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The Good and Bad Parts about Covering the Legislature

For 120 days a year, producing Colorado Inside Out gets a little bit easier, and admittedly a little bit harder.  Allow me to explain.

The Colorado Legislative session lasts 120 days each year and since legislators cover a wide variety of topics, they provide a lot of great stories for our panel to analyze.  In such an issue rich environment, a producer like me can have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to potential script ideas.

However, the downside of topics that are about issues being haggled in the legislature is that not all of the issues have long shelf lives. In fact, the average contentious issue may not last for long since there are many ways a proposal can be deleted from the radar screen.

The fragile nature of legislative issues was made all too obvious to our associate producers and me this week.

In a nutshell, actions over at the capitol destroyed half of our script less than an hour after I sent it to our panel on Thursday afternoon.

We were set to discuss the proposal to have the entire state use mail-in ballots and another proposal that House Democrats floated called the “pay-go” system. The “pay-go” system would have forced any bill proposing tax breaks to not reach the House floor without specifying where the corresponding budget cuts will come from.

However, both of these topics were nuked by moves at the State Capitol on Thursday afternoon.

That’s the tough part of wanting to be timely, but also remain relevant past Friday night, that we struggle with every week on Colorado Inside Out.

It’s a tough part of the producing job, but it’s also the tough part about being a panelist for our program. Not only does our panel have to be prepared for the topics I send out on Thursday, but they need to know that the script may change dramatically by the time we tape the show on Friday at noon.

That’s just one of about one hundred reasons why I respect and admire the folks that serve on our panel. The faint of heart need not apply.

We’ll cross our fingers next week that our Thursday script will stay relevant for a bit longer than it did this week. Of course, to accomplish that, all it needs to do is beat the 5 minute mark, so we have a shot at beating that record.

Thanks for watching and please let us know if there are any topics or issues you would like us to cover. We always appreciate hearing from our viewers.

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About Dominic Dezzutti

As the CPT12 Director of Production, Dominic Dezzutti is the coordinating producer for the station's weekly community affairs programs. Dominic serves as producer for Colorado Inside Out , Colorado Decides - the debate series jointly produced with CBS4 and serves as Executive Producer of CPT12's weekly live call-in program, Studio 12.

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