Senate Republicans at the Colorado State Legislature killed a bill Monday that would’ve provided in-state tuition costs for Native Americans with historic ties to the state.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic House Representative Joe Salazar, died within days of his Indian mascot bill that, had it passed, would’ve regulated the use of Native American mascots at schools throughout Colorado.
Also killed on Monday by Senate Republicans was HB 1267, which would’ve allowed a person to challenge a district attorney's decision not to prosecute a law enforcement official whose force resulted in serious bodily injury or death, Salazar said.
“Last week and early this week proved to be a bloodbath in the Colorado Senate involving bills that would have helped communities of color,” Salazar wrote to ICTMN.
After the in-state tuition bill died, Salazar took to Facebook and vowed to reintroduce the bill in 2016.
"I will come back next year until they understand that this is a goodness owed to the First Peoples of this state who were forcibly removed," he wrote.
This was Salazar's second attempt at passing such a bill. Last year, Senator Mary Hodge referred to it as "reparations" for Native Americans.
“I don’t know how long we can make reparations [to Native Americans] or how far we’d have to go back,” she toldICTMN. “I guess my point is we can’t fix what we did.”
When The Denver Post asked Hodge about her reparations comment she declined to respond.