Only as Good as Your Word: Will Hickenlooper Keep His Promise on Legislation or Cave to the Left?
Now that the legislative session has wrapped up, every piece of passed legislation is in Governor Hickenlooper's hands. He has until June 10 to veto, sign or ignore legislation, in which case it automatically becomes law. This period should provide some interesting insight into the Guv, and will set the tone for next year's session.
A big question that remains to be settled is whether he will live up to his word on legislation and sign bills he promised he would. We warned last week that Hick was reportedly reconsidering his support of a bill that capped the bipartisan budget deal.
The bill dealt with the Children's Basic Healthcare Plan (CHP+), a government healthcare program for children. Legislation passed that would require families in the program making between 205 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level to pay a nominal $25/month per child premium, capped at $50/month. It was supported by members of both parties in both chambers. It is currently awaiting action from Hickenlooper.
Now a member of the liberal special interest set, the Bell Policy Center, is urging Hickenlooper to go back on his word and veto the provision. And yesterday, all the liberal twits on Twitter were urging people to call Hickenlooper's office and push him to go back on his word. From Bell's email:
We are confident that more effective options for implementing cost sharing across higher income CHP+ families can be found. Those alternatives should be explored.
However, the approach provided by Senate Bill 213 is one that the Bell Policy Center cannot support. As a result, we respectfully request that you veto this legislation.
It's nice that the Bell Policy Center wants to discuss alternatives, but it's a little late. The bill was passed and the legislature adjourned for sine die. It's up to Hick to live up to his word, something he seems to value in his legislative interlocutors, Speaker McNulty and Senate President Shaffer. Here's Hick in the Pueblo Chieftain:
"I have great respect for both of them," he said. "Both of them, I feel that if I shake hands with them and I look them in the eye and we have an agreement, that they'll follow through with it. Again and again, when they said they were going to do something, they did it."
ColoradoPols recently analyzed Hick's tenure and talked about his "rarely used clout." Sadly, we agree with their analysis that Hick is a little too hesitant to use his office and popularity to break legislative impasses.
We just hope that he lives up to his end of the bargain on one of the rare issues he did use his clout.