Legislative News

Education bill passes committee

By Anthony Bowe
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A controversial bill that would alter teacher tenure laws to match a new evaluation system linking student growth to teacher performance cleared its first hurdle Friday. The Senate Education Committee voted 7-1 to send Senate Bill 191, sponsored by Sen. Michael Johnston, D-Denver, and Sen. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial, to the senate floor for further debate. Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, a former teacher and member of the Colorado Board of Education, was the only committee member to vote against the legislation. Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver also expressed substantial concern with the bill’s content even though he cast an affirmative vote.

An unlikely coalition for Clean Air Act

A lesson in political bipartisanship and coalition building

By Anthony Bowe
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Gov. Bill Ritter capped a brief but intense lobbying fight Monday when he signed the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act into law, catapulting natural gas as a future priority in Colorado.

Tuition flexibility bill for higher ed is on its way

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A looming $1.7 billion budget shortfall for 2011-12 has prompted legislators and public college and university presidents to work out what they hope is enough financial flexibility to keep the state’s higher ed institutions open. The new bill, to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on April 28, represents a fundamental shift in who pays for public higher education in Colorado.

Interest rates on payday loans capped in House bill

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The bill to place a 45 percent interest rate limit on payday loans finally passed the House on Monday, after more than a month of delays from its committee passage.

Legislation to incentivize businesses to rehire laid-off workers faces opposition

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A bill to incentivize businesses to re-hire their laid-off workers has hit yet another snag in its efforts to move through the General Assembly.

DECIDE initiative passes House education committee but its fate may be sealed

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A referred legislative measure to the November 2011 ballot that would exempt a portion of K-12 and postsecondary education funding from TABOR restrictions passed the House Education Committee on Monday. But its success likely ended with the education committee vote as it is unlikely to gain the half-dozen Republican votes it needs to get out of the House.

Education bill ignites fierce feud

Supporters say bill is needed for second Race to the Top bid

By Anthony Bowe
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A controversial education bill introduced last Monday has incensed Colorado’s largest teacher union and could splinter the state’s chances at earning a large federal education grant this summer.

Ethics investigation against capitol lobbyist dismissed

But letter from committee tells Nate Gorman to behave

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A state capitol lobbyist learned Monday that an ethics investigation against him would be dismissed, but his credibility was called into question by the committee that investigated the complaint.

State budget passes Senate on mostly partisan lines

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The $18.2 billion state budget for 2010-11, contained in House Bill 1376, the Long Appropriations Bill, passed the Senate on April 9 and is headed toward its final resolution.

Dolls are cute, but stats about kids in poverty are ugly

Childhood poverty continues to rise in Colorado, and significant disparities in child well-being exist based on where children live and their racial and ethnic backgrounds, according to the 2010 KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report, released this week by the Colorado Children’s Campaign. The annual publication provides state and county level data on a number of child well-being factors including child health, education and economic status.