Legislative News

Two West Slope sheriffs join pot suit

The Colorado Statesman

Six Colorado sheriffs, including two from the Western Slope, have joined the Drug Free America Foundation’s lawsuit against Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado.

The goal of the lawsuit, according to Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee, is to force the U.S. Supreme Court to finally rule on whether states can defy federal law to legalize marijuana within their state borders.

“I believe the issue needs to be resolved,” Sheriff McKee said. “I think it needs to be debated in court by Constitutional attorneys.”

Joint Budget Committee debuting state budget Friday

The Colorado Statesman

The 2015-16 state budget, under a divided General Assembly and equally divided Joint Budget Committee, is scheduled to debut on Friday

With a divided legislature, it was certain that no one would get everything they wanted. “This was a difficult balancing act, but we did it with bipartisan support,” according to Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley. “We have a balanced budget that lives within our means and within our budgetary constraints.”

Federal water bill bites the dust, again

The Colorado Statesman

A bill that has enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the House for the past two years got a very different response recently, and Republicans are crying foul.

Senate Bill 15-064 is the third in a three-year effort to tell the federal government that they do not have the right to demand water rights from ski resorts in exchange for renewing their leases for federal lands.

Q&A with House Majority Leader Rep. Crisanta Duran

The Colorado Statesman sat down this week to talk to Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, about everything from legislation to dancing. Duran is currently serving as House Majority Leader.

CS: Where were you raised and can you tell me a little about your family and some memories growing up?


Follow up:

Gun Bills: The Senate Wednesday gave final approval to Senate Bill 15-086, which would repeal 2013 legislation requiring background checks for transfer of firearms. The bill passed along party lines, 18-17, and now heads to the House where similar legislation has already been rejected this session.

CLARIFICATION: March 20, 2015 Yesteryear

While The Statesman reported in the March 20 Yesteryear, 10 years ago that Republican Sam Zakhem said he was running for Republican National Committeeman, in part, because he objected to a letter sent out by former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer taking fellow Republican state Rep. Ramey Johnson to task over a vote against school vouchers, the letter didn’t urge voters to opt for Johnson’s Democratic opponent.

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.