One plate too many? Not for Scotsman

DENVER — The man who once ran a bill to limit the number of specialty license plates just got a House committee Thursday to approve a new one.

Rep. Ray Scott got unanimous approval from the House Transportation & Energy Committee to create a new specialty plate honoring Scottish Americans.

The Grand Junction Republican said he still supports limiting the number of plates, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like having them.

“When I ran that bill (in 2013), it allowed for, I believe, another 12 plates, and then established a cap,” he said. “Then, as plates dropped out, another could be added. When there is a good cause, I have always voted yes on plates.”

Currently, there are 81 specialty plates honoring various aspects of the military such as Purple Heart recipients, or noting their loyalty to colleges, such as Colorado Mesa University.

Still others, like the one Scott is supporting, honor specific groups or causes, anywhere from Adopt a Shelter Pet to Support the Horse.

Some of those plates require motorists to donate money to whatever group the plate is meant to support, all of which are designed to promote a specific charity.

Scott’s measure, HB1046, is no different.

To get one, drivers need only donate money to the St. Andrew Society of Colorado, pay a one-time $50 fee to the Department of Revenue, and then pay the regular license plate fees.

The society, which is part of a national nonprofit group, promotes all things Scottish, from bagpipes to haggis to kilts.

The plate features the state’s official red, white and blue tartan pattern, includes American and Scottish flags, and has the word “Freedom” on it.

The same committee also approved a bill that initially was written to do away with the specialty plate that all state legislators receive when elected to the Colorado General Assembly.

It was altered, however, to make some changes to how that plate is registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles to tie it to whatever license plate the legislator already uses.

Some lawmakers on the committee said they wanted to do away with it because it gives the impression that legislators are receiving special treatment, but others say it is important because it allows them to be seen and contacted by their constituents when they are back home.

The legislative plates became an issue with some lawmakers after 2012, when then Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, was pulled over by a Denver police officer on a possible DUI case.

At first, a Denver police supervisor said Bradford had used her position as a state lawmaker to get out of a ticket, but it later was revealed that the supervisor made up that detail.

Still, it resulted in a huge political firestorm that ultimately led to Bradford not seeking a third term in office.


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