Final vote on environmental bill leaves lawmakers at odds

Politics

DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Legislature wrapped up the 2021 session on Tuesday passing 503 bills, 81% of those brought to the floor. Governor Polis vetoed one of those bills and about 291 are still waiting on his signature. One waiting has some lawmakers saying the bipartisan-focused session ended on a sour note.

Addressing climate change was something the governor and lawmakers wanted to do this year, but they had different ideas about how to get it done. Polis previously threatened to veto a bill that called for air regulators to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions in the private sector.

Lawmakers ended up adding some of the language to a bill aimed to make sure certain communities aren’t disproportionately impacted by climate change.

“I agreed to play a supportive role a couple of months ago on a different bill which is not now before us but parts of the spirit and substance of it are,” Arapahoe Democrat Mike Weissman said. 

The merging led to cries of a lack of transparency from Republicans.

“This is the bully tactics of the majority in this statehouse. The is the bully tactic of the executive branch of this state government. Look at what has happened here with this bill,” Republican Rod Bockenfeld said on the floor.

The bill passed and is on its way to Polis, but the Senate majority leader told us, the process could have been smoother. 

“It wasn’t hidden, it wasn’t a secret. Could it have been done better? Yes, of course, but we were really racing against the clock to make sure this was a policy that could pass and could get the signature of the governor,” Boulder Democrat Steve Fenberg said.

It is yet to be seen if that’s going to happen.

“I would anticipate the governor may at some point disagree with us on one or two issues. We don’t know of those yet, but the 30-day clock is going,” Speaker of the House Alec Garnett said.

FOX31 asked the governor’s office about the bill. A spokesperson said he appreciates the bill sponsors working with him on shared goals.

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