Legislative News

GOP, Dem lawmakers agree to disagree on budget

By Scot Kersgaard
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

At a legislative preview Tuesday morning, leaders from both parties promised a bipartisan approach to the budget issues sure to dominate the Legislature.

Romer med marijuana bill up in smoke

By Ernest Luning
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

If Colorado’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry is the Wild West — and few would dispute that characterization lately — there might be a new sheriff in town once state lawmakers have their say. But the dust raised by opposing sides won’t be easily settled.

Speaker Carroll sounds rallying call

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Lobbyists loitered in the halls under the rotunda at the state Capitol, lawmakers filtered into the House Chamber, families and friends waited in chairs on either side of the floor, and, in the gallery above, students peered over railings to watch the opening day of the 2010 session.

Shaffer urges Dem, GOP cooperation

By Ernest Luning
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Simultaneously somber and buoyant, Colorado’s state senators — surrounded by assorted family of several generations, Capitol staff, lobbyists, well-wishers, onlookers and the occasional group of schoolchildren — opened the 2010 General Assembly with calls for a bipartisan approach to a session already dominated by a projected $1.3 billion budget shortfall.

State retirees ready to pounce on PERA fix

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), the state pension plan, has a fix for its financial woes ready for action during the 2010 legislative session. But if it’s adopted, the new law probably will result in lawsuits against PERA, according to its executive director.

Tougher DUI legislation draws support from both parties, but can it draw money?

By Anthony Bowe
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Colorado DUI accidents resulting in death dipped in 2009, and two state lawmakers are aiming to sustain that pattern.

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, will introduce competing legislation this year that would stiffen penalties for those repeatedly arrested for driving under the influence.

Legislators play musical committee chairs

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Most of the last-minute changes in 2010 General Assembly committee assignments weren’t really unexpected — but a couple of changes in the House Agriculture Committee made some Republicans feel like they’d just landed on the floor in a game of musical chairs.

House Majority Leader Terrance Carroll swiftly uprooted a couple of Democrats after their rebellious actions made headlines.

Liston bill aims to ease Capitol entry crunch

By Cindy Brovsky
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

If Rep. Larry Liston’s proposal is approved, the long security lines into the state Capitol could become much shorter by March.

Carroll sets sights on criminal justice reform

By Cindy Brovsky
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

With more looming budget cuts and the economy expected to take the spotlight in the 2010 session, Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll is determined not to let criminal justice reform disappear in the shadows.

“The more we can stop people from returning to jail or prison and give them alternatives to be productive, the more money we will have in the General Fund for higher education, K through 12 education and jobs,” he said.

Budgetary concerns will affect most issues at Capitol

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

“Jobs, jobs, jobs!,” said Gov. Bill Ritter of the goals in the Legislative session that begins Wednesday, Jan. 13. Ritter pitches a “glass half full” economic picture of Colorado — job creation is up, and the number of unemployed is down.