Legislative News

Stapleton is focused on treasurer’s job — for now

The Colorado Statesman

Republican Walker Stapleton acknowledges that many in the political world believe he is positioning himself for a political future beyond that of the treasurer’s office. But the outspoken state treasurer says his only true intent currently is to seek re-election for another four years managing the state’s finances.

“I’m focused on doing my job right now, and I enjoy dealing with economic fiscal issues, and if I didn’t enjoy my job, I wouldn’t be running for re-election,” explained Stapleton.

Senate okays budget bill; now for the conference committee

The Colorado Statesman

The Senate on Friday approved its version of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year with much fewer fireworks and less drama than when the House debated the budget the week before.

The so-called “Long Bill” for Fiscal Year 2014-15 passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 26-8, with several Republicans opposing the spending measure because they believe more can be done to fund education especially.

Personality conflicts disrupt Appropriations

Tit for tat antics of Reps. Duran, Gerou stall bills
The Colorado Statesman

Tensions between Reps. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, and Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, escalated during a House Appropriations Committee meeting Wednesday morning, stalling several bills that require funding just as Senate discussions over the budget kicked into high gear.

The multiple divisive exchanges between Gerou and Duran sparked calls by Duran for an ethics investigation on Gerou, though that threat had not mounted as of press time.

Possible speed bumps ahead for Uber unless bill is amended

The Colorado Statesman

After hours of testimony, a House committee on Wednesday evening laid over a measure that would place ride-sharing services like Lyft and UberX under light regulation, leaving the final destination of the bill uncertain.

Senate Bill 125 did not come to a screeching halt — the Transportation and Energy Committee has scheduled the bill for a vote next Wednesday. The hearing this week served to simply take witness testimony.

More money for the budget, more fights at legislature

The Colorado Statesman

The Senate this week will take up a $23 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year after the House last week passed a largely partisan spending plan that resulted in plenty of fights over how to fund the state.

The overall budget proposal represents a $1.1 billion increase over the current budget, and marks the most money lawmakers have had to spend in nearly a decade.

SB 125 could face bumpy ride in House

The Colorado Statesman

A measure that would place ride-sharing services like Lyft and UberX under light regulation could face a bumpy ride when it lands in the House this upcoming week.

The bipartisan Senate Bill 125, sponsored in the House by Reps. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, and Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, has been scheduled for Wednesday in the House Transportation and Energy Committee in the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

The measure would empower the Public Utilities Commission to regulate so-called “Transportation Networking Companies” by:

• Requiring an insurance policy that applies to the rider and driver;

New legislative take on old telecommunications laws

Bipartisan package draws ire of AARP
The Colorado Statesman

A package of bills that would update the state’s decades-old telecommunications laws passed its first test on Tuesday, making it through a House committee with relative ease.

The House Business, Labor, Economic and Workforce Development committee backed the five bills after about five hours of debate, despite opposition from senior citizens who believe that the modernization would lead to an elimination of traditional phone service and a spike in rates.

The bipartisan package of bills includes:

Udall’s support of Obamacare draws healthy opposition

The Colorado Statesman

A nonprofit group associated with a pair of conservative billionaires this week launched a nearly $1 million ad campaign against U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, linking the incumbent Democrat to the federal health care law known as Obamacare.

“Millions have lost their health insurance, millions can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less,” says a woman in the race’s first major attack ad. “Obamacare doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. Tell Senator Udall to stop thinking about politics and start thinking about people.”

Dems unveil legislation surrounding recall elections

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats this week unveiled legislation that aims to correct some of the legal conflicts revealed last summer during recall elections of two Senate Democrats that nullified mail balloting and contributed to the Democrats’ loss.

During an impromptu media availability hosted by Senate Democrats on Monday, lawmakers proposed a measure that would modify a provision in state statute that allows a person to petition onto a recall election ballot 15 days before the election date.

Lawmakers want potency levels for pot products

Republcian McNulty and Dem Singer to partner on legislation
The Colorado Statesman

Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, has scaled back an original proposal that would have banned cannabis-infused products and concentrates. Instead, his new proposal would set potency equivalency limits for edibles and concentrates.

McNulty has partnered with Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, to push the potency equivalency proposal. The bills — which have delayed status and are expected to be introduced in the coming days — would seek to determine equivalent potencies between infused products, concentrates and the actual marijuana flower.