Legislative News

Debate on renewables heats up

Raising renewal energy standard raises ire among Republicans
The Colorado Statesman

UPDATED: This story has been updated to reflect an amendment to House Bill 1269

The energy conversation in Colorado was dominated this week by a lengthy debate in the legislature on raising the renewable energy requirement for rural electric cooperatives.

Senate Bill 252, sponsored by Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, would raise the state’s rural renewable energy standard to 25 percent.

Bill approved to overhaul procurement laws

The Colorado Statesman

The Democratic-controlled House on Friday night gave preliminary approval to an aggressive jobs bill that seeks a significant overhaul to state contracting procurement laws.

House Bill 1292, sponsored by Reps. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, and Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, would require state agencies to weigh overall “best value” in their consideration of competitive bids on state contracts. The measure would move away from a strictly price analysis.

Renewables bill fuels big controversy

Rural electric associations, GOP senators, testify against measure
The Colorado Statesman

Legislation to boost the state’s renewable energy standards for certain rural electric utilities is moving through the state Senate this week. But the bill drew howls of protest from the utilities amid concerns it could hike electricity bills for seniors, state facilities and farmers by millions of dollars annually. Friday, the bill was the subject of an eight-hour filibuster, as Senate Republicans tried in vain to garner votes from a few Democrats who might be willing to vote against their Senate President.

Committee oks license bill for undocumenteds

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday night pushed through legislation that would offer Colorado driver’s licenses to all residents of the state, whether they are a legal resident, or an undocumented immigrant.

Senate Bill 251, sponsored by Sens. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Commerce City, and Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, is said to have bipartisan support. But that was not the case Wednesday as the measure passed on a party-line vote of 3-2.

Committee rehashes pot reg recommendations

Three bills likely for regulating recreational marijuana
The Colorado Statesman

A legislative committee recommending legislation to implement marijuana legalization in Colorado finished its tedious work crafting a regulatory model for the budding industry on Monday, suggesting three bills that would establish taxes, as well as rules and regulations.

The three bills that the legislature will likely see breaks down to:

Watered-down bill for firefighters okayed by committee

But collective bargaining billcould still go up in smoke
The Colorado Statesman

Democrats have pulled back on a measure that sought to ensure statewide collective bargaining rights for Colorado firefighters after Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, threatened to veto the legislation. But the revised bill could still splinter the Democratic Party and result in a veto.

Gessler slams election bills; blasts Dems

Secretary of State bemoans secretive ‘reform’ process
The Colorado Statesman

A more than 100-page sweeping election reform bill is likely to be introduced by Democrats in the Senate next week, covering everything from moving voter registration deadlines to mailing ballots to inactive voters.

Even before the bill has reached its final draft, Secretary of State Scott Gessler and fellow Republicans have pounced on the proposal, concerned that the bill would create same-day voter registration. The GOP is also critical of what they consider to be a “secretive” drafting process. Gessler said he hasn’t yet seen a draft of the bill.

Guv asserts support for fracking

Hickenlooper heckled at debate with county commish
The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, faced hecklers on Monday during a hydraulic fracturing debate with Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones, during which he restated his support for the oil and gas industry, but stopped short of taking a position on controversial energy bills moving through the legislature.

Committee gives unanimous wags to Dog Protection Act

The Colorado Statesman

Brittany Moore said the awful sound her 4-year-old German Shepherd, Ava, made as an Erie police officer fired a bullet that severed the dog’s spinal cord was all part of the most tragic day of her life.

“Imagine watching your best friend get shot to death,” she said at a rally Wednesday at the Capitol, as tears welled behind her thick sunglasses. “Watching her in agony when she is dying, moaning in pain, and you’re not able to comfort her; not able to hold her until she breathes her last breath; not able to say, ‘I love you’ one last time.”

Lobbyist Neville walks, legislative committee balks

The Colorado Statesman

In an act of revolt, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners lobbyist Joe Neville on Wednesday walked out of a legislative investigation into whether he threatened political retribution on Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen.

The Committee to Investigate a Complaint under Joint Rule 36 — including Reps. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, and Sens. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Mark Scheffel, R-Parker — must now decide how to move forward without Neville’s cooperation.