Updated: February 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm
DENVER — Hate Colorado's new state logo? It's not going anywhere.
Democrats defeated a Republican proposal to let voters decide whether to keep Colorado's new state logo, which has provoked strong feelings from opponents.
"It is in fact the carbon monoxide symbol. It just has a different color," said Republican Bob. Rankin, repeating an oft-used criticism of the logo, which features a snow-capped green mountain with the letters "CO."
The new state logo, an initiative driven by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's office, was unveiled last year for royalty-free use by businesses that want a Colorado logo on their products and in marketing. It's also being used by state agencies.
Rankin wanted voters to decide in November whether the state should keep the logo, and suspend its use in the meantime.
A House committee controlled by Democrats rejected Rankin's proposal on a 6-5 vote.
Kim Coupounas, co-founder and chief environmental officer of GoLite, an outdoor clothing and equipment company, told lawmakers she loved the simplicity of the logo and is already using it on her products.
But even lawmakers who opposed the idea to refer the logo question to voters weren't completely sold on the design.
"I definitely when I first saw the logo and the brand, I was like, 'This is what we came up with?'" said Democratic House Speaker Mark Ferrandino.
But Ferrandino and other Democrats argued the creation of the logo was a function of the executive branch, and pointed out that the logo is already being used widely.
It cost $1.1 million in private donations and $1.5 million in pro-bono work.
But Rankin said voters should have a say, too.
"The experts don't always get it right," he said.