Current News

Salazar to leave Cabinet in March

The Colorado Statesman

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar plans to return along with his trademark cowboy hat and bolo tie collection to Colorado in March after four years heading the department, he announced on Wednesday.

“I have had the privilege of reforming the Department of the Interior to help lead the United States in securing a new energy frontier, ushering in a conservation agenda for the 21st century, and honoring our word to the nation’s first Americans,” said Salazar in a statement.

Dem legislators set on ASSET bill this year

The Colorado Statesman

The seventh time could be a charm, backers of the proposed Colorado ASSET bill say.

If Democratic legislators get their way this year — and their solid majorities in both chambers make that exceedingly likely — Colorado high school graduates who aren’t legal residents, but who meet certain other criteria, will soon be able to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

Judiciary issues take center stage

The Colorado Statesman

Judiciary issues could become the most difficult and contentious topics facing the legislature this year. Lawmakers will tackle the uncharted world of recreational marijuana regulation, a troubled child protection system and polarizing discussions on gun control.

But it is also the bigger judiciary picture that lawmakers will need to focus on. Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender — in his last annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the legislature on Jan. 11 — described the judiciary in Colorado to be “alive and well.” That’s not to say, however, that there isn’t still work to be done, Bender implored legislators.

Battle brewing over beer in supermarkets

Priola bill would expand licenses from one to five for retailers
The Colorado Statesman

Another legislative brouhaha is brewing this year over whether to allow more supermarkets and convenience stores in Colorado to sell full-strength beer, wine and liquor.

The battle is nothing new to the legislature. This year would mark the fifth most recent attempt at allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer. The last effort was in 2011 when two bills that would have allowed the sale died.

Gessler grilled on secretary of state’s practices

Elected official says he’s working to further ‘American Dream’
The Colorado Statesman

Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler on Monday defended using office resources to clear non-citizens from state voter rolls. His remarks came as Democratic lawmakers grilled the secretary over glitches with online voter registration, prohibiting mailing of ballots to inactive voters, and controversial relationships with county clerks.

Incumbent GOP Chair Call announces for reelection

DougCo chair Baisley and grassroots organizer Horn plan to challenge
The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call will face at least two challengers in his bid for a second term, which he made official this week. Douglas County GOP Chairman Mark Baisley plans to announce his run on Tuesday, The Colorado Statesman has learned, and Centennial-based grassroots organizer Lori Horn is also running for the top spot. State Republicans pick their leadership team in early March at the party’s biennial reorganization meeting.

Governor delivers third State of the State address

Calls for renewed efforts to curb gun violence
The Colorado Statesman

On the heels of “a hard year” in Colorado — punctuated by rampant wildfires and a mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater — Gov. John Hickenlooper urged lawmakers on Thursday to respond to adversity the way westerners always have.

Environmentalist, oil & gas officials continue to clash

‘Fractivists’ not pleased with Guv
The Colorado Statesman

The debate over hydraulic fracturing this week appeared to run deeper than the controversial wells themselves. And if a good compromise is truly an agreement that no party is happy with, then the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission should be quite pleased with its progress.

Investigation into Gessler’s use of public funds continues

Ethics commission pursues complaint filed by Ethics Watch
The Colorado Statesman

The state’s independent ethics commission on Monday rejected requests by attorneys for Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler to drop an investigation into his alleged inappropriate use of public dollars.

Liberal-leaning Colorado Ethics Watch, which filed a complaint against Gessler with the four-member bipartisan Independent Ethics Commission, has produced records showing that taxpayers funded the secretary’s trip to attend a Republican National Lawyers Association event in Sarasota, Fla. at the time the Republican National Convention was taking place in Tampa, Fla.

‘Twas the swing-state election…

The Colorado Statesman

’Twas the swing-state election, and all through the year
Colorado was crucial, or so ’twould appear.
From the peaks to the plains there was no place to hide:
Undecided electors hung on for the ride.