Gov. Jared Polis handed out his fourth, fifth and sixth vetoes from the 2023 session Tuesday.
The vetoes cover two controversial measures, one in which House Democrats complained loudly that a House Republican had violated the rules in changing his vote on a gambling measure.
The other, on tax increment financing, is tied to just one mixed-use development near Loveland.
Senate Bill 23-273 would have amended the Urban Renewal Law and updated one of five exemptions related to agricultural land, Polis noted in his veto letter.
The bill was intended to fix a "perceived loophole" from a 2010 law that also dealt with agricultural lands in urban areas. But SB 273 was intended to target a single urban renewal plan, and while the plan has now been approved, "we must also carefully consider the ramifications that retroactively altering existing statute could have on planned development proposals and future urban renewal plans," Polis wrote.
"Passing a law that retroactively changes the playing field would create greater uncertainty across our state and discourage investment in housing," the governor said.
Polis also vetoed a bill that drew consternation from House Democrats over what they claimed was a violation of House rules.
Senate Bill 23-259 would allow those licensed by the Colorado Limited Gaming Act to extend credit of at least $1,000 to patrons under certain criteria.
SB 259 lost on a 31 to 34 vote on May 6, with one of the "no' votes coming from Rep. Richard Holtorf, R-Akron, who had spoken against the bill.
After the vote, he briefly left the House floor and then returned to ask for a reconsideration and changed his vote from a "no" to a "yes." The measure then passed, 33 to 32.
House Democrats claimed he left the House chamber to talk to a lobbyist for the gaming association.
In a formal letter of protest on May 8, Rep. Bob Marshall, D-Highlands Ranch, pointed out that, in the last three days of the session, under rule 35(b), a motion for reconsideration of a vote must receive a two-thirds majority vote.
That didn't happen, Marshall said.
In his veto letter, Polis said the measure raised concerns around whether people with gambling disorders can "meaningfully consent to a transaction," and about issues "regarding the ability of a person with a gambling disorder to freely consent to a loan while on a gambling spree."
The bill's intended target was out-of-state "high-rollers," the governor wrote, but the bill was not tailored that way.
The third bill Polis vetoed is House Bill 23-1146, which would have prohibited certain employers from taking adverse action against an employee who accepts a cash tip offered by a patron of the business. The bill carved out exceptions for gaming, health care, and services to the elderly.
"This is not an appropriate area for state regulation," Polis wrote in his veto letter.
Businesses cite concerns that tipping can lead to unequal treatment of patrons and employees and instead choose to prohibit tipping while paying a higher base wage, which he called a legitimate business choice for an employer.
The exceptions, he wrote, appear to be arbitrary.
"At its best, tipping can encourage service excellence and provide additional income for workers. At its worst, tipping can lead to preferential treatment for some patrons, less income for unlucky workers, or even unscrupulous behavior. The balance of whether to allow tipping is best left to the private sector and the free market of employers and employees," the governor said.
Polis has until June 7 to finish signing bills sent to him by the legislature.
Welcome to the discussion.
Post a comment as Guest
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.