(Colorado State Capitol, March 25th, 2023) – Over the last two days, the Colorado House Republicans did what we were elected to do; force debate and discussion on far-reaching legislation with serious consequences for Coloradans. After many hours of honest and crucial policy arguments, the Colorado House Democrats invoked Rule 14, or “Nuclear Option” for the House of Representatives. The final vote against implementing Rule 14 was bipartisan, yet not enough to keep it from infringing on our ability to speak.
This drastic move is historic in nature. It’s not easily known when the last time Rule 14 was used in the House, but some familiar with the state legislature date it back to at least 2007. The use of Rule 14 to silence the minority – a minority that represents over 40% of voters and the vast majority of geographic area – should shock anyone who believes in the importance of the democratic process.
In response to the Democrats invoking Rule 14, Minority Leader Mike Lynch (R-Wellington) issued the following statement:
“This is an historic and appalling move by the majority to silence the voice of the minority. The legislature is the place for honest and lengthy debate, and this drastic step removes that ability for the minority to represent their constituents effectively,” Rep. Lynch stated. “Today will be looked back upon as a dark day for the democratic process in Colorado. It is not enough to have the votes to pass legislation already; now, they don’t even want to hear our voices.”