Legislative News

Rep. Klingenschmitt distributes controversial letter to colleagues

The Colorado Statesman

A two page, single spaced letter from one legislator became the talk of the Capitol this week.

On Tuesday, the House voted 35 to 29, with Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction, siding with the Democratic caucus, to pass House Bill 15-1175. The bill would have prohibited state-licensed therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals from providing gay conversion therapy for minors under the age of 18.

CHATTER: Thurlow votes excite recall talk

Voting with Democrats riling some local Republicans

Our sources tell us rookie GOP Rep. Dan Thurlow’s recent votes have already incited talk of a recall among the hard-cores, a full three months before the move can start up. Seems the Mesa County lawmaker has been throwing in with — gasp!

Palacio wins

The Colorado Statesman

Rick Palacio won reelection to a third term as chair of the Colorado Democratic Party on Saturday at the biennial meeting of the party’s state central committee in downtown Denver, fending off challenges from campaign consultant David Sabados and former congressional candidate Vic Meyers.

Palacio won on the first ballot with 53 percent of the vote. Out of 468 votes cast, the incumbent received 248, Sabados got 182 and Meyers had 38.

Hullinghorst: construction defects bill ‘non-starter’

The Colorado Statesman

This week marks the halfway point of the 120-day legislative session, and House and Senate leadership called upon the press to show off their accomplishments and talk agendas for the next 60 days.

Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, kicked off two days worth of meetings with reporters on Wednesday morning, discussing the budget and bills that will set up the last half of the 2015 session.

Colo. reacts to Netanyahu speech

The Colorado Statesman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his address to both chambers of the U.S. Congress last week to denounce the kind of concessions the Obama administration is seeking from Iran regarding its nuclear program as a “bad deal.” Before Netanyahu even uttered one word of his speech, his visit had already caused ample controversy. So much controversy, in fact, that many seats reserved for Democrats remained empty during the joint session on Tuesday.

House blinks on public safety supplemental fight

The Colorado Statesman

The House blinked on Wednesday and decided to save their fight over background check funds for the Department of Public Safety for another day, and another budget.

Senate Bill 15-159 got unanimous support Wednesday from the House and is now on its way to the governor’s desk.

Bipartisanship makes appearance

The Colorado Statesman

In the most bipartisan manner since the start of session, legislators Thursday announced a package of 10 bills on workforce development, ranging from internships to assistance with student loan payments and helping the unemployed find jobs.

More than two dozen legislators from both chambers and both sides of the aisle were on hand to announce the package; some bills are already in the process of moving through the legislature while others are not yet introduced.

Credit card bill watered down to study, then killed

The Colorado Statesman

An effort to provide relief to small businesses from fees they pay to banks for the authority to use credit cards has been watered down from “relief” to a study, but even as a study it turned into a big fight on Wednesday. In the end, members of the House Finance Committee voted the bill down on a 2-9 vote, citing concerns expressed by the agency that was likely to do the study as the reason to kill the bill.

As introduced, House Bill 15-1154 would ban credit card companies and banks from assessing the credit card fees to the state and/or local sales tax portion of a transaction.

‘Hullabaloo’ raised over Costilla GOP revival

The Colorado Statesman

Some Colorado Republicans are hopping mad over an organizational meeting that took place in the small town of Fort Garland last Sunday. Others, however, counter that it’s much ado over simply following proper procedures.

The dispute centers around the Republican Party of Costilla County, an organization that didn’t exist for most of the last year, in a sparsely populated expanse that rests on the state’s southern border with New Mexico.

Former Rep. Amy Stephens joins McKenna Long & Aldridge

The Colorado Statesman

Former Republican House Majority Leader Amy Stephens is blazing a new trail in the private sector, joining the Denver office of McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP, an international law firm with 500 attorneys and public policy advisors in 15 offices and 13 markets.

Stephens was tapped by McKenna Long and Aldridge to lead the Colorado Government Affairs practice as the Denver office’s newest managing director. Her engagement with the firm was formally announced in a press release Feb. 25 with a formal event hosted Tuesday night to welcome Stephens aboard.