Wed May 9, 2012

Hickenlooper Calls For A Special Session [Updated]

Governor John Hickenlooper has called for a special session regarding civil unions. The decision comes the day after Republican leaders in the house filibustered the measure even though it had enough GOP votes to pass that chamber.

Making his announcement today, The Governor got emotional and said he wants to make sure the civil unions measure gets a fair hearing and a full debate.

“I spent a long time in the restaurant business, and a lot of people that helped us create that business, didn’t have the same rights as everybody else”

Hickenlooper had tried to broker a compromise with lawmakers before things broke down. Though, now there’s a lot of pressure on Republican Speaker of the house Frank McNulty now to give the bill a hearing.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of people asking, not just Frank McNulty that, but his entire caucus. I can’t force it but I think it’s important that we make another effort.”

The special session would likely begin on Friday or next Monday. It takes a minimum of three days for a bill to pass, and it costs taxpayers $23,000 each day. There are budgeted funds in escrow though to cover the cost.

The call for the session comes after a tumultuous morning for the state legislature, which saw widespread reaction to the bill's stoppage late last night. Most of the talk was around the audible disagreement heard last night with chants of "shame" from observers.

h/t to CBS4 Denver for the video

Update 5/10/2012 6:53am: Editor's Note - The attached audio for this report has been updated with a longer feature with more from the capitol. Click 'listen' above to hear reaction on the civil unions bill and other bills for the special session from Frank McNulty, B.J. Nikkel, Gail Schwartz and Ellen Roberts.