Colorado lawmakers quit early because of snow |

Colorado lawmakers quit early because of snow

Colleen Slevin
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” State senators like to talk tough when they go to the well of the Senate, especially when it comes to their House colleagues.

So as senators awaited word on whether they would get a snow day Thursday, some started talking about a snowball fight against the “lower chamber.”

House Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, channeling his inner middle schooler, suggested that lawmakers should show up on the West Steps, “near the bike rack”. Sen. Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, went to the microphone urging senators to join him and rename the House of Representatives the “House of Pain.”

Sen. Suzanne Williams, D-Aurora, wanting to include women too, invited all lawmakers to join in unless they happened, for some reason, to be wearing open-toed shoes that day.

But the Senate adjourned early, and the House continued to debate bills a little bit longer. So Kopp found himself alone on the steps in the snow.

He got excited when he saw Penry and Sen. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, come through the glass doors. But Gibbs headed straight to his car.

“You could still get his car,” Penry told Kopp before ducking back, inside ostensibly to find more troops.

Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, soon emerged and joined Kopp in throwing snowballs from the Capitol steps at Gibbs as he cleaned off his car. Gibbs tried to swat some away with his snow brush, then got in and drove away.

Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, wearing a dress coat and gloves, then joined the pair but threw snow chunks, instead of true snow balls, in the faces of both Harvey and Kopp, which is apparently allowed under Senate rules.

The trio walked back inside and got excited when they saw Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder, coming down the Capitol’s main staircase. They tried to get him to go outside but Pommer wasn’t interested.

Pommer and other members of the Joint Budget Committee stuck around to work on about $750 million in cuts in next year’s budget. They only met briefly because staff members left to beat the storm.

The Legislature is taking Friday off because of the snow. House Speaker Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, said he’d notify staffers and lawmakers using the Legislature’s emergency phone network.

House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, joked that he would use his “vast right-wing conspiracy network” to get the word out.

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