Colorado Governor Accuses Republican Lawmakers Of Turning Special Session Into A "Political Circus"

Oct 2, 2017

Credit CREATIVE COMMONS CC0

The Colorado Legislature begins its special session this week – something Gov. John Hickenlooper said Republican lawmakers had turned into a “political circus.”

As The Denver Post reports, last month, Hickenlooper called lawmakers back to Denver for their first special session in five years to fix a bill-drafting error that has cost special taxing districts almost $2 million in marijuana revenue to date.

This past summer, state finance officials discovered that the legislature had mistakenly outlawed a handful of special taxing districts from collecting sales taxes on retail marijuana when they passed a spending measure that raises the state sales tax on pot. 

Republicans have argued that holding a special session it is a waste of tax dollars, but during a press briefing Friday, Hickenlooper pushed back forcefully, accusing Republicans of playing political games - announcing that the affected taxing districts have offered to pay for the $25,000-a-day session out of their pot sales taxes once the revenue stream is restored.

In response, Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham said in a statement that the governor’s “complete mishandling” of the matter didn’t bode well for the session, which was set to start Monday.

“Having interested parties pay the cost of a special session has to be one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard from this governor, coming in close second to his baffling and botched decision to hold an unnecessary special session without doing the preplanning and consultations required to improve our chance of success,” Grantham said in the statement.