Dems Misleading on Civil Rights Commission

[February 13, Greenwood Village, CO] – According to Colorado Democrats, Republicans are threatening to defund the state’s Civil Rights Commission. Democrats are using that talking point to demonize their opponents and excite their base. The claim, however, is demonstrably false.

Colorado State Senate President Kevin Grantham stated unequivocally in this articlethat Senate Republicans will not defund the Civil Rights Commission.

Here’s what happened. On Thursday, February 8, the three Republican members of the Joint Budget Committee declined to vote for a motion to approve the figure setting request for the Colorado Civil Rights Division. They did so because the Civil Rights Division is required by statute to undergo a Sunset Review before its current statutory authority expires on July 15, 2018. The Republicans on the JBC rightly concluded that the Senate should perform its Sunset Review before determining how much funding the division would receive for a subsequent period. Any other course would be to put the cart before the horse and fail to treat the Sunset Review, which is required by law, with the seriousness it deserves.

Before declining to vote for the figure setting motion Thursday, Republicans on the Joint Budget Committee asked the JBC’s Democrats to delay the motion until after the Sunset Review, but in a highly partisan manner unusual for the JBC, the Democrats refused.

Senate Republicans intend to take up the question of the Civil Rights Division’s funding after consideration of its Sunset bill, which is being debated today in the State House Judiciary Committee. After passing out of the House, the bill will go to the Senate.

In light of these facts, Colorado Republican Party spokesman Daniel Cole issued the following statement: “Colorado Democrats had a choice between good government and partisan histrionics. They opted for the latter. As Senate President Kevin Grantham has made clear, the Civil Rights Commission is in no danger of being defunded. Democrats’ claims to the contrary show their willingness to bend the truth and mislead their own constituents in the service of political objectives.”