DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Senate has yet to act on Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 174 appointments this year, a delay that can be problematic because any of the appointee’s actions can be challenged if lawmakers ultimately don’t confirm them.
The appointees, involving offices ranging from colleges, oil and gas regulators and the parole boards, have full authority before they are confirmed. But the actions they take from now until then can be challenged if the Senate ultimately rejects their appointment.
“That is why swift Senate confirmation is important,” Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown said.
Democratic Senate President Brandon Shaffer offered little explanation for the delay, except to say that his chamber is focusing first on economic development bills that have been introduced so far this session.
“Since the legislative session began just over a month ago we’ve introduced an aggressive bipartisan jobs agenda. That’s what the people of Colorado want our focus to be, and that’s what our focus has been.”
But Brown said, “We see no reason to hold up any confirmations.”
Shaffer said Tuesday in a statement that lawmakers are giving the Hickenlooper’s “appointments earnest consideration and we will continue to do so as we move forward.”
The appointments span 55 boards and commissions. They include the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the state’s tourism office, the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the parole board and the Commission of Judicial Discipline.
Appointments also include those for the Limited Gaming Control Commission that caused an uproar among Republicans over the summer. Hickenlooper asked for the resignation of three members of the state’s gaming commission – and then appointed new members – over their decision to give casinos a tax break, saying the industry doesn’t need it because it’s profitable.
Hickenlooper said at the time that the tax break would prove too costly for community colleges and other groups that rely on the gaming-tax revenue.
– By Ivan Moreno, AP Writer
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