April
30th 2014
Forget HB 1292 Transparency Soap Opera: Make it an Old Gangster Film

Posted under Education Politics & Journalism & Just For Fun & School Finance & State Legislature

Update, 5/1: Looks like no knees had to be broken after all….

Did you see that post I did a little over a week ago: “HB 1292 Transparency Headed for Happy Ending? Good Solution Still Needed”? Given last night’s events, I thought about just publishing that all over again today and hoping nobody would notice. When some adults try to teach me about the importance of recycling, I don’t think that is what they had in mind.

As usual, Chalkbeat Colorado does an unparalleled job of bringing readers the latest Student Success Act scoop from the Capitol:

The bill left the House with a central website in it. That provision has been amended in various ways as HB 14-1292 traveled through three Senate committees, which basically contradicted each other.

Bill sponsors thought they’d finessed a compromise on Tuesday night, but they hadn’t. Discussion on the bill was repeatedly interrupted for huddles on the side of the Senate chamber. At one point sponsor Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, and other senators went outside the chamber for a vigorous exchange with a big scrum of district lobbyists (sometimes known as the “K-12 mafia.”)

Shortly after that, Heath announced consideration of the bill had been delayed.

The “K-12 mafia”? Yikes. My overactive imagination begins to conjure up a vivid twilight dialogue taking place in the shadowy hallways outside the Colorado senate chambers.

Senator A: (pleading) Big Vinnie, I know what you’re gonna’ say. I’ll have your ‘Negative Factor’ money back by Friday. I swear it, just give me more time!

Big Vinnie: (laughing scornfully) Look at Mr. Hot Shot Legislator. Practically begging me not to break his knees… or his fancy transparency website.

Fat Tony: He thinks he can hide the check register so we can’t see the money he owes us.

Senator A: No, that’s not it at all.

Senator B: I think Hot Shot’s asking to sleep with the fishes.

Big Vinnie: (snapping back loudly) Who asked you?

Senator B: (apologizing) Sorry. I, uh, was just trying to be funny….

Jimmy Cannoli: You – dirty – rats! You wanna’ wake up every Elliot Ness within six blocks of the Capitol? Let’s get outta’ here. We can take care of business tomorrow.

Senator A: Thank you, thank you. Does that mean we get to keep the transparency website?

Senator B: No way ! I don’t like it — needs to be a local control thing.

Jimmy: Local control? We’ll show you some local control! When your cement shoes got you floatin’ down the Platte River–

Senator C: (intervening) All right, all right. Let’s just put off this little discussion ’til tomorrow.

Jimmy: Like I was sayin’…

Fat Tony: Fine. But Hot Shot better be all paid up, or else.

Senator A: (gulping) Or else what?

Big Vinnie: (laughing) Botta bing, botta BOOM! Heh, heh…

Guess you can tell that I’m itching to go a little crazy, with just one week left in the legislative session. Or maybe not… But anyway, that was better than just recycling the last post. I mean, old-time gangster seems so much more fitting than a boring old soap opera, right?

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