Legislative News

Ref C is over, but ramifications live on in political world

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

DENVER — On Tuesday, anti-tax groups and the Golden-based Independence Institute gathered at the state capitol to celebrate the end of Referendum C and what they called “the return of TABOR,” the acronym for the Tax Payers Bill of Rights.

Ruling on PERA bill expected shortly

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The effort to overturn Senate Bill 1, the law passed in February that seeks to shore up the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), is now in its fourth month with a ruling on the first round of motions expected shortly from Judge Robert S. Hyatt of the Second Judicial District in Denver.

Lawsuit filed over recent Internet sales tax bill

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Direct Marketing Association has filed suit against the state of Colorado in U.S. District Court to overturn the so-called Internet sales tax bill, House Bill 10-1193, which was passed during the 2010 legislative session. The lawsuit, filed June 30, names Roxy Huber, executive director of the Department of Revenue, as defendant; a response by the state is expected by July 23, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Unintended consequences

Term limits and Amendment 41

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Was the 2010 General Assembly the most contentious session in recent memory? That’s the opinion of some capitol regulars who watched in awe as lawmakers battled more acrimoniously than usual throughout the session over repealing tax exemptions and credits, the state budget, education reform, upcoming elections and redistricting.

Gov caps session by signing renewable energy bills

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Gov. Bill Ritter completed the last bill signings for the 2010 legislative session and his gubernatorial career earlier this month. Between January 15 and June 11, Ritter signed two resolutions, 297 House-initiated bills and 157 bills that started in the Senate.

Not many vetoes by Guv, but plenty of contention

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Of the five bills sunk by Gov. Bill Ritter’s veto pen, four had sailed through both chambers of the General Assembly in the 2010 session. The vetoes surprised sponsors of the bills — and a few mused that the governor’s actions might have been politically motivated.

The vetoed bills that had been easily passed in the state House and Senate were:
•HB 10-1101 regarding vehicle registration of trucks and tractor trailers used for farming and ranching;

Changes a comin' at Joint Budget Committee

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Depending on how the fall elections affect the make-up of the Colorado General Assembly, it’s possible that the Joint Budget Committee will have as many as four novice members for the 2011 legislative session. Under that scenario, only one member, Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, would have much experience — with just two years on the committee.

Democrats leave marriage equality out of platform

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Dan Hanley stood with outstretched arms amid the crowds shuffling towards four-dollar slices of pizza and overcooked hamburgers during lunch at the Democratic State Assembly last month. He held a rainbow colored hand-written sign, “Full marriage equality in the state platform.”

The 44-year-old delegate along with Pamela Scarf, 35, both from Jefferson County, attempted to replace the state party’s platform of civil unions with full marriage equality through a last-minute minority plank.

Two Republicans battle for right to challenge Dem Polis

Contested primary race in CD 2

By Anthony Bowe
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The two Republican candidates running in the CD 2 primary in August are hoping to ultimately oust popular Congressman Jared Polis, the Democratic incumbent who’s facing his first reelection.

Ethics Watch weighs in on legislative session

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Colorado Ethics Watch published a scorecard Wednesday detailing how the 2010 Colorado Legislature fared on issues of a more ethical, transparent and accountable state government.

Ethics & Transparency: 2010 Legislation in Review is the first edition in what Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro hopes will become an annual review of the legislative session.