On the eve of a highly-watched special session, the governor of Colorado sent a letter to lawmakers telling them, "We owe it to the people we serve to do better."
The special session begins Monday at 10 a.m.
During the special session lawmakers are encouraged to review and vote on a number of bills, including one setting standards for driving while under the influence of drugs. Another bill deals with water conservation. However, a bill dealing with civil unions is by far the most controversial measure.
It is up to Speaker of the House Frank McNulty to decide if and when the civil unions bill should be heard. The Republican from Highlands Ranch can have the entire house vote on the bill as is, or reassign it to any committee, leaving the fate of the bill uncertain.
McNulty has acknowledged that he is against the bill and has said the governor's public announcement in support of the bill and President Barack Obama's announcement about his support of gay marriage appear to be part of a larger conspiracy.
If the bill passes out of committee and gets a full hearing in the house, House Republicans have a 33-32 voting advantage. However, Democrats have maintained they have enough votes to get the civil unions bill passed. Three Republicans joined Democrats in getting the bill out of committees and on to the floor, but the bill was never debated there.
7NEWS was given an early look at a letter the governor is sending to lawmakers to set the tone of the special session.
Typically, the governor addresses lawmakers before the session, but is sending a letter to save time.
"Transparency, accountability and the virtues of good government are compromised when the legislative clock is used to avoid consideration of important legislation," Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to the General Assembly. "We owe it to the people we serve to do better."
"We include in the call legislation that advances good government, enhances public safety, and addresses a fundamental question of fairness and civil rights," Hickenloopers letter says.
"You passed a budget this year with 86 votes, improved early childhood literacy, and expanded the mission of the Colorado Energy Office," he wrote. "You approved comprehensive personnel reform, made it easier for military spouses to gain employment, improved payment methods in Medicaid, and restructured fire and emergency response. That record is worth celebrating and reflects legislative work that is fair, transparent and collaborative. We respect and applaud the good work you have already done, and, in that spirit, wish you success with a special session that efficiently, thoroughly, and fairly resolves the business of this call."
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