This legislative session has been disappointingly different

Guest column by state Sen. Jim Smallwood

I mentioned in my last column that the Democratic Party has a majority in both the House and Senate and holds the governor’s office. Therefore, Republicans like me do not have nearly enough votes to block any of the extreme bills that the other side introduces.

Many of those bills have already passed and been signed into law, like Senate Bill 19-042, the National Popular Vote. This law forces Colorado’s electors to cast their votes for the winner of the Presidential popular vote, regardless of the outcome of the election in Colorado. I feel that this law will disenfranchise Colorado voters, and is unconscionable, if not unconstitutional. This bill is one of many that have passed with zero Republican votes. Other bills that have gone down the same partisan path before being signed by the governor are House Bill 19-1177, the Extreme Risk Protective Order (Red Flag Law), which can strip a gun owner of their property without due process, and Senate Bill 19-181, Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations, which fundamentally moves the direction of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission from fostering responsible, safe development and production of oil and gas to instead focus on environmental and safety concerns.

These three examples are just some of the new laws that I am convinced will hurt Colorado voters, violate our Constitutional rights, hurt businesses and kill jobs.

To be very clear, the tone at the state Capitol has dramatically changed compared to my prior two years representing Colorado Senate District 4. I believe the message from the new majority in the state Legislature is no longer about making decisions that reflect the beliefs from voters from across the state, but instead it has become a movement to make Colorado a powerful, progressive stronghold. Having previously served in a split Legislature, I just don’t think that this is what Colorado is about.

Political parties aside, I believe that Coloradans value, among other things, plentiful jobs, great schools, access to high-quality health care, and a shared desire to be able to escape into our beautiful landscape. Many of my Democrat colleagues advocated for these values in the past.

Please stay involved and make your voice heard. I fear that our voices, our jobs and our freedoms are at risk. I want to keep an open line of communication to anyone who would like to raise concerns, ask questions, or provide their input. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me anytime at 303-866-4869 or by email: senatorsmallwood@gmail.com.

Parker resident Jim Smallwood is a Republican state senator from District 4, which includes Parker, Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Larkspur, Franktown and much of Douglas County.