Marianne Goodland

TABOR refund likely to go to voters

The Colorado Statesman

Budget writers this week finished their work on the annual state budget and turned their attention to what to do about a $58 million projected TABOR refund.

Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, took the lead on coming up with a proposal for the Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday.

The $58 million refund was triggered by tax revenue received by the state through excise and sales taxes on marijuana, and which pushed the state over its allowable TABOR revenue cap.

Photo: Hickenlooper signs legislature's biggest microscopic issue

The Colorado Statesman
Gov. John Hickenlooper gets close and personal with a jar of microbeads, brought to him by House Bill 15-1144 sponsor Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora. Hickenlooper signed HB 1144 into law on March 26.

Photo of the Day

The Colorado Statesman
Rico Turner, 6, of Denver was among more than 250 people at a rally outside Colorado's State Capitol today to show support for raising the minimum wage in the state.

Construction defects clears first hurdle

The Colorado Statesman

After some delay, Senate committees this week finally debated two bills that seek to make the state’s construction defects law more industry-friendly. The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, on a 3-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 15-091 on Monday. The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee, on a 6-2 vote, passed SB 177 on Wednesday.

Lawmakers cut deal cut on illegal immigrant drivers license funding

The Colorado Statesman

The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday reached a compromise on a 2014-15 spending bill that would allow the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to clear off a backlog of requests for driver’s licenses from people in the country illegally.
The supplemental bill has been on the legislative docket for more than six weeks, an unusually long time for a bill that seeks to finish out the spending year for a state agency.

But Senate Bill 15-161 was controversial even before it was introduced.

Colo. Ag Day big hit under Gold Dome, promoting industry and philanthropy

The Colorado Statesman

Perhaps the most popular Capitol event of the session, Colorado Ag Day, did not disappoint hundreds of hungry legislators, staffers and Capitol visitors on Wednesday.

The fourth annual Farm to Fork competition, which highlights Colorado agricultural products, took place on Wednesday, and is sponsored by the Colorado Chefs Association. This year’s competition showed off dishes made with Colorado bison, lamb, bass, beef, eggs, potatoes and desserts, and fed long lines of those eager to sample Colorado cuisine at its best.

Hick implies 'Real misgivings' with repealing mag ban

Senate Judiciary passes magazine ban repeal bill
The Colorado Statesman

While Senate Republicans this week celebrated bipartisan support for a bill repealing a 2013 law limiting the size of ammunition magazines, Governor Hickenlooper hinted a veto may be in the cards, should the bill reach his desk.

Hickenlooper recaps legislature's first half

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the slow start to the 2015 legislative session Wednesday, calling it “probably a good thing” that fewer laws will make it to his desk this year. The General Assembly crossed the midpoint of its 2015 session last Saturday, and as of press time the Governor had signed only twenty four bills into law, including twenty-one on Wednesday. It's been the fewest bills to reach his desk by mid-session since he took office in 2011.

Microbeads under Senate microscope

Ban passes final legislative test
The Colorado Statesman

A bill banning the manufacture and sale of personal care products with synthetic plastic microbeads achieved final Senate approval on Wednesday, but not without a science lesson from one of the bill’s opponents.

House Bill 15-1144 sailed through its Senate committee hearing and final passage without amendment but not without challenge.

Rep. Klingenschmitt distributes controversial letter to colleagues

The Colorado Statesman

A two page, single spaced letter from one legislator became the talk of the Capitol this week.

On Tuesday, the House voted 35 to 29, with Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction, siding with the Democratic caucus, to pass House Bill 15-1175. The bill would have prohibited state-licensed therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals from providing gay conversion therapy for minors under the age of 18.