Peter Marcus

Personality conflicts disrupt Appropriations

Tit for tat antics of Reps. Duran, Gerou stall bills
The Colorado Statesman

Tensions between Reps. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, and Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, escalated during a House Appropriations Committee meeting Wednesday morning, stalling several bills that require funding just as Senate discussions over the budget kicked into high gear.

The multiple divisive exchanges between Gerou and Duran sparked calls by Duran for an ethics investigation on Gerou, though that threat had not mounted as of press time.

Possible speed bumps ahead for Uber unless bill is amended

The Colorado Statesman

After hours of testimony, a House committee on Wednesday evening laid over a measure that would place ride-sharing services like Lyft and UberX under light regulation, leaving the final destination of the bill uncertain.

Senate Bill 125 did not come to a screeching halt — the Transportation and Energy Committee has scheduled the bill for a vote next Wednesday. The hearing this week served to simply take witness testimony.

More money for the budget, more fights at legislature

The Colorado Statesman

The Senate this week will take up a $23 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year after the House last week passed a largely partisan spending plan that resulted in plenty of fights over how to fund the state.

The overall budget proposal represents a $1.1 billion increase over the current budget, and marks the most money lawmakers have had to spend in nearly a decade.

SB 125 could face bumpy ride in House

The Colorado Statesman

A measure that would place ride-sharing services like Lyft and UberX under light regulation could face a bumpy ride when it lands in the House this upcoming week.

The bipartisan Senate Bill 125, sponsored in the House by Reps. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, and Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, has been scheduled for Wednesday in the House Transportation and Energy Committee in the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

The measure would empower the Public Utilities Commission to regulate so-called “Transportation Networking Companies” by:

• Requiring an insurance policy that applies to the rider and driver;

New legislative take on old telecommunications laws

Bipartisan package draws ire of AARP
The Colorado Statesman

A package of bills that would update the state’s decades-old telecommunications laws passed its first test on Tuesday, making it through a House committee with relative ease.

The House Business, Labor, Economic and Workforce Development committee backed the five bills after about five hours of debate, despite opposition from senior citizens who believe that the modernization would lead to an elimination of traditional phone service and a spike in rates.

The bipartisan package of bills includes:

Dems unveil legislation surrounding recall elections

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats this week unveiled legislation that aims to correct some of the legal conflicts revealed last summer during recall elections of two Senate Democrats that nullified mail balloting and contributed to the Democrats’ loss.

During an impromptu media availability hosted by Senate Democrats on Monday, lawmakers proposed a measure that would modify a provision in state statute that allows a person to petition onto a recall election ballot 15 days before the election date.

Lawmakers want potency levels for pot products

Republcian McNulty and Dem Singer to partner on legislation
The Colorado Statesman

Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, has scaled back an original proposal that would have banned cannabis-infused products and concentrates. Instead, his new proposal would set potency equivalency limits for edibles and concentrates.

McNulty has partnered with Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, to push the potency equivalency proposal. The bills — which have delayed status and are expected to be introduced in the coming days — would seek to determine equivalent potencies between infused products, concentrates and the actual marijuana flower.

Rosier budget could trigger TABOR refunds

The Colorado Statesman

This year’s discussions over a rosier budget picture have highlighted issues with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights that could result in refunds to taxpayers in the coming years.

Lawmakers are concerned because the refunds would come despite voters already approving retention of marijuana taxes. The marijuana taxes would be largely responsible for the excess dollars.

HD 24 Dem candidate admits passing bad check 12 years ago

The Colorado Statesman

House District 24 Democratic candidate and Edgewater City Councilman Kristian Teegardin is not concerned that a past criminal history for attempting to pass a bad check will hurt him in a divisive primary against Wheat Ridge progressive policy strategist Jessie Danielson, or in the general election if he makes it there.

Teegardin was arrested at 29 years old in 2002 after attempting to pass the bogus check at an urgent care medical facility near where he lived at the time in Bloomington, Ind. He was charged with a misdemeanor for “check deception.”

Dems, Republicans differ on mid-session assessment

The Colorado Statesman

As Republicans and Democrats approached the midway point for the legislative session last week, lawmakers suggested that they have bucked public perception by working together to advance legislation for the state.

Senate Majority Leader Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, pointed out that of the more than 100 bills passed out of the Senate as of last Thursday, only three were partisan bills that made it through without Republican support.