Sens. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, and Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, react on the floor of the Colorado Senate to votes being cast Tuesday on their bill.

A leading GOP state lawmaker who was instrumental in getting before the full Senate a bill to aid rural Colorado communities said the measure advanced only because Grand Junction Sen. Ray Scott thought it would help in his primary race against fellow Republican Rep. Dan Thurlow.

Charles Ashby, The Daily SentinelSens. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, left, and Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, react on the floor of the Colorado Senate to votes being cast Tuesday on their bill.

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, said Tuesday that he only voted for Senate Bill 5 with Democrats in the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee because Scott believes it will help with his re-election bid this fall.

“I don’t think it does anything,” Sonnenberg, the Senate’s president pro tem, said after voting against the measure on the Senate floor, despite voting for it in committee. “I voted against similar bills the last three or four years. Out of respect for Senator Scott and his sponsorship, I told him I would help him get it out of committee. He got on the bill because he thought it would help him in a primary. I’m not weighing in on the primary. I voted out of respect for my colleague.”

Scott was added as a prime sponsor of the measure after Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat, introduced it in January. It is similar to bills she has introduced since coming to the Colorado legislature in 2015.

Like previous incarnations of the measure, the bill calls on the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to focus on helping communities hardest hit by major job losses. Scott opposed a nearly identical measure Donovan introduced in 2015, but that bill also included a $2 million grant program that was to be used in economically depressed counties for such things as re-training displaced coal miners to pursue different careers.

at The Daily Sentinel.

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Source:: The Denver Post – News


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Leading GOP state lawmaker said he voted for bill in bid to help fellow Colorado Republican’s re-election effort

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