Peter Marcus

Hickenlooper’s death penalty decision was personal…

But ramifications of life and death matter quickly became political
The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s announcement Wednesday of an executive order granting convicted killer Nathan Dunlap a “temporary reprieve” from execution has set off a firestorm of political activity that has some Democrats encouraged and most Republicans chomping at the bit to oust the middle-of-the-road Democrat.

Two bill signings mark dog day at the Legislature

The Colorado Statesman

Legislators on Monday howled for perhaps the most bipartisan legislation of the entire session when Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills aimed at the state’s furriest friends.

The governor — accompanied by his own dog, Skye, at the state-of-the-art Denver Animal Shelter — signed Senate Bill 226, which aims to curb a rash of dog shootings by law enforcement, and Senate Bill 201, designating shelter pets as the official state pet.

Expanded Medicaid could have $4 billion in impact

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday, surrounded by fellow Democrats and health care professionals, signed a bill that expands Medicaid rolls in Colorado by an estimated 160,000 adults.

Senate Bill 200, sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, will expand Medicaid coverage for low-income Coloradans up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level beginning Jan. 1, 2014, up from 100 percent. The coverage will include families making up to $31,322 and individuals making up to $15,282.

Is Tancredo’s dallying with 2014 guv’s race more than Tomfoolery?

The Colorado Statesman

Former Congressman and conservative stalwart Tom Tancredo says he hasn’t decided whether he will run for governor in 2014 on the Republican ticket challenging popular Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper. In fact, he’s not even comfortable talking about whether he’s seriously considering it.

TOP effort in Denver to track crimes, signs of terrorism

The Colorado Statesman

Barely 24 hours after Metro Taxi launched a program in January 2011 training drivers to keep their eyes and ears open for crime, a cabbie witnessed a pickup truck sideswipe a vehicle and kill a valet driver outside a Denver nightclub. The driver followed the truck and wrote down the license plate number to inform police. Law enforcement quickly made an arrest in connection with the horrific case.

Dems praise session as ‘productive’

But Republicans call it partisan and polarizing
The Colorado Statesman

Both sides of the political aisle agree on at least one thing — the 2013 legislative session was perhaps the most contentious and jam-packed in nearly two decades.

With Democrats in control of both chambers after regaining the House this year, the party pushed an incredibly ambitious agenda, which included gun control, same-sex civil unions, in-state tuition for undocumented students, and a polarizing elections reform package that includes same-day voter registration.

Oil & gas regs slip by lawmakers

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper avoided painful decisions on strict oil and gas regulations proposed by fellow Democrats in the state legislature after his administration’s lobbying efforts resulted in bills that didn’t have the votes, or were so watered down that they were no longer controversial.

Legislators approve regs for legal marijuana use

But voters will have the final say in November
The Colorado Statesman

Lawmakers this week had their last dance with Mary Jane for the legislative session after passing three bills to tax and regulate the budding marijuana industry, ending a tumultuous and trying six-month process.

The two chambers sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper House Bill 1318, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, and Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, which asks voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax and a separate 10 percent special sales tax this November. Cannabis will also be subject to a 2.9 percent statewide sales tax and any local taxes that might be imposed.

Fate of oil bills rests with Guv

The Colorado Statesman

The legislature this week made significant progress advancing several key pieces of legislation addressing the energy sector. Proposals include increasing fines, reducing conflicts of interest on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, stricter accident reporting requirements, creating a statewide groundwater testing program, beefing up inspections at wells, and raising the rural renewable energy standard.

Setting rules for recreational marijuana has been a trip

The Colorado Statesman

Blazing a trail for marijuana legalization in Colorado is proving to be an exercise in patience and political gamesmanship, as lawmakers work to balance an onslaught of lobbying and pressure from legislative colleagues.

The odd journey this week of setting rules and regulations for the recreational legalization of the flower that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, saw bills move to set more than 25 percent in taxes, limiting grow operations and restricting access of cannabis-related publications to minors.