Hickenlooper refuses to sign two bills that will become law

Jun 7, 2017

Gov. John Hickenlooper during a July 2015 taping of Colorado Matters.
Credit HART VAN DENBURG / COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, in not signing two measures, will in essence allow them to become law.

As The Denver Post reports, Hickenlooper’s decision not to sign the bills into is a rare move that he said is designed to protest actions by lawmakers to “veil a bill’s true cost to the taxpayers.”

The Democrat explained his decision in letters sent Tuesday to the Senate, where he said lawmakers made last-minute changes to delay the implementation — and shroud the price tag — for two bills, Senate Bill 12 and Senate Bill 19, each designed to address mental illness in the criminal justice system.  

While he expressed support for the legislations’ substance, Hickenlooper wrote in the letters that “legislation should not contain ‘work-around’ language to the annual appropriations process … or other tactics that may veil the bill’s true cost to the taxpayers.”  

The Senate altered both bills in the final days of the 2017 session to reduce the face-value cost and secure passage after the money for the legislation was not set aside in the budget process.