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Haley to head COGA

Former Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley was named president and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, the trade group announced on Wednesday. Haley takes over from Tisha Schuller, who announced in May she would be departing the post after heading COGA for five years.

Haley is currently vice president of communications, development and strategy at the public affairs firm EIS Solutions. Prior to that, he was director of communications for Denver-based CoBank.

Denver municipal elections: More of the same, but different

The Colorado Statesman

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock strolled to a second term on Tuesday against a handful of mostly unknown challengers, but voters stunned two city council veterans, sending one packing by a wide margin and denying another his bid for election as city auditor.

The message in the low turnout, nonpartisan election was clear: More of the same, only different.

Voters are likely to get their wish.

Tense debate precedes re-up of consumer watchdog office

The Colorado Statesman

The final day of the legislative session featured a fierce debate over the reauthorization of a consumer watchdog agency, one that resulted in most Senate Democrats refusing to vote on a Republican-backed measure for its continuance.

“This will be one of the things we've done that I'm not proud of this session,” Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, said of a Republican bill that would strip a key component from the purview of the Office of the Consumer Counsel.

Hospital Provider fee bill dies, but it’ll be back

The Colorado Statesman

A late-session priority for Gov. John Hickenlooper fell by the wayside Tuesday.

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Tuesday put an end to a bill the governor had hoped would help provide financial space for the state under the TABOR revenue cap.

Legislators to get pay raise

The Colorado Statesman

While the General Assembly spent much of their last three days killing bills right and left, they did decide to give a pay hike to future legislators, and state and county elected officials.

Currently, Colorado’s lawmakers make $30,000 per year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado’s pay ranks at about the mid-point for all state legislatures.

Rain barrel bill dies on calendar

The Colorado Statesman

A bill that would have allowed Coloradans to collect rainwater died in the Senate late Tuesday night. But as with many major bills that died in the last three days of the session, this too, will return.

House Bill 15-1259 would allow Coloradans to collect up to two 55-gallon rain barrels of water that drains off their rooftops. The water could then be used for outdoor purposes, such as lawn and garden irrigation.

The bill became the center of one of the last great behind-the-scenes battles of the 2015 legislative session.

Felony DUI law finally within sight

The Colorado Statesman

After several failures in recent years, an effort to create a felony drunken-driving charge in Colorado is finally on its way to becoming law.

But House Bill 1043 comes with a price tag that will only increase in the coming years, which could impact future legislative priorities, warns a key budget lawmaker.

The bill would create a felony for drivers who receive their fourth DUI conviction. Current law counts a DUI as a misdemeanor, regardless of how many offenses a driver racks up.

Rainbarrel bill revived, but for how long?

The Colorado Statesman

Don’t go buying those rain barrels just yet. A bill to allow Coloradans to collect rainwater got a last-minute reprieve, but anything can happen in the next 24 hours.

Despite the best efforts of its committee chair to delay a vote until Wednesday, the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday voted 6-5 to send House Bill 15-1259 to the Senate floor. Whether it will come up Tuesday evening for a second reading vote, however, is still a big if.

Effort to create fetal homicide law fails

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats fought off a Republican-led effort to create a murder charge for the killing of an unborn child during a May 4 House committee hearing, ending a partisan Capitol debate that often centered around abortion.

The Democrat-majority House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee rejected Senate Bill 268 on a party-line vote. The bill had previously emerged from the Republican-majority Senate, also along party lines.

The measure would have allowed prosecutors to file charges that include murder in cases where pregnant women are attacked.

Rainbarrel bill dead for session

The Colorado Statesman

Don’t go buying those rain barrels just yet. Colorado law isn’t going to change this year to allow you to collect rainwater that falls off your roof.

A stubborn Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, is blocking any opportunity for House Bill 15-1259 to get to the Senate for a vote. The bill would allow Coloradans to collect up to two 55-gallon rain barrels of water that drain off their rooftops. The water could then be used for outdoor purposes, such as lawn and garden irrigation.