Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When testimony matters

I doubt most legislative testimony on pending bills matters all that much. Most legislators have their minds made up or are far more likely to listen to lobbyists/staffers/pollsters/colleagues than members of the general public who show up to speak.

However, there's currently a bill pending in the Colorado House that would mandate carbon monoxide alarms. The realty and property management groups that have opposed it ran into some very compelling testimony:
Shaking and crying, Don Johnson turned to the lawmakers in front of him, produced an urn holding his daughter's ashes and begged them to pass a bill mandating carbon monoxide detectors in new homes and apartments.

"This is my daughter today!" he screamed. "That's all that's left of her!"

"And what's the difference? What's the difference? There it is. Twenty bucks," he said, holding up a bill to show what it would have cost for a detector that could have saved his daughter's life...

The appeals appear to have swayed at least some skeptics of the bill and assured its passage to the House floor. Rep. Larry Liston, a Colorado Springs Republican who on Monday questioned the need for mandating carbon monoxide alarms, said Tuesday that the support he's seen from individuals and Realtors has convinced him to back it.

(c/o ColoradoPols)

No comments: