COST actually agrees with State Senate President Brandon Shaffer. The Democrat legislative committee chairs desperately need some training on how to treat the public!
In an article explaining how Shaffer spent $4300 in taxpayer money to pay for a Democrats-only retreat, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Shaffer ”organized the retreat partly because of complaints about committee chairs being disrespectful to the public and other lawmakers. All committee chairs are Democrats since the party controls the Senate as well as the House.”
COST knows first hand how rude some legislators were to Colorado citizens during testimony. During testimony on SB 57 Public School Financial Transparency, our own Amy Oliver watched as Representative Judy Solano scolded citizens whose only crime was to endure hours of waiting just to get their 3 minutes of time before the House Education Committee. They simply wanted to tell the committee that they supported SB 57and hoped the committee would pass it on to the full House. Instead, they got a lecture from Solano and no vote from the committee.
Also, Senator Bob Bacon lectured Amy when she took time off work to testify against HB 1299, the legislation to destroy the Electoral College. At the same time Bacon nearly gave attorney/lobbyist Mark Grueskin a standing ovation.
From our perspective, some arrogant legislators (including committee chairs) treated citizens with whom they disagreed with contempt and hostility. So Shaffer was correct to address the problem with a cotillion-type class for legislators. However, COST happily would have done it for free and saved Colorado taxpayers $4300. Too bad Shaffer didn’t go through a more public, competitive bid process — another reason for transparency in all areas of government!