Frank McNulty (Colorado legislator)

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Frank McNulty
Speaker Frank McNulty.jpg
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
Preceded by Ted Harvey
Succeeded by Kevin Van Winkle
56th Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives
In office
Preceded by Terrance Carroll
Succeeded by Mark Ferrandino
Personal details
Political party Republican
Profession Attorney
Religion Catholic

Frank McNulty (born c. 1973) is an attorney and former Speaker of the House of Representatives in the U.S. State of Colorado. Mr. McNulty was first elected in 2006 to represent House District 43 in the Colorado House of Representatives. House District 43 consists primarily of the community of Highlands Ranch, in northern Douglas County. He was re-elected in 2008, 2010 and to his fourth and final term, due to term-limits, in 2012.

Mr. McNulty was elected by a unanimous vote to serve as the 56th Speaker of the House of Representatives when the Republican Party earned a majority of State House members after the 2010 elections. He served as Speaker of the House for the 68th General Assembly.[1]


Frank was raised in the south metro area and educated at J. K. Mullen High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder.[2] Following his graduation from CU, Frank accepted a position in the Washington, D.C. office of Congressman Wayne Allard, focusing on veterans and civil service affairs and deficit reduction.

Frank returned to Colorado in 1998 to pursue his law degree at the University of Denver College of Law, concentrating on natural resources and water law;[2] he completed his J.D. degree in 2001[3] and belongs to the Douglas/Elbert Bar Association.[2] During this time, he began his work at the state legislative level. Frank joined Governor Bill Owens’ administration in 2000, serving as a division legislative liaison and as Assistant Director for Water for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.[2] In this role, his efforts informed legislation deemed the most significant update to water policy in the past five decades.

In 2011, Frank was elected Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, serving as Speaker for 68th General Assembly.

During Frank’s first three terms in the legislature he was an advocate for limited government and fiscal responsibility. In addition, Frank passed legislation to improve access to higher education for veterans, active duty military and members of the National Guard. He consistently fought to protect children from violent sex offenders, and to advance an “all of the above” energy policy for Colorado. In his fourth term, he focused on criminal justice issues. While he was not able to pass victim-centered reforms to Colorado’s insanity defense, he successfully sponsored and passed legislation to help bring justice to survivors of sexual assaults.

Frank is an attorney with the law firm of Spencer Fane & Grimshaw in Denver, Colorado and lives in Highlands Ranch with his family.

Public Service and Associations[edit]

Colorado State House of Representatives, House District 43 (2007-2015)

Saint Mark Catholic Church

Knights of Columbus

Firearms Coalition of Colorado & the Colorado State Shooting Association[4]

Coloradans for Employee Freedom – Board Member[5]

Legislative Career[edit]

2006 Election[edit]

Mr. McNulty was elected to his first term in the Colorado General Assembly in 2006, defeating Democrat Allen A. Dreher with 61% of the votes cast during the general election.[1] The 2006 election was Mr. McNulty’s first campaign for elected office.

2007 Legislative Session[edit]

Mr. McNulty served on the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee, the House Transportation Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.[6]

Mr. McNulty sponsored legislation to extend in-state tuition benefits to active duty military personnel on temporary assignment in Colorado and their families.[7] The measure was part of a package of veterans’ benefit bills backed by a bipartisan coalition of legislators that were passed and signed into law.[8] Mr. McNulty also sponsored a version of Jessica’s Law, a Florida law named after a Jessica Lunsford who was brutally raped and murdered by a repeat sex offender.[9] Mr. McNulty’s bill to create mandatory minimum sentences for criminals convicted of violent sex assaults against children died in the House Judiciary Committee.

