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Bill To Replace Columbus Day In Colorado Heads To Governor's Desk

DENVER (CBS4) - A bill to repeal and replace Columbus day here in Colorado is headed to the governor's desk. If signed the holiday would become Mother Cabrini Day.

"This is a conversation that has been going on for about three decades, about how should we handle Columbus Day in Colorado?" Sen. Chris Hansen asked.

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(credit: CBS)

Hansen sponsored the bill and says it comes after much discussion.

"There were many years of stakeholder engagement, lots of conversation with the Italian American community, the Native American tribes around the state around the region on how we can move forward," he said.

That work he says led to the bill now headed to the governor's desk that would repeal and replace Columbus Day as a state holiday with Mother Cabrini Day.

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Mother Cabrini (credit: CBS)

"She is truly a Colorado hero. Whe did amazing work for the Italian American community, for the immigrant community, refugees coming to Colorado," Hansen said.

While Hansen says the bill is a compromise between those stakeholders, not everyone agrees.

"As much as we love Mother Cabrini this is not the time and place to honor her, not with a state holiday," Bob Badovinac said.

Badovinac is active in a number of Italian-American groups and launched the group Coloradans for Columbus Day, with the hope of keeping things as they are.

"We will still celebrate the bravery of Columbus, but we are very disappointed in our legislation they dismissed the holiday," he said.

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Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden (credit: CBS)

It's a decision Hansen believes was needed.

"We are ready to move forward, and I think this is a nice compromise for the state," he said.

If signed by Gov. Jared Polis, Columbus Day would no longer be a state holiday, but would continue to be recognized as a federal holiday.

Mother Cabrini Day would be celebrated on the first Monday in October while Columbus Day would be the second Monday in October.

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