Legislative News

FASTER crawls to finish line

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Senate Democrats and Republicans wrangled with amendments — most defeated — to reach a compromise on a bill aimed at raising $214 million next year and $265 million the following year to improve highway infrastructure, including 126 bridges deemed structurally deficient.

Bipartisan panel offers job-creation package

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Thursday, Jan. 29, was a cold day for a press conference on the west steps of the Capitol, but that didn’t stop lawmakers from going outdoors to promote legislation aimed at creating new jobs in Colorado.

Legislative panel clears Balmer of ethics violation

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

An ethics complaint lodged by House Minority Leader Mike May against Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, was dropped because there was no evidence to support it.

Storm brewing over sales of 'obsolete' 3.2 beer

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

David Parker, a Colorado Springs convenience store owner, is more than ready to see the last of Colorado’s Blue Laws dissolve.

Deep cuts pain lawmakers

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The cuts were far worse than anyone had expected.

When Gov. Bill Ritter’s budget team told the Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday that his plan would cut $823 million from the 2009-’10 fiscal year, the hearing room packed with journalists, lobbyists and legislative staffers went stone still as everyone sharply inhaled and held their breath.

Groves probe: High crimes or misdemeanors?

PANEL TO DETERMINE COMPLAINT AGAINST LOBBYIST FEB. 3

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

On Feb. 3, a joint legislative ethics committee will decide the outcome of a complaint filed by Rep. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora, against Erik Groves, a lobbyist for the Colorado Chiropractic Association. Groves is accused of attempting to influence Acree’s vote in the race for Republican leadership posts in the Colorado House of Representatives — a violation of rules governing lobbyists.

Missing info stalls Balmer probe

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Members of a legislative ethics committee agreed to postpone a vote on “probable cause” in a complaint filed against Assistant House Minority Leader David Balmer while expressing frustration that — because Balmer hasn’t complied with requests for e-mails, phone records and other pertinent information — their investigation has been stalled.

Vote nudges GOP to the right

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

FORT COLLINS — Lower taxes, family values and the protection of TABOR were the major themes Larimer County Republicans reiterated during a vacancy committee hearing to replace Sen. Kevin Lundberg in House District 49 on Saturday.

Higher ed braces for cuts

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The fiscal state of Colorado’s higher education system is bad and getting worse.

The system was already on unstable financial footing after the 2002 recession forced lawmakers to substantially cut funding to the state’s 28 college and university campuses, and it’s up for another $30 million slashing this year.

Ethics probe widens

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The investigation into ethics complaints against Assistant House Minority Leader David Balmer and Erik Groves, a Colorado Chiropractors Association lobbyist, pivoted on a sticky note, phone logs and recollections of conversations and phone messages.

It took a wider turn this week — requesting relevant memos, phone records, text messages and e-mails during the week of Dec. 10 from every Republican House member.