety by holding drivers accountable.
"This is working in Aurora," Oates said last week. "The notion that the legislature would take this away from aurora and make the policy decision for our elected officials is we think wrong and offensive."
The bill now heads to the House for consideration where it has the support of Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver.
Renfroe, who is running for Congress in the state's sprawling 4th district, sponsored the legislation the past two years but failed to advance the bill because Democrats didn't support it.
Renfroe blamed that on former Senate President John Morse, a Democrat and former police chief himself who was ousted last year in a recall election.
According to Renfroe, Morse demanded that his caucus vote in lockstep against the red light camera ban.
"The change in leadership on their side has helped loosen things up," he said, noting that Morse's predecessor, Senate President Morgan Carroll, is co-sponsoring his bill.AlertMe