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Sen. Bill Cadman: Coloradans well-served by session’s work

GUEST COLUMNIST

“Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

I’ve thought often of that maxim while reading bleacher seat critiques of the 2015 legislative session, given how they differ from what I saw, and where I sit, as one leader of the Republican effort. So let me share my own (admittedly-insider) perspective on how things went, as a corrective to some of the distorted end-of-session reviews I’ve seen.

Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst: Session was successful, not ‘do-nothing’

GUEST COLUMNIST

Now that the dust has settled a bit, we have a clearer view of what we accomplished in the Colorado General Assembly in the 2015 session. I’d like to begin this retrospective by dispelling the notion that this was a do-nothing legislative session. Contrary to the pundits who have been arguing since Opening Day that the Republicans who control the Senate and the Democrats who control the House would cancel each other out, we actually got some important things done with strong bipartisan support.

Gov. John Hickenlooper: Making government work better

GUEST COLUMNIST

Colorado may have a divided legislature with Democrats leading the House and Republicans leading the Senate, but that doesn’t mean we have a divided state.

Colorado’s Office of Legislative Legal Services — which houses many of the brightest, nonpartisan folks in the Capitol — reported that 682 bills were introduced this legislative session. About 55 percent of those bills cleared the legislative process and made it to my desk.

This may have been one of the lower passage rates in recent years, yet we saw many important policy achievements.

Sen. Morgan Carroll: Laying the foundation for the economy

GUEST COLUMNIST

Right now, the Colorado economy is working for the wealthy few, not for everyone. This session Senate Democrats fought against the widening disparity between the top 1 percent and everyone else who works hard, plays by the rules, but cannot get ahead. In Colorado the problem is all too familiar. Between 2009 and 2012 all income growth occurred in the top 1 percent, leaving millions of Coloradans in its backwash.

We worked to mend the growing disparity, provide opportunity, and ensure the adage — a rising tide lifts all boats — is true.

Letter: Sena writes in support of Clean Water Rule

Dear Editor,

Colorado is known for its wealth of outdoor activities, from hiking one of our beautiful mountain ranges to kayaking our mountain streams. Try to imagine our state with more than 73,000 miles unavailable for safe enjoyment. This is a reality that may be realized sooner than Coloradan’s know.

Letter: Weissman responds to George Leing

Dear Editor,

Re: the guest commentary “Keep TPP in the Sunshine” in the May 22 Colorado Statesman:

Sorry, George Leing, but you’re wrong on this one.

Fast track authority does not deprive Congress of the ability to approve or disapprove a fully defined trade agreement. What it does do is establish an agreement between the legislative and executive branches that the final compromise will receive an up-or-down vote, without amendment.

RTD approves rate hike after many negative comments

The Colorado Statesman

There was a charade-like quality to the proposed fare increase debate at RTD headquarters this week. Board members had tipped their hands during a work session “mark-up” the previous week, indicating the votes were there for approval of the proposed plan.

EPA's Clean Water Rule meets with outrage from Republicans, praise from Democrats

The Colorado Statesman

The Environmental Protection Agency’s newly finalized rule on clean water unleashed a flood of criticism Wednesday from Colorado Republicans, who accused the Obama administration of engineering a federal power grab.

The agency’s hotly contested “Waters of the United States” rule expands the list of waterways covered by the federal Clean Water Act, which EPA officials said would ensure that more Americans gain access to drinking water from streams, wetlands and rivers protected by the law.

Hickenlooper gives strong defense of CDHS chief

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper this week lauded Colorado Department of Human Services Director Reggie Bicha and his staff as being “among the best in the United States” after an overwhelming majority of lawmakers recently blasted Bicha's job performance.

And Bicha vowed to meet with all 84 legislators who signed a letter addressed to Hickenlooper that laid out a long list of leadership concerns inside the agency that oversees the state's child welfare and mental health system.

Chandelier kicks off next phase of rehab

The Colorado Statesman

On Monday, contractors lowered the massive brass chandelier that hangs above the Colorado House of Representatives onto a platform and began taking it apart. It’s the start of the second phase of a three-year project designed to restore the legislative chambers to their historic appearance.

“We like to say we’re lowering it, not that we’re dropping it,” quipped Gary Behm, owner of St. Louis Antique Lighting Co., as assistants began dismantling the chandelier, which dates to the 1890s.