Legislative News

Legislative ethics committee focuses on Rep. King's alleged 'double dipping'

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A legislative ethics committee met Wednesday concerning a complaint filed against Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, by a local political watchdog group that said King might have been reimbursed twice for travel expenses incurred last spring, once by his campaign and once by the state. If so, it would constitute “double dipping.”

McKinley reintroduces bill on Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge

By Cindy Brovsky
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

With the opening of the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge on the horizon, Rep. Wes McKinley reintroduced a bill that requires signs posted explaining that the land once was the site of environmental violations and pollution from nuclear weapons production.

School children also could not attend field trips at the site before receiving a brochure detailing Rocky Flats made plutonium triggers for hydrogen bombs during the Cold War, according to the bill.

Medical marijuana bill passes first hurdle

By Ernest Luning
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Medical marijuana patients and their doctors would face tighter restrictions under a bill approved Wednesday by a Colorado Senate committee that heard hours of emotional testimony from a standing-room-only crowd mostly opposed to the proposed rules.

Legislators haggle over tax exemptions

Package of bills labeled 'Dirty Dozen'

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

This week, the House began to take up a package of 12 bills that would end tax exemptions or change income tax law and help the state cover about $140.7 million in its $1 billion shortfall for 2010-11. But the hearings on Wednesday and competing rallies on Thursday highlighted the friction between Democrats and Republicans at the capitol and between the business community and public employees, such as K-12 teachers.

PERA reform bill passes first test at Capitol

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Senate Finance Committee Tuesday voted 6-2 to approve Senate Bill 1, the reform plan for the Public Employees’ Retirement Association. The vote came at the end of a five-and-a-half hour hearing that included testimony from dozens of PERA members, both retirees and current state and school employees.

The bill was sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Lawmaker scraps Native American tuition waiver bill

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Last week amidst a firestorm of political pressure, perceived racial injustice and intense budget bickering, a bill was killed that would have reduced funding for a college that educates hundreds of Native American students.

Legislators fume over Native American mascots

By Cindy Brovsky
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Sen. Suzanne Williams’ proposal that all Colorado primary public schools and charters with Native American mascots get approval from a state commission, change the mascot by 2013 or face a $1,000 monthly fine has riled a northern school district previously embroiled in the issue.

Frangas bill would curb illegal handicap parking

By Cindy Brovsky
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Rep. Jerry Frangas doesn’t have to be a math genius to know something doesn’t add up when it comes to the state’s laws governing handicap parking spaces.

Legislators, Governor honor armed forces

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Members of the General Assembly met in joint session on Monday in celebration of Military Day. Legislators showed their admiration for those who served with a series of speeches, tributes and resolutions.

Legislators, JBC look for PERA fix

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Joint Budget Committee has voted to sponsor a budget-balancing bill to increase employee contributions to the Public Employees’ Retirement Association by 2.5 percent for the next two years, and decrease the employer contribution by the same amount. If passed, it would save the state $20.3 million in general fund money per year.