Legislative News

Bill mandates more use of locally grown goods for school meals

By Cindy Brovsky
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Who knew Popeye’s favorite snack is growing in Colorado’s high country.

House committee approves rafting along private land

By Jimy Valenti
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A large group of school children approach the display of life vests, paddles and a bright blue raft in the Capitol’s first floor rotunda.

Tax exemptions at heart of controversy

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The battle over ending tax exemptions to help the state cover a $140 million budget shortfall is now in its second week at the state Capitol.

Bill: Pot places must be nonprofit 'health centers'

By Ernest Luning
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Communities could ban medical marijuana shops outright, and the ones that survive would have to reincarnate as nonprofit corporations subject to strict licensing and regulations under a bill unveiled by state lawmakers Wednesday.

State pension plan reform passes Senate

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Senate Bill 1, the top priority of Senate President Brandon Shaffer, received final approval from the Senate on Monday and will be heard in the House next Wednesday.

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.