Legislative News

Democrats' health care agenda includes ten bills

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Gov. Bill Ritter and legislative Democrats say they can’t wait on Washington for health care reform.

Ritter introduced a package of bills Feb. 11 designed to improve Colorado’s health care system despite a down economy. The ten bills and an executive order range from simplifying insurance forms to providing better care to women, all with minimal cost to the state.

Schultheis bill on unborn victims of violence dies in committee

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A bill that would have made the death of an unborn child as the result of killing the mother a capital offense died a death of its own this week in a legislative committee on grounds that the bill would have attempted to define the controversial topic of when life begins.

Senate Republicans' budget proposal goes down

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The major plan put forth by Senate Republicans to balance the 2009-10 and 2010-11 budget went down to defeat on Wednesday.

Balmer bill honors military personnel, aids highway fund

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A bill honoring Colorado’s military while also boosting revenue for highways passed a legislative committee this week.

State Senate approves 'negative supplementals'

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Senate Wednesday gave preliminary approval to 32 so-called “negative supplementals” that would shave $475 million from the state’s 2009-10 general fund budget. The bills reduce general fund appropriations to state agencies and enact a series of cash fund transfers to the general fund.

Final Senate votes were held Friday, Feb. 26, and all supplementals were approved.

But amidst the gloom of cutting the budget, there were a few winners.

Bill allowing beer in corner stores falls flat

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Legislation allowing full-strength beer to be sold in corner stores fell flat this week after a legislative committee voted 8-3 against House Bill 1186, sponsored by Rep. Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs.

Bipartisan PERA fix quietly signed by Governor

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

After more than a month of contentious hearings and debate, the controversial bill to shore up the Public Employees’ Retirement Association is now law. Gov. Bill Ritter Tuesday quietly signed Senate Bill 1 in a brief ceremony that was attended by a handful of elected officials but was not open to the public.

Voluntary income tax check-off could aid unwanted horses

By Cindy Brovsky
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Two rural legislators are turning to Colorado taxpayers to help protect a symbol of Colorado’s Western heritage.

Championing the cause of the children

By Anthony Bowe
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Months of laborious compromises prefaced the unveiling of a bill Thursday that would create a child ombudsman office that Gov. Bill Ritter said will add accountability to a troubled child welfare system.

Ritter proposes new cuts in budget

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Gov. Bill Ritter announced Thursday he will submit a new proposal to the Joint Budget Committee to rebalance the state’s 2010-11 budget.