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Colorado Senate GOP turns sleuth in search of MIA budget bills

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Look out, House Democrats! That’s Sen. Don Coram snooping around your front door for clues about the budget in the latest video from Colorado Senate Republicans.

Senate Republicans just raised the stakes in the multi-media messaging game under the gold dome. How can Democrats respond? Perhaps with a video of Rep. Mike Foote of Lafayette in a sheriff’s duds with a long pistol, laying down the law for Republicans: “Thar’ ain’t gonna be no hangin’ today.”

Somewhere between “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Pink Panther” and “Get Smart,” Senate GOP leaders equipped with nothing but their wits and a magnifying glass explain they’re looking for a couple of budget bills.

Senate Bill 256 would reduce revenue generated from the Hospital Provider Fee by $264 million to keep the state under a spending cap. Rural hospitals are concerned about the financial strain that would put them under, and legislators have only three weeks out of our four-month session to avert that consequence.

Senate Republicans also are on the hunt for Senate Bill 262 that regards transferring money from the state budget into transportation.

It could be a short search. Both bills are scheduled to be heard on the House floor Wednesday, but they could get delayed. Both bills have been in the House since they passed the Senate on March 30.

Perhaps the Democrats could put Rep. Pete Lee of Colorado Springs in a race car, and he could lean out the window and ask Senate Republicans when they’re going to put the pedal down on House Bill 1242, the mega transportation bill, that passed the House on March 31.

The most important bill of the session — OK, almost even with the budget — isn’t scheduled to be heard by the Senate Finance Committee until April 25, which leaves 11 working days until the end of the session, time that will evaporate like steam off pavement.

“When the taxpayers’ budget bills are lost, we’re supposed to do something about it,” says a gum-shoe voiceover on the Senate Republican video.

Good line. Are you writing this down, Pete Lee?

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