Legislative News

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.

Partisan divide over the budget

The Colorado Statesman

What a difference a year makes.

Senate Democrats on Thursday pushed through the upper chamber a $20.5 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, despite cries by Republicans of a premature and irresponsible spending agenda.

Legislators bummed out with slowness of establishing recreational marijuana regulations

Audit shows medical marijuana industry is poor model
The Colorado Statesman

A legislative committee recommending legislation to implement marijuana legalization in Colorado on Thursday withdrew an original suggestion to create a single enforcement division after a blistering audit revealed that the division grossly misspent taxpayer resources.

Legislators learn ABC’s of new school finance act

The Colorado Statesman

The new school finance act, Senate Bill 13-213, survived its first committee hearing last week, but it took three days to do it.

The Senate Education Committee, after 15 hours of hearings stretched over three days, sent SB 213 to the full Senate for debate. Bill sponsor Sen. Michael Johnston, D-Denver, told The Colorado Statesman he expects the Senate to take up the bill next week, after they finish work on the 2013-14 state budget and a Good Friday recess.

Death penalty repeal killed

The Colorado Statesman

Two Democrats joined every Republican on the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to put the brakes on a proposed death penalty repeal after Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper had earlier hinted that he might veto the legislation.

“In my heart, this is absolutely the right thing to do. I know we should repeal the death penalty,” said Rep. Lois Court, D-Denver, before explaining that Hickenlooper’s publicly stated reservations had prompted her to “very regretfully be a no vote” on the measure.

Guv signs three controversial gun bills

The Colorado Statesman

A visibly shaken Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday morning signed three controversial pieces of gun control legislation just hours after learning that his Department of Corrections chief, Tom Clements, was gunned down at his home in Monument Tuesday night.

Taking to the microphone at a media availability, Hickenlooper called the killing a coincidence, but said the timing highlights the significance of the bills.

Death penalty repeal measure now in limbo

The Colorado Statesman

A House committee on Wednesday delayed action on a proposal to ask Colorado voters whether to repeal the state’s death penalty. The move comes on the heels of nine hours of emotional testimony heard by another House committee the night before on a rival measure that would abolish the death penalty outright.

Community colleges strive to expand their access

But to what degree?
The Colorado Statesman

Colorado’s community colleges are seeking permission from the General Assembly to offer four-year bachelor’s degrees, but it’s pitting Democrats in the state Senate against each other, and drawing the kind of opposition from the state’s public universities that one university president likened to a “food fight.”

Oil and gas violations could be costlier

Legislative committees approve raise in fines
The Colorado Statesman

With the majority of gun control bills in the rearview mirror, Democrats have set their crosshair on regulating the energy industry. Committees of both the House and Senate on Thursday advanced key oil and gas agenda items, readying for another fight with Republicans under the Gold Dome.

Ex-state senator defends Neville in ethics committee hearing

The Colorado Statesman

A legislative ethics committee on Wednesday began its investigation into a complaint brought by Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, against Rocky Mountain Gun Owners lobbyist Joe Neville for allegedly threatening political retribution during a conversation about gun control legislation.

The Committee to Investigate a Complaint under Joint Rule 36 — convened by the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council, which includes bipartisan legislative leaders from both chambers — made no findings, but heard a defense from Neville’s attorney, former Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield.