Legislative News

Springs Dems, GOP gang up on budget woes

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

When the Democrats and Republicans in El Paso County’s legislative delegation talk about forging a bipartisan effort to cure Colorado’s economic woes, they sound a lot like the members of an Indiana Jones expedition — with an equally colorful cast of characters charting divergent paths to the treasure.

Carroll makes state history

By Elizabeth Stortroen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, a standing-room-only crowd in Colorado’s House chambers witnessed an historic moment.

As outgoing Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff handed his gavel over to his successor, Rep. Terrance Carroll, Carroll became the state’s first black Speaker of the House. And, as Carroll joined Senate President Peter Groff in a leadership role, Colorado became the first state in the nation to have black lawmakers simultaneously head both legislative chambers.

Balmer & Groves ethics probe problem: missing evidence, conflicting witness accounts

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The ethics complaints against Assistant House Minority Leader David Balmer and lobbyist Erik Groves might boil down to “he said, she said” debatable memories of phone messages and conversations.

Recorded phone messages — the basis of both complaints — apparently don’t exist.

Penry, May hatch plan to fund infrastructure

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Colorado’s 100 legislators have vowed to hammer out a bipartisan solution to the state budget’s $600 million shortfall. And true to their vows, members voiced bipartisan criticism when Republican leaders floated a quick-cash plan to infuse $500 million into the state coffers for improvements to highways and bridges.

State’s state? Broke!

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

A dose of hard economic reality seemed to overshadow Gov. Bill Ritter’s third annual State of the State address on Thursday.

Dem, GOP lawmakers share sushi and budget woes

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Maybe it was the sushi. Maybe it was the gravity of the tough economic situation facing Colorado in the coming year. Whatever the reason, members of the state’s legislative leadership acted overly gracious toward one another at Tuesday’s legislative sneak preview luncheon, an annual event hosted by the Denver office of Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm.

Bitterness scarcely noticeable as Senate opens

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Cue the lights. Raise the curtain. Places everyone.

The start of the 67th General Assembly and the 2009 legislative session kicked off Wednesday morning amid pomp, circumstance and color. Opening day ceremonies in the Senate moved relatively quickly — especially when compared to the pace in the House, which took nearly two hours to honor former lawmakers and swear in new ones.

Projected budget gap either bad or REALLY bad

By Chris Bragg
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Is this year’s budget gap in Colorado a whopping $604 million or a manageable $77 million? That depends on which report you read.

In competing reports that came out Dec. 19, the non-partisan Colorado Legislative Council cited the big figure, the governor’s office the much smaller one.

Revenue shortfall threatens Healthy Forests initiative

By Nathan Rodriguez
SPECIAL TO THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Almost eight years have passed since President George W. Bush signed the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act into law. Most observers lauded the intent of the legislation, only to be disheartened when lack of funding made it powerless.

May files complaint against Balmer; Acree files against lobbyist

Some Republicans accuse May of playing politics

By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Rep.-elect Cindy Acree — a freshman Republican legislator who won’t be sworn-in until Jan. 7 — inadvertently created a tempest that resulted in canceling the imminent retirement of House Minority Leader Mike May, compromising a lobbyist and crushing the reputation of Assistant Minority Leader David Balmer.

Ironically, Balmer had endorsed Acree’s candidacy and helped raise money for her campaign.