Legislative News

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.

Clinton’s proven middle class vision

GUEST COLUMNIST

I served as Mayor of Denver from 1991 to 2003 and was the only mayor in U.S. history to serve as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of Democratic Mayors and the National Conference of Black Mayors. Through my experiences, I have seen Americans go through hard times, but I have also seen the power that strong economic policies that drive investment, create jobs, and bring hope to Americans can have on our communities.

AN OPEN LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL CYNTHIA COFFMAN

Reasons Colo. should join lawsuit to hault Pres. Obama’s unconstitutional ‘executive amnesty’

GUEST COLUMNIST

Twenty-six states including 22 state Attorneys General and three governors have joined the Governor of Texas — that’s 26 states in total — in suing the United States government to halt the Obama administration’s 2014 “DAPA” amnesty program, which aims to award legal status and work permits to an estimated 4.4 million illegal immigrants.

Colorado should become the 27th state in that lawsuit, and you, the Attorney General, can do so at the stroke of a pen.

Borrowed cowboy hat better than no hat at all

The Colorado Statesman

During an interview with KUNC last week, new Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown commented that he didn't own a cowboy hat.

During the Feb. 26 Governor's Forum on Ag, he got a chance to try on a new one, owned by his boss, Gov. John Hickenlooper. The governor took off his new Stetson, a gift from Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa, and dropped it on Brown's head.

JBC votes to dramatically reduce scholarship initiative

The Colorado Statesman

The Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday voted to dramatically scale back a request from the Governor for a state scholarship program that he mentioned in the 2015 State of the State address.

The JBC is in figure-setting this week for the 2015-16 budget. On Tuesday, the committee took up the budget for the Department of Higher Education. Gov. John Hickenlooper had asked for $30 million for the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) for its second year of funding.