Legislative News

Possible speed bumps ahead for Uber unless bill is amended

The Colorado Statesman

After hours of testimony, a House committee on Wednesday evening laid over a measure that would place ride-sharing services like Lyft and UberX under light regulation, leaving the final destination of the bill uncertain.

Senate Bill 125 did not come to a screeching halt — the Transportation and Energy Committee has scheduled the bill for a vote next Wednesday. The hearing this week served to simply take witness testimony.

More money for the budget, more fights at legislature

The Colorado Statesman

The Senate this week will take up a $23 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year after the House last week passed a largely partisan spending plan that resulted in plenty of fights over how to fund the state.

The overall budget proposal represents a $1.1 billion increase over the current budget, and marks the most money lawmakers have had to spend in nearly a decade.

SB 125 could face bumpy ride in House

The Colorado Statesman

A measure that would place ride-sharing services like Lyft and UberX under light regulation could face a bumpy ride when it lands in the House this upcoming week.

The bipartisan Senate Bill 125, sponsored in the House by Reps. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, and Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, has been scheduled for Wednesday in the House Transportation and Energy Committee in the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

The measure would empower the Public Utilities Commission to regulate so-called “Transportation Networking Companies” by:

• Requiring an insurance policy that applies to the rider and driver;

New legislative take on old telecommunications laws

Bipartisan package draws ire of AARP
The Colorado Statesman

A package of bills that would update the state’s decades-old telecommunications laws passed its first test on Tuesday, making it through a House committee with relative ease.

The House Business, Labor, Economic and Workforce Development committee backed the five bills after about five hours of debate, despite opposition from senior citizens who believe that the modernization would lead to an elimination of traditional phone service and a spike in rates.

The bipartisan package of bills includes:

Udall’s support of Obamacare draws healthy opposition

The Colorado Statesman

A nonprofit group associated with a pair of conservative billionaires this week launched a nearly $1 million ad campaign against U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, linking the incumbent Democrat to the federal health care law known as Obamacare.

“Millions have lost their health insurance, millions can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less,” says a woman in the race’s first major attack ad. “Obamacare doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. Tell Senator Udall to stop thinking about politics and start thinking about people.”

Dems unveil legislation surrounding recall elections

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats this week unveiled legislation that aims to correct some of the legal conflicts revealed last summer during recall elections of two Senate Democrats that nullified mail balloting and contributed to the Democrats’ loss.

During an impromptu media availability hosted by Senate Democrats on Monday, lawmakers proposed a measure that would modify a provision in state statute that allows a person to petition onto a recall election ballot 15 days before the election date.

Lawmakers want potency levels for pot products

Republcian McNulty and Dem Singer to partner on legislation
The Colorado Statesman

Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, has scaled back an original proposal that would have banned cannabis-infused products and concentrates. Instead, his new proposal would set potency equivalency limits for edibles and concentrates.

McNulty has partnered with Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, to push the potency equivalency proposal. The bills — which have delayed status and are expected to be introduced in the coming days — would seek to determine equivalent potencies between infused products, concentrates and the actual marijuana flower.

Rosier budget could trigger TABOR refunds

The Colorado Statesman

This year’s discussions over a rosier budget picture have highlighted issues with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights that could result in refunds to taxpayers in the coming years.

Lawmakers are concerned because the refunds would come despite voters already approving retention of marijuana taxes. The marijuana taxes would be largely responsible for the excess dollars.

Sanctions must continue on Iran

As of press time Thursday night, 85 U.S. Senators — including Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado — have signed a letter to President Obama urging the continuance of the existing sanctions on Iran and expressing their concern if Iran rejects an agreement to bring to an end its nuclear weapons ambitions. Integral in obtaining the support of this letter by U.S. senators across the country has been local attorney and AIPAC national board member Norm Brownstein. Below is the text of the letter:

Gardner officially launches Senate bid

Field narrows as GOP sets sights on Udall
The Colorado Statesman

Vowing to reverse a decade-long slump in the Republican Party’s fortunes in swing state Colorado, Rep. Cory Gardner officially launched his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Saturday inside a Denver lumber warehouse.

“In 2008, Colorado led the nation for change,” said the two-term congressman, referencing a year Democrats — including President Barack Obama and Udall — carried the state. “And in 2014, we can change it again.”