Other legislation introduced and passed by Mr. McNulty included a bill to make it easier for farmers and ranchers to temporarily donate their water to help protect the environment, especially during times of drought.[10]

During the 2007-2008 legislative interim, Mr. McNulty served on the Transportation Legislation Review Committee.[11]

2008 Legislative Session[edit]

Mr. McNulty served on the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee, the House Transportation Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.[12] He also served on a special committee appointed to review allegations of improper behavior by Rep. Douglas Bruce.[13][14] The committee recommended that Rep. Bruce be censured for his actions. The censure resolution passed 62-1.

Mr. McNulty introduced legislation that eliminated antiquated rules for the submission of development plats, increased transparency in campaign contributions, increased a focus on the use and availability of hydroelectricity, required that those registering to vote show proof of citizenship first,[15] and made state funding available for Colorado National Guardsmen attending state colleges and universities. He also addressed minimum bond requirements designed to keep drug dealers off the streets and pushed for divestment of state pension funds from companies doing business in Iran, a move which lead to new rules governing Colorado’s Public Employees Retirement Association investments.[16]

Additionally, Mr. McNulty lead the opposition to a number of measures sponsored by Democrats including vehicle registration fee increases, demonstration of “sustainable” water supplies, and additional regulations on in-situ uranium mining.

2008 Election[edit]

In 2008, Mr. McNulty successfully secured a second term in the Colorado House of Representatives; earning 63% of the votes cast in the general election against the Democratic nominee, John Stevens.[17] The Denver Post endorsed McNulty’s 2008 re-election bid.[18]

In October 2008, Mr. McNulty participated in the “Western Values Tour” with U.S. Senator John Kyl of Arizona. The purpose of the tour was to promote the McCain-Palin presidential ticket in central Colorado.[19]

2009 Legislative Session[edit]

Mr. McNulty served as ranking Republican on the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee and served as a member of the House Transportation & Energy Committee and the Legislative Audit Committee.[20]

In 2009, Mr. McNulty continued his efforts to make college available to members of America’s military by eliminating the in-state tuition waiting period for military veterans if they made their home in Colorado. He initiated efforts to help protect children from coming into contact with felons while attending public schools and worked with Rep. Laura Bradford and Rep. Scott Tipton to resurrect Jessica’s Law.[21] The bills prohibiting felons in schools and Jessica's Law died in Democratic-controlled committees.

As Colorado’s housing market stumbled, some foreclosure reporting outlets were skewing the number of actual foreclosures by double counting establishments. Mr. McNulty introduced and passed legislation to correct this double counting. He also sponsored measures to eliminate wasteful federal “stimulus” spending and to prohibit implementation of a greenhouse gas “cap-and-trade” system by the federal government. These measures did not pass.

After House Minority Leader Mike May of Parker announced his intention to retire in December 2008, Mr. McNulty was identified as a potential candidate for the vacated leadership post.[22] Mr. McNulty and State Rep. David Balmer of Centennial both expressed interest in filling the pending leadership vacancy created by Mr. May’s retirement. The leadership vote and Mr. May’s resignation were postponed after allegations surfaced that a lobbyist Erik Groves attempted to influence the election in favor of Rep. Balmer.[23][24] A special legislative panel investigated the allegations against Mr. Groves and Rep. Balmer for his involvement. The panel cleared Rep. Balmer and recommended that Mr. Groves be admonished for his role.[25]

2010 Legislative Session[edit]

Mr. McNulty served on the House Education Committee, the House Transportation & Energy Committee and the Legislative Audit Committee. Yet again, the rights of crime victims were a primary focus of McNulty’s 2010 legislative agenda. He introduced legislation to centralize crime reporting so that the information would be available to law enforcement more quickly and renewed his effort to bar felons from licensed positions in public schools. Both measures were lost. Additionally, he sought to buttress the rights of Colorado taxpayers when he introduced measures to eliminate the ambiguity that Democrats and the Colorado Supreme Court had created in approving certain tax increases. Both of these resolutions were killed by Democrats. McNulty was successful in eliminating an arbitrary distinction that had kept some cancer patients from receiving the most effective chemotherapy treatment for their illness. Furthermore, his efforts to eliminate a government board were successful, though his effort to consolidate two state government departments was not.

