Legislative News

High turnout for tax on pot

The Colorado Statesman

When Colorado voters this time last year backed legalizing recreational marijuana, Gov. John Hickenlooper had a tongue-in-cheek reply: “Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly,” he responded, causing ire within the legalization community.

After the election, alarm claxons should be blaring

Can you hear them at Dem headquarters and in the Guv’s office?
The Colorado Statesman

Americans love fads. Whether it was hula-hoops on the playground, or new math in our schools, or management by objectives on the job, we could hardly wait to embrace the very latest rage. Granola, Pilates, gluten free everything — bring them on! Following the successful recall of two state senators by populist mobs and the clobbering Colorado voters administered to Amendment 66 on Election Day, it appears the progressive agenda for the Centennial State is trapped on a careening bus without brakes headed for a precipice.

Duran takes over as JBC Chair

Hick appears before JBC, calls budget process national model  

Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, is the new chairwoman of the Legislature’s powerful Joint Budget Committee.

“Last year we worked in a bipartisan way to really come up with a strong budget for the state of Colorado, while also being fiscally prudent,” Duran said after the outgoing committee chairman, Sen. Pat Steadman, handed her the gavel. “I look forward to working with both sides of the aisle to do that again this year.”

New House member KC Becker takes the oath

Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder, was sworn in Nov. 4, officially becoming the newest member of the state House of Representatives.

Becker took the oath of office at the House podium. Chief Justice Michael Bender of the Colorado Supreme Court administered the oath before an audience that included Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, and other legislators, and Rep. Becker’s family.

GOP Walsh seeks to oust U.S. Rep. DeGette in 2014

Challenger says he wants to be “big tent” candidate
The Colorado Statesman

Denver Republicans are under no illusion that defeating Democratic U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in 2014 will be anything but an uphill climb — to say the least.

In the heavily Democratic-leaning Congressional District 1, DeGette has reigned supreme since 1996, earning her the title of “dean” of the Colorado delegation, and a position as chief deputy whip.

Recall proponents take aim at Hudak

The Colorado Statesman

On a warm, sunny Saturday morning in early October, proponents in a quiet Arvada neighborhood are readying their campaign signs for yet another recall of a state lawmaker.

Empowered by two successful recalls over the summer that ousted the Senate president and a fellow Democratic colleague, recall proponents are energized to target another Democrat, Sen. Evie Hudak of Westminster, over her support for gun control.

Senator Udall and Secretary Panetta discuss leadership in shaping global security

Long-term impact of government shutdown also discussed during CELL event
The Colorado Statesman

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta joined U.S. Sen. Mark Udall in Denver on Oct. 17 for a candid conversation on national security and troubled domestic issues, including the recent federal government shutdown and spying by the U.S. on its own citizens.

KC Becker selected to replace Claire Levy in House

The Colorado Statesman

KC Becker, a Boulder city councilwoman, will be the next state representative in House District 13, which includes part of Boulder County and all of Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand and Jackson counties.

Becker was selected by a vacancy committee in Idaho Springs on Oct. 19 to replace Rep. Claire Levy, who is resigning at the end of the month to become executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, a Denver-based research and advocacy group. Levy’s resignation takes effect Oct. 31; Becker will be sworn in soon thereafter.

Proposed pot ordinance might not pass smell test

Some wonder what bill sponsor Nevitt is smoking
The Colorado Statesman

As voters consider taxing a new marijuana marketplace, the Denver City Council and Mayor Michael Hancock are at odds over whether the city needs strict enforcement on smelling and seeing the newly legalized drug.

Many on the council feel the bill is an over-reach that violates a constitutional right to privacy.

The ordinance would:

• Make it illegal to possess and use marijuana in city parks and the 16th Street Mall;

• Define “open” marijuana to include sight or smell;

• Define “public” to include observation through sight or smell, including vehicles;

GOP field grows for Senate race

The Colorado Statesman

A Republican primary to challenge Democrat Mark Udall for U.S. Senate in 2014 saw a couple of twists and turns this week as Rep. Amy Stephens joined the race and state Sen. Owen Hill announced a major endorsement from Texas libertarian conservative Ron Paul.

Campaign finance disclosures for the third quarter were also released this week, revealing that Republicans will be competing against a financial machine; chasing Udall’s already estimated $4.1-million war chest.