Press Release

Senate Republicans Respond to Governor Polis’ Abuse of Power

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2020

Press Contact

Sage Naumann

REMOTE LOCATIONS ACROSS COLORADO – In hearing the news of Governor Jared Polis’ decision to unilaterally allocate $1.6 billion in CARES Act funds from the federal government, members of the Senate Republican caucus released the following statements:

From Senator Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale), longtime member of the Joint Budget Committee:

“The staff and members of the Joint Budget Committee, liaisons for dozens of state departments and programs, and representatives from every sector of our society have been hunkered down for the last two and a half months attempting to develop a budget despite historic decreases in revenue. For the Governor to announce this allocation of funds – without so much as consulting the chief budgeting body – is not only a lapse in leadership but has now eliminated the people’s voice over how their money is spent. To say that I’m disappointed would be putting it lightly. How do we build a budget around the whims of one man with no deliberative process?”

From Assistant Minority Leader John Cooke (R-Greeley):

“Governor Polis has clearly overstepped his powers by deciding how CARES Act dollars shall be allocated, and it seems that General Assembly Democrats have no qualms with ceding the power of the legislature to the executive. The voice of the people need to be heard in the allocation of $1.6 billion in emergency funding and that cannot happen without the input of elected legislators. This is a shameful act of political showmanship that is in contrast with our governing balance of powers.”

From Senator Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs):

“Today, the Governor has silenced the voice of the people – the legislature – by distributing the CARES Act funds without appropriation. Legislators are eager to properly appropriate these funds to those in Colorado who need them most. In a violation of longstanding tradition that gives the people the authority of their tax dollars, the Governor has distributed these funds unilaterally, largely ignoring the needs of Coloradans who reside outside of the Denver metro area. The Governor’s power grab makes it critical that we return to the Capitol now.”

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