Legislative News

Hickenlooper: ‘Colorado does not shut down’

‘Colorado does not quit. Colorado does not break.’
The Colorado Statesman

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday delivered his annual state of the state, passing over the partisan divides from last year to look ahead at a united future for Colorado. In his address to a joint session of the legislature, he pushed for forward thinking following a year of devastating floods, wildfires and senseless violence that has left the state recovering and searching for a solution.

Bipartisanship is key word on opening day

The Colorado Statesman

Legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle during opening remarks on Wednes-day pleaded with members to exercise bipartisanship following a blistering interim.

In the wake of two successful recalls that ousted Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo for their support of gun control, leaders appeared set on healing open wounds.

A third Senate Democrat, Evie Hudak of Westminster, resigned in November rather than face a painful recall election, thereby preserving the Democratic majority in the Senate by one seat.

Legislators likely to take another look at last year’s rural renewable energy standard bill

The Colorado Statesman

Bills targeting the energy sector are not likely to be part of an ambitious agenda this legislative session following a hard push by Democrats last year that ended with lackluster success.

With the first few days of the 2014 session in the rearview mirror, only a handful of bills have been proposed that would significantly impact energy development in Colorado.

One bill would increase fines on the oil and gas industry for environmental and health violations.

Getting down to business at this year’s legislature

The Colorado Statesman

Affordable housing, workers’ compensation, construction defect law, oil and gas regulations, and business personal property tax relief are on the minds of business people who heard from legislative leaders Jan. 7.

The business legislative preview breakfast gave lawmakers an opportunity to discuss their legislative agendas and some of the business bills that could show up during the 2014 session. The Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Competitive Council hosted the morning event, held at the History Colorado Center.

Budget will be larger, but that could lead to more contentious discussions

Plus return of gun issues could also wreak havoc in the Senate
The Colorado Statesman

Even though the state budget is a good three months away from being seriously debated, Senate leaders believe the so-called Long Bill could lead to one of the most significant political conversations of the upcoming legislative session.

The fight is looming, as lawmakers will have $1.4 billion more to spend in fiscal year 2014-15 than was budgeted for the current fiscal year.

House GOP looks to tweak a few issues from last year

The Colorado Statesman

House Republicans in the upcoming legislative session that begins on Wednesday hope to renew hearings on issues such as gun control and a rural renewable energy standard, opening the door to several divisive debates that are likely to repeat themselves this year.

Hickenlooper emphasizes jobs, economy — again

But with a little more bipartisanship this time
The Colorado Statesman

Despite heading into a contentious political year in 2014 — in which Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is facing re-election and a loud and crowded GOP primary field — the governor remains optimistic that he can lead the legislature towards a bipartisan session that begins on Jan. 8.

“We’re going to continue to try to bring a nonpartisan focus on job creation and the economy; try to make sure we can support our small businesses,” Hickenlooper said on Dec. 19 at a media availability in his office.

Businesses brace for workers’ comp bill in 2014 session

Bill sponsor Rep.Williams says second draft already in the works
The Colorado Statesman

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct a mistake in the earlier version. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment was not interviewed for this story and has not taken a position on this proposed legislation as initially indicated. The Colorado Statesman apologizes for the error and to the CDLE.

Colorado business leaders will keep a watchful eye on the 2014 session that starts Jan. 8. Topping the watch list: a proposed bill on workers’ compensation that some business groups believe could be bad for business. Bill supporters say it will restore balance to a system that has for too long favored employers over employees.

Legalization of pot heats up stone cold day in Denver

It’s a brave new world out there
The Colorado Statesman

In the gloom before sunrise on January 1, TV trucks were lined up like dominos along Brighton Blvd. just south of I-70 as more than a hundred journalists of every stripe (think Al Jazeera) sipped coffee and munched sticky, warm donuts purchased from an opportunistic food truck situated in the parking lot at Denver’s Discreet Dispensary (DDD). Occasional snowflakes swirled briskly in the air as nearly 200 customers awaited the first retail marijuana sales in Colorado.

Republican Doty won’t run for Secretary of State

GOP Williams, Dem Neguse are only official candidates to date
The Colorado Statesman

For the moment, it does not appear that Republican El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams will face a primary in his bid for secretary of state. Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Doty told The Colorado Statesman on Monday that she would not pursue the race, despite having said earlier that she was considering it.

Doty said she is already preoccupied with her work as a county commissioner, and also has several personal matters to attend to that make it difficult for her to engage in a statewide race.