May 23, 2024 - Politics

Colorado Democrats blast Gov. Jared Polis after 6 vetoes

Photo illustration of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis with lines radiating from him.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Gov. Jared Polis is drawing rare fire from Democrats for vetoing six bills led by women lawmakers.

State of play: 18 of the 22 sponsors behind the vetoed legislation were women and two of the six were priority bills for the Democratic Women's Caucus, the Denver Post reports.

What they're saying: "I think I speak for the entire women's caucus to say we're really disappointed that things women believe to be important are not always in alignment with what the governor believes," said Sen. Lisa Cutter (D-Morrison), the caucus co-chair.

The other side: Polis says his decisions are connected to the policy and what's best for a state as a whole, rather than the lawmakers who are sponsoring the legislation.

Zoom in: Democratic lawmakers also are peeved that Polis vetoed three bills to protect working-class residents. The advocates behind the legislation planned to hold a rally against Polis on the West steps of the Capitol on Thursday.

  • The governor rejected a bill preventing wage theft in the construction industry after deeming it too onerous on contractors, the most prominent veto to date. He made his concerns known during the legislative process but bill sponsors suggested his proposed changes would gut the bill.

The intrigue: Democratic lawmakers objected vociferously. Sen. Jessie Danielson, who sponsored four of the six vetoed bills, told the Post that Polis "sided with those companies that earn their profits off of the exploitation of workers."

  • Co-sponsor Sen. Chris Kolker (D-Centennial), added "the governor [chose] to not protect workers."
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