120-day session a waste of money, candidate contends
It’s a waste of taxpayer money for the Colorado Legislature to meet four months out of the year, the Democrat running for the newly redrawn House District 54 says.
As a result, one of the first bills Grand Junction attorney Dan Robinson would introduce if elected to the Colorado House in November is a plan to limit it to 90 days, rather than the current 120.
“It’ll cut down on a lot of the political games, and save the state about $1 million,” said Robinson, who is trying to unseat the Republican incumbent, Rep. Ray Scott, who’s completing his first term.
The idea of limiting how many days the Legislature meets isn’t a new one. Each time, the idea is shot down, in part, because lawmakers aren’t really in session for all of those days.
Although the Colorado Constitution limits the session to 120 calendar days, the law includes weekends. The General Assembly rarely meets on Saturdays or Sundays.
Eliminate those days and lawmakers really are only in session for 87 days, not counting the few days during the session they sometimes take off, such as Martin Luther King’s birthday or Good Friday.
Still, if the Legislature would meet for three months instead of four, there would be a cost savings, primarily in the per diem pay legislators receive while in session.
“We could use that money for other things, such as business loans,” Robinson said.
The candidate has scheduled a public announcement for today when he’ll talk about the idea and others he’s considering, including one to help small businesses get loans to expand and hire new workers. He will be at Kairos Children’s Boutique, 533 Main St., at noon.
Meanwhile, Scott will launch his campaign fundraising kickoff next week.
The Grand Junction Republican will be at the grand shelter at Canyon View Park from 3 to 6 p.m. June 22 for a barbecue, where he will discuss the recent legislative session and local issues.