Marianne Goodland

Williams, Cooke: a partnership for success

The Colorado Statesman

They couldn’t be more different.

She’s a Denver Democrat. He’s a Greeley Republican.

She’s a businesswoman. He’s a former sheriff.

She’s a veteran lawmaker. He’s in his first term.

But together, Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley and Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, forged a partnership that will change law enforcement in Colorado. Of the six law enforcement reform bills that went to the governor, Cooke and Williams were co-sponsors on four.

SINE DIE

The Colorado Statesman

By Marianne Goodland
The Colorado Statesman

The person exhaling the biggest sigh of relief one day after the 2015 legislative session came to a close was perhaps Colorado’s executive-in-chief, Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Hospital Provider fee bill dies, but it’ll be back

The Colorado Statesman

A late-session priority for Gov. John Hickenlooper fell by the wayside Tuesday.

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Tuesday put an end to a bill the governor had hoped would help provide financial space for the state under the TABOR revenue cap.

Legislators to get pay raise

The Colorado Statesman

While the General Assembly spent much of their last three days killing bills right and left, they did decide to give a pay hike to future legislators, and state and county elected officials.

Currently, Colorado’s lawmakers make $30,000 per year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado’s pay ranks at about the mid-point for all state legislatures.

Rain barrel bill dies on calendar

The Colorado Statesman

A bill that would have allowed Coloradans to collect rainwater died in the Senate late Tuesday night. But as with many major bills that died in the last three days of the session, this too, will return.

House Bill 15-1259 would allow Coloradans to collect up to two 55-gallon rain barrels of water that drains off their rooftops. The water could then be used for outdoor purposes, such as lawn and garden irrigation.

The bill became the center of one of the last great behind-the-scenes battles of the 2015 legislative session.

Rainbarrel bill revived, but for how long?

The Colorado Statesman

Don’t go buying those rain barrels just yet. A bill to allow Coloradans to collect rainwater got a last-minute reprieve, but anything can happen in the next 24 hours.

Despite the best efforts of its committee chair to delay a vote until Wednesday, the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday voted 6-5 to send House Bill 15-1259 to the Senate floor. Whether it will come up Tuesday evening for a second reading vote, however, is still a big if.

Rainbarrel bill dead for session

The Colorado Statesman

Don’t go buying those rain barrels just yet. Colorado law isn’t going to change this year to allow you to collect rainwater that falls off your roof.

A stubborn Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, is blocking any opportunity for House Bill 15-1259 to get to the Senate for a vote. The bill would allow Coloradans to collect up to two 55-gallon rain barrels of water that drain off their rooftops. The water could then be used for outdoor purposes, such as lawn and garden irrigation.

Condo construction defects discussion at an end

The Colorado Statesman

The 2014 legislative session ended with a whimper, not a bang, on the condo construction defects issue. This year’s session on the same issue will end the same way.

But supporters of the efforts vow they will be back next year.

Last week, Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, assigned the Senate’s major construction defects bill, Senate Bill 15-177, to the House’s “kill” committee, the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. They voted along 6-5 party lines to kill the bill after a five-hour hearing Monday.

Gov’s TABOR plan draws lukewarm reception

The Colorado Statesman

The 2015 legislative session began with Gov. John Hickenlooper touting the state’s economic successes. It may end with him lamenting the economic problems that couldn’t be solved.

Last week, the governor sent lawmakers a letter, suggesting how they could resolve contradictory fiscal laws that limit the state’s ability to fund certain infrastructure priorities.

Sagebrush rebellion rekindled in Colorado

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado’s legislature has jumped into the middle of the West’s renewed Sagebrush rebellion, with the state Senate this week debating whether Colorado should take a bigger hand in managing its federally-owned public lands.

But opponents fear what that would mean for everyone who uses them.

One year ago, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy squared off against agents of the federal Bureau of Land Management. Bundy refused to pay about $1 million in grazing fees for his cattle to graze on public land, fees that had accrued over a 20-year period.