Legislative News

Zenzinger chosen to replace Sen. Hudak

Defeats veteran Gagliardi in vacancy committee election
The Colorado Statesman

Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi was stunned after fellow Senate District 19 Democrats on Tuesday night passed her over and elected Arvada City Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger to replace Sen. Evie Hudak following her resignation last month.

Hudak announced her resignation on Nov. 27 in the face of a looming and costly recall election over her support for gun control. Zenzinger was sworn-in on Friday, Dec. 13.

New state senator Zenzinger sworn into office

The Colorado Statesman

The latest road to recall was officially cut short on Friday when Sen. Rachel Zenzinger of Arvada took her place as the new senator for District 19. She was sworn-in after Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat from Westminster, resigned last month in the face of a growing effort to oust her from office.

A vacancy committee of Jefferson County Democrats elected Zenzinger on Tuesday night when she defeated former Rep. Sara Gagliardi of Arvada.

Zenzinger, 38, will resign from her position on the Arvada City Council in order to serve SD 19.

Rep. Wright faces double challenge to keep House seat

‘Political triangulation’ at work?

EDITOR'S NOTE: James "JJ" Fletcher on Dec. 15 announced that he will be switching is party affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated. When The Colorado Statesman asked him on Dec. 9, he said that he had "no intention right now of running unaffiliated."

Fletcher said on Dec. 15 that he is changing his affiliation to unaffiliated because, "We have faced too many roadblocks to continue as a Republican."

Fletcher said in an advisory that he will officially announce the switch on Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. during a news conference at 200 S. Spruce St. in Grand Junction.

Rep. Williams says she's being harassed over foreclosure vote from last session

But the court rules that alleged offender is allowed to exercise his right of political speech
The Colorado Statesman

EDITOR'S NOTE: Darren O'Connor clarified after the story published that Cmdr. Mike Calo testified on Nov. 13 that he did not ask O'Connor to back away from Rep. Angela Williams during a town hall meeting on Sept. 23.

Progressive activists next year will once again attempt to pass some semblance of foreclosure reform after a heated battle last legislative session resulted in one lawmaker fearing so much for her safety that she obtained a concealed-carry permit and recently sought a restraining order.

‘Gold Star Family Tree’ at Capitol honors Colorado fallen service members

The Colorado Statesman

Governor John Hickenlooper joined Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado, military members and families on Dec. 4 to light the “Gold Star Family Tree of Honor” at the state Capitol. The tree lighting ceremony honors all Colorado-based service members who have died in combat operations since Sept. 11, 2001.

Hudak resigns Senate seat in face of recall

Democrat Kraft-Tharp endorses Gagliardi for SD 19 seat
The Colorado Statesman

This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp has decided to not become a candidate for the vacant SD 19 seat.

On the day before Thanksgiving, Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak resigned her Senate District 19 seat in northern Jefferson County in the face of a large recall effort over her support of gun control. But despite the somewhat surprising announcement, she and her supporters believe they have a lot to be thankful for.

Restoration of Capitol dome is golden opportunity to let Colorado’s resilience shine

The Colorado Statesman

Even though completion of the Capitol dome restoration project isn’t expected until the summer of 2014, architects and state leaders behind the ambitious job are already expressing excitement as the project reached a crucial milestone with the application of new gold leaf.

Since erection of the scaffolding began in fall 2010, crews have been working their way toward applying brand new gold leaf over the copper-clad dome. Contractors are applying approximately 140,000, 3 1⁄8” x 3 1⁄8” gold leaves on top of copper that covers the dome.

‘Stand strong’ is message of gun control advocates

The Colorado Statesman

Gun control advocates are asking Coloradans to “stand strong” in the midst of warning shots fired by gun rights groups that have created a seemingly endless election cycle in Colorado by seeking to recall lawmakers who support new gun laws.

At a rally Monday at the Capitol led by Colorado Ceasefire, gun control lobbyists and victims of gun violence lambasted the latest attempt to recall a state lawmaker for supporting tough gun control.

New oil, gas rules stir up controversy

Hickenlooper’s attempts at dealing with air pollution lauded by enviros
The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday stood with energy leaders and one environmental group to push for oil and gas air pollution rules that would include reducing methane emissions.

But the governor — who has experienced an increasingly tense relationship with environmentalists, a core base of his Democratic Party — still has a lot of work ahead of him if he’s to win the trust of the environmental world.

RMGO lobbyist Neville off the hook on alleged ethics violation — for now

But Legislative Council admonishes Neville for not participating in investigative process
The Colorado Statesman

A strategy by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners lobbyist Joe Neville to not fully participate in an ethics investigation against him could be viewed for the time being as a brilliant legal and political chess move.

Neville, who is accused of threatening political retribution on Republican Rep. Cheri Gerou of Evergreen during the last session, will not immediately face punishment because the executive committee of the Legislative Council did not have enough evidence to prove that he actually violated an ethics rule.