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  • Writer's pictureMario Nicolais

Does legislative testimony matter anymore in Colorado?

Elections matter. Both parties trot out that timeless mantra when a majority from the other side passes legislation on party-line votes.

But in an increasingly polarized political environment, elections may matter even more than ever before. More and more, policy debates seem settled by the first Wednesday in November rather than on the floor of legislative chambers. Colorado’s current legislative session is a perfect case in point.

In early January, before state representatives and senators shuffled back to the state Capitol, The Colorado Sun ran a terrific primer on lawmaking and lobbying in Colorado. The last subsection in the piece focused on testifying on legislation, but warned: “Often, committee members will enter the room decided about a particular issue.” It seems truer words may never have been written.

Sadly, it appears that many make up their minds far in advance of public hearings, maybe before the actual wording of the bill is drafted, and potentially before being sworn into office.

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