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Chamber of commerce opposes her bill? Sen. Foster says, “Too damn bad.”

Posted by Kelly Maher on February 24th, 2012
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Colorado state Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver, drew controversy in 2010 for offering legislation that could have potentially benefited her brother-in-law. [Gov. Ritter vetoed the bill.] In 2011, the Denver Post headlined an item about a different bill that Foster sponsored, “Sen. Joyce Foster defends stumping for bill that benefits her son’s client.” [That proposal stalled.]

This week, Foster was back in the spotlight. She told the state Senate that if the chambers of commerce opposed her bill restricting credit checks on job applicants, it’s “too damn bad.” Both the National Federation of Independent Business and the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry came out in opposition of the bill.

Senate Bill 3, which restricts potential employers from requesting a credit verification in the hiring process, passed the Democratic-controlled Senate on a party-line vote on second reading on Monday. [The floor debate also got hot Tuesday on final passage.]

On the Senate floor on Monday, Foster spoke about her experience as an employment recruiter and used the term “gal Friday” on several occasions. She cited the use of credit information in the hiring process in the context of civil rights and employment laws passed in the 1960s and ’70s. She got visibly angry at the suggestion that various chambers of commerce opposed the bill’s further restrictions on employers in the hiring process.

“I’m sorry friends, if you come up to this podium today and you tell me that it’s [an] employer’s right to choose whomever they want, you better start remembering your history. And if you come up here, saying that ‘The chamber of commerce doesn’t support this’…Too damn bad. They are off track on this particular issue. And they’ve always supported me in my candidacy over the years. Well, I will no longer support the chamber of commerce if they don’t start taking into consideration real people with real issues. Do you have a problem here? Is there a problem?”

At this point, the gavel dropped, as several senators were offended by Foster’s use of the word “damn” at the well.

“Well, I’m sorry if I was out of order,” said Foster.

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  • Post by Kelly Maher on February 24th, 2012

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