Peter Marcus

Bipartisanship is key word on opening day

The Colorado Statesman

Legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle during opening remarks on Wednes-day pleaded with members to exercise bipartisanship following a blistering interim.

In the wake of two successful recalls that ousted Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo for their support of gun control, leaders appeared set on healing open wounds.

A third Senate Democrat, Evie Hudak of Westminster, resigned in November rather than face a painful recall election, thereby preserving the Democratic majority in the Senate by one seat.

Legislators likely to take another look at last year’s rural renewable energy standard bill

The Colorado Statesman

Bills targeting the energy sector are not likely to be part of an ambitious agenda this legislative session following a hard push by Democrats last year that ended with lackluster success.

With the first few days of the 2014 session in the rearview mirror, only a handful of bills have been proposed that would significantly impact energy development in Colorado.

One bill would increase fines on the oil and gas industry for environmental and health violations.

Budget will be larger, but that could lead to more contentious discussions

Plus return of gun issues could also wreak havoc in the Senate
The Colorado Statesman

Even though the state budget is a good three months away from being seriously debated, Senate leaders believe the so-called Long Bill could lead to one of the most significant political conversations of the upcoming legislative session.

The fight is looming, as lawmakers will have $1.4 billion more to spend in fiscal year 2014-15 than was budgeted for the current fiscal year.

House GOP looks to tweak a few issues from last year

The Colorado Statesman

House Republicans in the upcoming legislative session that begins on Wednesday hope to renew hearings on issues such as gun control and a rural renewable energy standard, opening the door to several divisive debates that are likely to repeat themselves this year.

Hickenlooper emphasizes jobs, economy — again

But with a little more bipartisanship this time
The Colorado Statesman

Despite heading into a contentious political year in 2014 — in which Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is facing re-election and a loud and crowded GOP primary field — the governor remains optimistic that he can lead the legislature towards a bipartisan session that begins on Jan. 8.

“We’re going to continue to try to bring a nonpartisan focus on job creation and the economy; try to make sure we can support our small businesses,” Hickenlooper said on Dec. 19 at a media availability in his office.

Republican Doty won’t run for Secretary of State

GOP Williams, Dem Neguse are only official candidates to date
The Colorado Statesman

For the moment, it does not appear that Republican El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams will face a primary in his bid for secretary of state. Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Doty told The Colorado Statesman on Monday that she would not pursue the race, despite having said earlier that she was considering it.

Doty said she is already preoccupied with her work as a county commissioner, and also has several personal matters to attend to that make it difficult for her to engage in a statewide race.

Ken Gordon remembered as ‘the people’s politician’

The Colorado Statesman

Former Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon is being remembered as the people’s politician, having traded the usual inner circle establishment politics for a legacy of grassroots mobilizing that continues to shape the landscape of Colorado politics.

Gordon died on Dec. 22. He was 63.

Drilling away at fracking bans, lawsuits

Complicated election laws could overturn ban in Broomfield; lawsuits also filed in Lafayette, Fort Collins
The Colorado Statesman

The fate of hydraulic fracturing in Broomfield remains in limbo as attorneys continue to drill away at complicated and intertwining court cases that don’t exactly have to do with so-called “fracking” itself.

When Broomfield voters this November backed a five-year moratorium on fracking by only 17 votes, proponents of the temporary ban rejoiced that those in the community had heard their call.

Strong economy depends on our engagement abroad

The Colorado Statesman

The former commander of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Anthony Zinni, said on Monday in Denver that Colorado’s economy could be strengthened by American leadership abroad.

Speaking at an event hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition at the Four Seasons Denver, Zinni recalled his own adventures developing diplomatic operations in diverse areas such as the Middle East, Africa and southeast Asia.

Zenzinger chosen to replace Sen. Hudak

Defeats veteran Gagliardi in vacancy committee election
The Colorado Statesman

Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi was stunned after fellow Senate District 19 Democrats on Tuesday night passed her over and elected Arvada City Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger to replace Sen. Evie Hudak following her resignation last month.

Hudak announced her resignation on Nov. 27 in the face of a looming and costly recall election over her support for gun control. Zenzinger was sworn-in on Friday, Dec. 13.