Mike Rosen, Governor John Hickenlooper, February 3, 2012

Station: 850 AM, KOA
Show: Mike Rosen
Guest: Governor John Hickenlooper
Link: http://www.850koa.com/pages/mikerosen.html?page=8
Date: February 3, 2012
Topics: Legislature, Government efficiency, Gasoline, Energy efficiency, Subsidies, I-70, traffic congestion,
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MIKE ROSEN: … All right, Charles. Thanks for your call. In Littleton. Jim! You’re on 850 KOA. Hello, Jim.

CALLER JIM: Good morning. I heard recently, Governor Jerry Brown, since he has been in office, has signed over 600 bills. How many have you signed, Governor?

GOVERNOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: Well, Lord knows, I hope not that many. I think we signed….

CALLER JIM: I hope not, too.

GJH: We did, uh…. Well, you know, in the legislature in the state assembly, they’re allowed to have five bills a session, and there are a hundred state senators and representatives. So, we can have up to 500 a session come through, and generally most legislators feel they should have five bills. So….

CALLER JIM: (laughs)

GJH: I’m serious! So, we have about 450 or 500 come through the mill each year. I think last year…. A lot of them get killed in committee, I think we had a couple hundred last year. I’m not sure. I should know that. That’s an easy one for me to check on.

MIKE ROSEN: A lot of those bills are perfunctory. They’re just so a legislator can say, “I sponsored this bill,” knowing its not going to go anywhere.

GJH: And a lot of them are budget issues – things that you’ve got to do. You know, each year you need a continuing resolution to pay for this or pay for that. So… but it’s a good question. I’ll look at the real bills that I think are substantive changes to our law system, our system of laws, and then what are the bills that are required by the budget.

CALLER JIM: You can’t take a wild guess, and just ball park….

GJH: I think roughly, a rough estimate…

CALLER JIM: No, I mean how many you have signed….

GJH: Well I sign everything…

CALLER JIM: …into law…

GJH: Trust me, I can tell you that I sign bill after bill after bill after bill after bill.

MIKE ROSEN: And the number of those would be how much since you’ve been governor?

GJH: So, I signed at least 200 bills in that first session.

MIKE ROSEN: mmm-hmm


GJH: I mean, there is a a momentum to, again, create more legislation, more laws. You know, it’s what it is. You see it not just in California. You see it here, you see it in Mississippi, you see it everywhere. The key, I think, is to make sure… My criteria, what we’ve said, is we want to make sure that any law that is passed doesn’t add red tape, doesn’t add bureaucracy. If we want to change something, let’s make sure we’re anticipating all the unintended consequences before they happen.

MIKE ROSEN: So, Jim, when you first started, I was afraid you were saying it’s a good thing that Governor Brown had signed so many bills. You’re not saying that.

CALLER JIM: Oh no. Absolutely not.

MIKE ROSEN: Yeah. Okay.

CALLER JIM: I just find that mind-boggling, to be honest with you. But Walter Williams came up with a great idea. We should have one constitutional amendment in the Constitution, and that is, “Congress shall make no law.”

GJH and MIKE ROSEN: (laugh)

GJH: Well, you know, I said…. I tried to convince a couple of the legislators that for, you know, for every three laws that they propose they should have to find one that they repeal.

CALLER JIM: Oh, now…. Now, that’s a good idea.

GJH: It didn’t go over too well.

MIKE ROSEN: All right. Thanks for you call, let’s go to Littleton, and Nick, you’re on 850 KOA. Hello, Nick!

CALLER NICK: Good morning, gentlemen. Um, Governor, I had a question about the winter gas mix. I can tell immediately in my truck – my truck generally gets about 15 to 16 miles a gallon in the summer – and I can tell immediately when that winter gas starts. My mileage drops to 11 to 12 miles per gallon. I think my vehicle is fairly typical of a lot of the vehicles that I see out there on the road – the SUVs, the …and so forth. And I was just wondering if this has been… I just don’t understand how this makes sense for me to lose, you know, 4 miles a gallon, and I was wondering when was the last time that was looked at.

MIKE ROSEN: He’s saying the ethanol blend is not as efficient, in terms of MPG.


GJH: So, that would be a 20, 25% cut. That’s significant. I’ve never heard that. Again, this is something I haven’t … you’re the first person to ask. Uh, there’s probably, uh, probably an endless universe of things that I’m not up on. Give me a month on this one to go back and look at it and see, you know, a) whether that’s typical, and b) how much… I know the issues are, you know, the pollution in the air… Let me see how much improvement they see by having that blend in the winter.

MIKE ROSEN: Although, the political force behind ethanol, principally, was farmers who wanted corn subsidies.

GJH: Right, I understand that, which, again, in the world, as you look at more and more people in Asia, in India who are being lifted out of poverty, they’re going to want to eat better food, that food is going to require more beef. Beef requires more wheat or more corn to feed the beef, so … we’ll see whether the ethanol… Long term, I think the farmers of corn are going to see a big increase in prices no matter what, so they won’t have the drive to have ethanol, is my guess.

MIKE ROSEN: Okay, Nick. Thanks for your phone call. I mean, Walter Mondale addressed this very issue years ago, when he asked Gary Hart, “Where’s the beef?” You remember that?

GJH: (laughs)

MIKE ROSEN: I’m sure that he was talking about just the chain that you were mentioning right now. Governor John Hickenlooper with us, when we come back, I have a letter of complaint – not about you personally, from a listener who doesn’t like the state patrol pace cars coming home from skiing on I-70 Sunday nights. Perhaps you can address that.

GJH: Okay…