2010 Election[edit]

Mr. McNulty successfully secured a third term in the Colorado House of Representatives in 2008; earning 67% of the votes cast in the general election against the Democratic nominee, Gary Semro. During the 2010 election cycle, Mr. McNulty chaired the House Republican campaign effort along with House Minority Caucus Chair Rep. Amy Stephens from Monument. The two barnstormed the state supporting House Republican candidates and sharing the House GOP legislative agenda of job creation and economic recovery. On election night 2010, House Republicans picked up five seats, with a sixth seat secured the following day. Two days later, Mr. McNulty was nominated Speaker-designate of the Colorado House of Representatives by his House GOP caucus. He was later elected unanimously as Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives.

2011 Legislative Session[edit]

For the first time in six years, Republicans entered a legislative session with a majority of members in the Colorado House of Representatives. Under McNulty’s leadership, the House Republican Caucus pursued an agenda to create jobs, limit government, and grow Colorado’s economy.

Two of the “Dirty Dozen” tax increases passed by Democrats a year earlier were successfully repealed. Other bills repealing “Dirty Dozen” tax increases were killed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Additionally, Republicans reinstated state reimbursements to businesses that collect sales tax on behalf of state and local governments, as well as legislation that made it easier to build hydro-electric projects in Colorado. Republicans introduced legislation to eliminate the business personal property tax and unnecessarily burdensome regulations but these bills died in the Senate after having passed the House of Representatives.

McNulty carried bills aimed at streamlining government, including legislation allowing Governor Hickenlooper’s Lieutenant Governor to receive one salary while also serving as head of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The House Republicans also helped successfully reduced the state budget by a substantial amount of money by decreasing state government positions and refusing to rely on short-term fixes or tax hikes.

2012 Legislative Session[edit]

The 2012 legislative session opened with Republicans and Democrats again discussing job creation and economic revival. Republicans outlined a legislative agenda that was described as limited and focused on specific areas where government was standing in the way of economic growth.

On the night of second-to-last day of the 2012 legislative session, Democrats and at least two Republicans demanded that the House move out-of-order to consider Senate Bill 002, a bill to create civil unions in Colorado.[26][27] With the three Republicans who had voted for the bill in House committees, House Democratic leadership claimed that they had the votes to pass the bill. Ultimately, the work of the House stalled for the night and the delay cause the Colorado General Assembly to enter into a special legislative session.[28]

2012 Election[edit]

In the first election after legislative redistricting, Mr. McNulty successfully secured a fourth and final, term in the Colorado House of Representatives in 2010; earning 62% of the votes cast in the general election against the Democratic nominee, Gary Semro.[29][30]

The 2012 General Election also witnessed President Obama capture Colorado by 5.5 points over Republican Mitt Romney and the Democratic Party gained five seats in the House of Representatives, which gave them a majority.[31]

2013 Legislative Session[edit]

In 2013, Rep. McNulty fought to protect families and communities by helping to put more criminals behind bars. With HB1127 he sought to transfer the burden of proof in an insanity defense case from the prosecution and, instead place it on the defendant. This bill would have also reduced the burden of proof from beyond a reasonable doubt to clear and convincing evidence. It was killed by Democrats in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. To continue his commitment to victim centered policies, HB1020 ensured the consistent collection and treatment of evidence in alleged sexual assault cases guaranteeing survivors were not left without justice due to lost or compromised evidence. This evidence was then to be entered into law enforcement databases to help catch and prosecute more sexual predators. HB1020 was met with overwhelming bipartisanship support and was signed by the Governor.

2014 Legislative Session[edit]

Rep. McNulty continued his dedication to criminal justice in 2014 by introducing legislation to keep violent offenders in prison by revoking earned time credits if they had committed violent offense while incarcerated and another to protect workplaces and employees from co-workers who abused drugs. Both bills were killed on a party line vote in the Democratic controlled Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee.

