Legislative News

Long Bill slithers through House

...Stalls in Senate

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

It’s never easy to get the Long Bill through the Legislature, and this year it seems harder than ever.

As in previous years, each lawmaker and caucus has different priorities. This year, however, the need for massive cuts in the face of a massive deficit has made the budgeting process particularly painful. But pain can lead to bipartisan compromise — at least in the House.

Senate ponders the meaning of 're-Brucing'

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

School districts that choose to “re-Bruce” — lower their property taxes by reinstating the limits in the Taxpayers Bill of Rights — could see less state funding if a bill introduced at the tail end of the legislative session this week gains approval.

Lawmakers tackle election glitches

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Colorado turned “blue” in the 2008 election, but was red-faced when voter registrations, purges and recertifications of electronic voting machines made national and world news. To forestall future problems, lawmakers have introduced at least a dozen measures and seven joint resolutions in the General Assembly.

“It’s a sacred process,” said Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, of balloting.

House hits Senate education bill like locusts

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Senate giveth, and the House taketh away.

Bill promoting parental involvement in education draws little flak in committee

By Elizabeth Stortroen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Senate Bill 90, designed to increase the involvement of parents in the public education of their children, passed out of the House Education Committee Monday on a 10-to-2 bipartisan vote and seems destined for the governor’s desk.

SB 90 would require a specific percentage of parental representation on new school accountability committees, which would be representative of each district’s demographics.

Sun shines as Ritter signs renewable energy act

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

On Earth Day in Civic Center Park, under the bright Colorado blue sky, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law the Renewable Energy Finance Act, which offers residents and utility companies financial incentives to install solar electric systems.

Mom was right; need to go outside and play

By Kathrine Warren
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

In a world of 24/7 scheduling and schools that scrimp on recess in favor of study time, children are spending less and less time jumping rope and riding tricycles up and down the sidewalks in front of their houses.

And Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien has her work cut out for her.

As part of a national movement for a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, she’s asking the public to suggest new ways to encourage children to go outside and play.

Malpractice bill emerges toothless from House

By Richard Haugh
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

For the second time in two years, it appears efforts to revise Colorado’s medical malpractice law have been thwarted.

House Bill 1344, sponsored by Rep. Christine Scanlan, D-Dillon, and Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, would have raised the cap on payments for pain and suffering in medical malpractice lawsuits to roughly $465,000 and then indexed those payments to inflation.

House passes budget without Pinnacol raid

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Pinnacol plan is dead, but even without taking $500 million from its reserves, Colorado House members found a way to pass a bipartisan balanced budget Thursday afternoon on second reading.

Shaffer’s new Senate Prez

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Sometimes the transfer of power is easy.

After Senate President Peter Groff, D-Denver, announced he was accepting a position in the Department of Education working for the Obama administration, a number of names for his replacement began to float through the Capitol.