Legislative News

2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

Animals get pet projects at Capitol this year

The Colorado Statesman

The legislature this year gave a wag of the tail to animals, offering protections against police shootings and encouraging shelter pet adoptions.

2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

Legislators grind out new school finance act

But whether it passes or fails will be decided by the voters
The Colorado Statesman

With Democrats in charge of both chambers and the governor’s mansion, Democratic legislators embarked on an ambitious plan during the 2013 session to revamp the state’s school finance system. Along the way, legislators also dealt with guns in schools, sex education, new degree programs in higher education and restoring merit-based aid.

2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

Legislators prescribe Medicaid expansion, funds for health benefits exchange this session

The Colorado Statesman

With the full implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) just months away, legislators in the 2013 session had a full plate of bills to work on to get the state ready.

Renewables bill signed by Governor

... but Hickenlooper sets up advisory committee that can tweak bill next year
The Colorado Statesman

Governor John Hickenlooper Wednesday signed into law the controversial bill requiring certain rural electric utilities to double their use of renewables by 2020. But unlike the gun control bills signed earlier this year, whether Hickenlooper would sign the bill remained a mystery up until the last day before the deadline.

Senate Bill 13-252 applies to rural electric providers with at least 100,000 meters. That’s just two electric co-operatives: Tri-State Generation & Transmission and its 18 member co-ops in Colorado, and Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA).

Regulation of pot one step closer

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper put his signature this week on a package of bills that establish a regulated marijuana market for adults, but implementation of the new rules and regulations has barely begun.

The legislature’s job was to craft a regulatory framework for Amendment 64, which voters passed last November by over 55 percent. Hickenlooper on Tuesday signed the majority of those bills related to its implementation.

Two bill signings mark dog day at the Legislature

The Colorado Statesman

Legislators on Monday howled for perhaps the most bipartisan legislation of the entire session when Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills aimed at the state’s furriest friends.

The governor — accompanied by his own dog, Skye, at the state-of-the-art Denver Animal Shelter — signed Senate Bill 226, which aims to curb a rash of dog shootings by law enforcement, and Senate Bill 201, designating shelter pets as the official state pet.

ABCs of the new school finance act

The issue will be tested at the polls
The Colorado Statesman

On Tuesday, May 21, Gov. John Hickenlooper is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 13-213, the new public school finance act passed by the General Assembly earlier this month. And then the real work begins: getting Colorado voters to approve a $1 billion income tax hike that will restore much of the funding cut over the last few years.

Expanded Medicaid could have $4 billion in impact

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday, surrounded by fellow Democrats and health care professionals, signed a bill that expands Medicaid rolls in Colorado by an estimated 160,000 adults.

Senate Bill 200, sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, will expand Medicaid coverage for low-income Coloradans up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level beginning Jan. 1, 2014, up from 100 percent. The coverage will include families making up to $31,322 and individuals making up to $15,282.

Oil & gas regs slip by lawmakers

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper avoided painful decisions on strict oil and gas regulations proposed by fellow Democrats in the state legislature after his administration’s lobbying efforts resulted in bills that didn’t have the votes, or were so watered down that they were no longer controversial.

Legislators approve regs for legal marijuana use

But voters will have the final say in November
The Colorado Statesman

Lawmakers this week had their last dance with Mary Jane for the legislative session after passing three bills to tax and regulate the budding marijuana industry, ending a tumultuous and trying six-month process.

The two chambers sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper House Bill 1318, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, and Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, which asks voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax and a separate 10 percent special sales tax this November. Cannabis will also be subject to a 2.9 percent statewide sales tax and any local taxes that might be imposed.