• 05/21/2024

    Colorado House Democrat Majority Continues to Restrict Free Speech

    April 24, 2024
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    Image by A1Cafel. Colorado Capitol Building lit up at night. The lights are on but 1st Amendment free speech is gone!

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    “Socialism”, “fascism”, and “tyranny” are words that must send fear into the hearts of the majority party in the Colorado House or they wouldn’t continue to use the gavel to silence their opposition. Last week, the minority caucus was told they couldn’t use words such as “alien”, “illegal”, “undocumented alien”, “invader”, or “squatter” when speaking about illegal immigrants. Attempts at censorship are not just around fascism and illegals, check out this montage video for a sampling.

    Yesterday, Minority Leader Pugliese and the entire minority caucus stood against these restrictions during a moment of personal privilege. She spoke about how representatives have been shut down for relaying their own stories in their own words, how reading an article from the press using banned words was shut down, and how the words themselves exist in federal statutes. She ended with, “We will not be complacent. We will not be quiet. It must stop today. Let us speak.”

    The response from Speaker of the House McCluskie was lackluster and demeaning. Her words were a slap in the face to the minority — “As I have said before, I am committed to a fair shake for all members. For bills to receive a fair hearing and a fair process. Part of that is allowing free speech. What we have also been committed to this session is ensuring that we engage in debate with civility and respect for one another and those that we serve.” What fair hearing? What free speech?

    The silencing of the minority has become epidemic in the Colorado House. With two weeks left in the session, they have already used Rule 14 twelve times and Rule 16 five times. Rule 14 allows them to limit debate on second readings of bills. Rule 16 allows them to immediately bring the bill to a vote without allowing legislators to tell their constituents why they are voting the way they are. (See the series The Violent Murder of Our Republic which outlines last year’s shenanigans.)

    What are they afraid of?

    The bills listed below are the ones they didn’t want to hear debate on and used Rule 14 to shut up representatives who sincerely care about liberty and know more about the topics at hand than the self-professed socialists in the House. The topics covered include property rights, gun rights, local control of zoning, illegal immigrants, increased regulations on business owners, and restrictions on law enforcement.

    HB24-1129 Protections for Delivery Network Company Drivers

    HB24-1152 Accessory Dwelling Units

    HB24-1270 Firearm Liability Insurance Requirement

    HB24-1280 Welcome, Reception, & Integration Grant Program

    HB24-1292 Prohibit Certain Weapons Used in Mass Shootings

    HB24-1303 Colorado Open Meetings Law for General Assembly

    HB24-1313 Housing in Transit-Oriented Communities

    HB24-1338 Cumulative Impacts & Environmental Justice

    HB24-1346 Energy & Carbon Management Regulation

    HB24-1349 Firearms & Ammunition Excise Tax

    HB24-1353 Firearm Dealer Requirements & Permit

    HB24-1372 Regulating Law Enforcement Use of Prone Restraint

    Rule 16 was used on the following bills to strip representatives of their ten-minute allotment of time to speak on 3rd reading of a bill:

    SB24-081 Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals

    HB24-1071 Name Change to Conform with Gender Identity

    HB24-1231 State Funding for Higher Education Projects

    HB24-1273 Sunset Continue Veterans Assistance Programs

    HB24-1368 Language Access Advisory Board

    With a ton of bills still needing to make their way through the entire process before sine die, the House and Senate will be working weekends and late hours up until midnight on Wednesday, May 8th. You will most likely see the continuation of the use of Rule 14 and Rule 16.

    Make your voice known by contacting Speaker McCluskie ([email protected]) and Majority Leader Duran ([email protected]). Tell them what you think about their silencing of the minority!

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