Legislative News

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Legislators get passing grades on the subject of education

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislative bills having to do with education that aim to increase intervention and teacher effectiveness, while motivating parental involvement and modernizing the state’s K-12 and higher education systems.

Perhaps the most ambitious of the education bills was House Bill 1238, an early literacy bill sponsored by Reps. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, and Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Sens. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, and Nancy Spence, R-Centennial.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Jobs, the economy helped focus agenda of conservation

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Conservation Voters highlighted two major legislative successes this year around electronic waste and electric vehicles, noting that a focus on jobs and the economy helped to advance their agenda, despite a divisive political environment.

The advocacy group for the conservation community released its annual legislative scorecard on July 12, giving the legislature high marks for passing Senate Bill 133 with bipartisan support. The measure, which has been signed by the governor, bans many electronics from landfills.

New redistricting map favors Dems

Republicans still pondering whether to appeal the ruling
The Colorado Statesman

Denver District Court Chief Judge Robert Hyatt late Thursday ruled in favor of a Democratic proposal to redraw Colorado’s seven congressional districts, creating more competitive boundaries that could thrust Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman into a hotly contested race in Congressional District 6, and affect political outcomes for both Republicans and Democrats over the next decade.

Kopp to Senate colleagues:

And here’s what I really think of you

(and visa versa)
The Colorado Statesman

It’s somewhat rare to find Colorado’s typically stalwart Republican senate caucus with their guard let down, but that seemed to be the case Oct. 13 when the GOP state senators met at the Legislature to elect their new leadership team for the 2011-12 year. Minority Leader Sen. Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, was stepping down from his leadership post and resigning as a senator entirely so he could spend more time with his four children after the untimely death this summer of their mother and his wife, Kim, from cancer.

Hickenlooper insists: Health care insurance exchange is apolitical

Special to The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday night cautioned against turning the proposed health care insurance exchange into a political issue, and instead focused on consumer benefits to having such a virtual insurance marketplace.

JeffCo wants their own senators

But Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak thinks otherwise
Special to The Colorado Statesman

At least one Republican on the state commission to redraw Colorado’s legislative districts believes Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak has political motivations in supporting a proposal to place approximately 20,000 Adams County residents in Jefferson County.

Republican Reapportionment Commissioner Mario Nicolais was direct in accusing Hudak, D-Westminster, of only supporting the Democratic-backed map for Senate District 19 because it would benefit her politically as an incumbent.

Webb alleges GOP insensitivity in reapportionment

The Colorado Statesman

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, vice-chairman of the commission to redraw Colorado’s legislative districts, accused Republicans on Monday of attempting to create a “supermajority” by including non-voting minority jail populations in drawing communities of interest.

New state Rep. Dave Young sworn into office

Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, recently appointed by a vacancy committee in House District 50, was sworn in Thursday on the House floor by Chief Justice Michael Bender.

“I look forward to serving the people of House District 50, and I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of Jim Riesberg, who earned the respect and admiration of those on both sides of the aisle. I know that his are incredibly large shoes to fill,” Young said.

Legislators summit fourteeneers for Capitol Dome

A dozen legislators from both parties and both chambers, led by state Rep. Cherylin Peniston, D-Westminster, participated in the hike of one or two fourteeners this week, Mount Democrat and/or Mount Lincoln, in an effort to raise awareness and funds for repairs of Colorado’s Capitol Dome.

Reapportionment Commission's maps make both parties apoplectic

Special to The Colorado Statesman

Democrats walked away from a Reapportionment Commission meeting at the Capitol on Monday outraged over a proposal that would give more power to Republicans and drastically alter the legislative landscape of Aurora and Arapahoe County. Republicans, meanwhile, expressed frustrations over a proposed Senate map that they believe favors Democrats in the traditionally Democratic Denver area.