McNulty also prioritized keeping marijuana edibles out of the hands of children with HB1366 and to create an equivalency for marijuana concentrates with HB1361. HB1366 stipulated that marijuana edibles must be clearly identifiable to avoid accidental ingestion so children, who could not tell the difference between store bought goods and those containing marijuana, would be safe from harm. While Colorado laws outlined possession of marijuana to 1 oz. for an adult resident and a ¼ oz. for a non-resident, a disconnect existed in the potency equivalency between the marijuana flower and that of marijuana concentrate or wax (or other retail marijuana product). A scientific study to develop the proper equivalencies was created with HB1361. These important pieces of legislation were signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 21st.


  1. ^ a b "State House District 43". COMaps. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d "About Frank". Frank McNulty, State Representative. Retrieved 2008-04-13. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Frank McNulty - Colorado - State House District 43 candidate". Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  4. ^ "Representative Frank McNulty". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  5. ^ Chohan, Raj (27 June 2008). "REALITY CHECK: Anti-union ad is no joke". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  6. ^ "House Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  7. ^ Staff Reports (8 June 2007). "McNulty Bill grants in-state tuition to servicemembers" (PDF). Mountaineer. Retrieved 2008-04-26. [dead link]
  8. ^ Ensslin, John C. (5 March 2007). "Bills target veterans benefits". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-04-26. [dead link]
  9. ^ Saccone, Mike (15 November 2008). "State's economic decline creates roadblock for lawmakers pushing to pass Jessica's Law". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-11-16. [dead link]
  10. ^ Condon, Scott (25 March 2007). "Salvation for the Roaring Fork?". Aspen Times. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  11. ^ "Transportation Legislation Review Committee 2007". Colorado Legislative Council. Retrieved 2008-04-27. [dead link]
  12. ^ "House Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  13. ^ Frosch, Dan (25 January 2008). "Colorado Lawmaker Censured for Kicking". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  14. ^ Barge, Chris (15 January 2008). "House kicks up an investigation". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  15. ^ Ingold, John (7 February 2008). "Voter ID bills fail to pass". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  16. ^ Hanel, Joe (24 January 2008). "State might pull out of stocks linked to Iran". Durango Herald. Archived from the original on 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  17. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 General Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  18. ^ Editorial Board (17 October 2008). "Post's picks in Colorado's House of Representatives". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  19. ^ "Colorado Victory Announces the 'Western Values' Tour" (Press release). Republican National Committee. 27 October 2008. 
  20. ^ "House Republican Committee Assignments Announced" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. 18 November 2008. 
  21. ^ Anderson, Emily (25 November 2008). "Jessica's Law bill gets state sponsors". Grand Junction Free Press. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  22. ^ Sealover, Ed (13 December 2008). "Key Republican giving up seat to tend to business". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  23. ^ Bartels, Lynn (18 December 2008). "Ethics charge filed in race for Colorado House post". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  24. ^ Hoover, Tim (16 December 2008). ""Influence" effort prompts Rep. May to postpone retirement". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  25. ^ Fender, Jessica (29 January 2009). "Ethics panel clears Balmer". Denver Post. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  26. ^ "USA Today - Republicans kill civil unions in Colorado". 2012-05-14. 
  27. ^ "Associated Press - Colorado civil union bill dies - lawmakers reach impasse after Republican filibuster". 
  28. ^ Bartels, Lynn; Hoover, Tim (2012-05-09). "Denver Post - Hickenlooper calls for special session in fallout over failed Colorado civil-union bill". 
  29. ^ "CO - Election Results - Colorado Secretary of State". 
  30. ^ "State House 2012 Election Results - Denver Post". 
  31. ^ "Denver Post - Leadership of the 69th General Assembly". 

External links[edit]