Legislative News

Yesteryear: A stroll down politics' memory lane

Looking back: Final Four to civil rights march
The Colorado Statesman

Twenty-five years ago this week in The Colorado Statesman … Precinct caucuses were approaching, but attendance at the neighborhood gatherings would be vying against feverish interest in the NCAA Final Four championship games set for the same night in Denver. Although scalpers were demanding upwards of $2,500 for seats, “A lot of people still think they are miraculously going to get tickets,” said Arapahoe County Democratic chair Gale Drexler.

TABOR refund likely to go to voters

The Colorado Statesman

Budget writers this week finished their work on the annual state budget and turned their attention to what to do about a $58 million projected TABOR refund.

Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, took the lead on coming up with a proposal for the Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday.

The $58 million refund was triggered by tax revenue received by the state through excise and sales taxes on marijuana, and which pushed the state over its allowable TABOR revenue cap.

Williams celebrates bill with puffs

The Colorado Statesman

Thursday was a good day for tobacco distributors in Colorado, or at least a step in the right direction. Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, presented her bill, HB-1301, to the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee. The bill known as the “Cigar Online Sales Equalization Act” would permit distributors to claim a credit for taxes they currently have to pay to ship to out-of-state consumers.

Photo: Hickenlooper signs legislature's biggest microscopic issue

The Colorado Statesman
Gov. John Hickenlooper gets close and personal with a jar of microbeads, brought to him by House Bill 15-1144 sponsor Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora. Hickenlooper signed HB 1144 into law on March 26.

Photo of the Day

The Colorado Statesman
Rico Turner, 6, of Denver was among more than 250 people at a rally outside Colorado's State Capitol today to show support for raising the minimum wage in the state.

Competing police bills spark division

Attempts at bipartisanship at the Capitol on Tuesday over a law enforcement package instead exposed a divide between the two chambers on major legislation that has dominated the 2015 session.

The issue: a package of bills that House Democrats claimed would help “rebuild trust” in law enforcement. Despite claims of bipartisan support for most of the bills, never the twain did meet when it came to making the announcement. House Democrats and Senate Republicans held separate news conferences on Tuesday to discuss the bills they plan to sponsor.

Construction defects clears first hurdle

The Colorado Statesman

After some delay, Senate committees this week finally debated two bills that seek to make the state’s construction defects law more industry-friendly. The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, on a 3-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 15-091 on Monday. The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee, on a 6-2 vote, passed SB 177 on Wednesday.

GOP CLEANS HOUSE

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Republicans on Saturday elected former gubernatorial candidate Steve House as state party chair, ousting two-term chair Ryan Call by a comfortable margin at the party’s biennial reorganization meeting in Castle Rock.

Republicans were restless at the meeting, also replacing the party’s vice chair and secretary. Derrick Wilburn, the founder of American Conservatives of Color, defeated incumbent vice chair Mark Baisley, former El Paso County chair Eli Bremer and former Summit County chair Debra Irvine. Moffatt County chair Brandi Meek beat incumbent secretary Lana Fore.

Two Grand Junction city council races in full swing

The Colorado Statesman

GRAND JUNCTION - There are two contested races in this year’s Grand Junction City Council election, which concludes April 7; ballots were mailed on March 16.

Running for a four-year term are Dennis J. Simpson, a certified public accountant who describes himself as “a fiscal conservative and lifetime Republican,” and Chris Kennedy, a telecommunications executive who secured the Democratic Party’s nomination for House District 55 in 2014.

LEGISLATIVE BRIEFS: MARCH 20, 2015

FOLLOWUP:

Magazine Ban Repeal — The Senate on Tuesday gave its final approval to Senate Bill 15-175, which would repeal 2013 legislation limiting the size of ammunition magazines. SB 175 passed on a 21-13 vote, with one senator (Michael Johnston, D-Denver) absent. Three Democrats, who had already been announced as co-sponsors, voted with the Republican majority: Sens. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail; Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo; and Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge.