Patrick Neville, House minority leader from Castle Rock, said at the state GOP’s Capitol Club gathering that, “We’re going to make sure we push some good red meat bills.” For those confused by the term, those are: School choice, religious freedom, Second Amendment rights and abortion. News stories outlining Neville’s assurances were published in this very publication. Later, in the same journal but different issue, Neville complained about Democratic–sponsored joint resolutions in the Legislature that have asked the Trump administration to rescind its immigration executive order and to support a full range of reproductive health care for women. “How is this a productive use of our time,” queried Neville. He particularly pointed to the abortion resolution as counterproductive, saying it “antagonized members of his caucus.”
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A perennially contentious proposal, this year’s religious freedom restoration bill, HB 17-1013, died a faster, quieter death than in years past. Sent to the state house committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs — a Democratic “kill committee” — in January, the bill’s fate was a foregone conclusion. While the political tumult over the bill declined dramatically, it nonetheless remains a fascinating case study in divergent conservative viewpoints on the topic.