Current News

Colorado ASSET may see new life in new legislature

The Colorado Statesman

Those who support offering reduced tuition rates to undocumented students are gearing up for the 2013 legislative session, optimistic that with Democrats controlling both chambers, so-called Colorado ASSET legislation will finally pass this year.

On six separate occasions the legislature has denied Colorado Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET). The proposal has taken many different forms over the years, including offering in-state tuition rates to undocumented students, as well as simply creating a new reduced tuition rate category. The latter was the version introduced in the last legislative session.

Cannabis community braces for regulatory fix

Rules must be set in place after passage of Amendment 64
The Colorado Statesman

Medical marijuana advocates are considering pushing their own bill to establish penalties for driving while under the influence of cannabis in an attempt to fight off a proposal by Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, which would establish much stricter guidelines.

Michael Elliott, executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, told The Colorado Statesman that if King goes through with his driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) bill, then the trade association might find sympathetic lawmakers to introduce their own version, although they did not identify specific lawmakers to work with in the upcoming legislative session that begins Jan. 9.

EAGLE-Net circles state

Rural telcoms take aim
The Colorado Statesman

Republican state and federal lawmakers are concerned that a federally backed intergovernmental program, EAGLE-Net Alliance, which is aimed at delivering broadband to rural parts of the state, is overbuilding infrastructure and taking customers away from existing smaller providers.

Supporters of ‘fracking’ defend the practice

Rally at Capitol brings together business, industry leaders
The Colorado Statesman

One week after voters in Longmont banned the controversial energy drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, Colorado business and industry leaders gathered Tuesday on the west steps of the Capitol with hundreds of supporters to boisterously declare their support for the practice.

TBD: more revenue, constitutional fixes

But commission is light on specifics
The Colorado Statesman

A set of recommendations released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper’s blue ribbon commission TBD Colorado includes reforming the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, and finding revenue increases through tax increases and other reforms. The presentation has set off a heated debate over how the state should finance its “wish list” of services for the future.

State budget by JBC hinges on action in DC

Hickenlooper addresses concerns about ‘fiscal cliff’
The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper was blunt in addressing the Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday during a presentation of his budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, telling state lawmakers that if Congress does not act on the looming so-called “fiscal cliff,” the result would be unpleasant for Colorado.

“Let’s hope we don’t get there, but certainly… when you look at sequestration, the choices that will be before you are not pleasant, and dwarf the kinds of decisions we’ve had to make in the last two years,” the governor, a Democrat, responded to a question by JBC member Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen.

Ludwig defeats Davidson for Regent at large — again

Davidson acknowledges Dems did better with GOTV
The Colorado Statesman

Republican Brian Davidson, who recently lost his challenge to Democrat Stephen Ludwig for University of Colorado at large regent, agrees with his former opponent on at least one point: Democrats did a better job getting out the vote. And he believes that in the down ballot contest, motivating voters to the polls is the most important factor, which cost him the election.

Changing of the guard — House Republicans now the minority party at state legislature

The Colorado Statesman

Results of the 2012 elections were barely two days old, but at Colorado’s Statehouse their effects were almost immediate. House Democrats, with a noticeable bounce in their step as they paraded into the Capitol on Nov. 8, were gleefully celebrating their new elevation as the party in control after their ranks increased to 37 out of 65. House Republicans, who had ruled the roost for the last two years, were considerably less elated with their bump down the leadership ladder. Their counternances were more reserved as they began to digest their new role as the minority party.

Ferrandino soon to be known as “Mr. Speaker”

The Colorado Statesman

Six months to the day after House Republican leaders killed a bill to establish same-sex civil unions in a bitter procedural standoff, a newly elected, triumphant Democratic majority on Thursday nominated Mark Ferrandino as speaker of the House, marking the first time an openly gay legislator will preside over the chamber.

The Denver Democrat fought to hold back tears as he told a packed committee room at the Capitol that he was humbled by the honor and considered it a win for kids who’ve been bullied or who grew up feeling like they didn’t fit in.

Morse elevated to Senate president; Carroll tapped as majority leader for Dems

The Colorado Statesman

Senate Democrats on Thursday shuffled the deck of its leadership following the Tuesday elections, choosing Majority Leader John Morse of Colorado Springs to lead them as Senate president in the upcoming session that begins Jan. 9. The nomination bucked speculation that Sen. Pat Steadman of Denver was the favored choice.

Morse, who was nominated by Caucus Chair Morgan Carroll of Aurora, will replace outgoing Senate President Brandon Shaffer of Longmont. Shaffer on Tuesday lost a challenge to U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, in the 4th Congressional District. His political career ostensibly came to an end, at least for now.