Legislative News

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.

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.