John Tomasic

Author Archive | John Tomasic

Kefalas open records bill has been, undoubtedly, an ‘interesting journey’

State Sen. John Kefalas speaks to The Statesman about his open records bill's 'interesting journey' this year as a piece of legislation that was once assumed dead but has since undergone compromise deals and gained serious momentum. (Photo by John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)
Spearheading a long-overdue digital-era update to the Colorado Open Records Act was always going to be months ago and he has been wrestling in legislative and political brambles ever since. “Well, you know, on the surface, if you look at it, one would think it’s pretty simple what we’re trying to do here,” said state […]

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Salazar to pull Ralph Carr name off hot-button states’ rights bill

The Ralph Carr plaque presented in 1974 by the Japanese community and the Oriental Culture Society of Colorado hangs outside the foyer outside the governor's office at the Colorado Capitol. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

Relatives of 1940s Republican Colorado Governor Ralph Carr have asked that his name be removed from a legislative proposal that has made headlines for months and generated political heat at the Capitol even before it was introduced earlier this month. State Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton and the sponsor of the “Ralph Carr […]

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Aghast Larry Crowder on proposed $500M cut to state hospitals: ‘The problems keep coming’

Rep. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa, in committee at the Capitol. (John Tomasic/The Colorado Statesman)

“Five-hundred and twenty-eight million dollars?” said Sen. Larry Crowder, a Republican from Alamosa. “Yeah, well, I imagine that’s where we’re heading.” Crowder was digesting the news that state legislative budget writers are planning to unveil their draft version next week and that it will very likely include a $528 million cut to state hospital operating […]

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‘First real floor fight’ of session erupts over ‘sanctuary’ Ralph Carr bill

A federal detention facility in Artesia, N.M, Sept. 10, 2014. (Juan Carlos Llorca/AP)

A bill that would protect state officials from participating in any unconstitutional federal programs aimed at monitoring or confining Coloradans sparked what the House Democratic caucus communications office called the “first real floor fight” of the legislative session. The Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Salazar, a Thornton Democrat, was drafted in […]

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Neville rides wave with ‘constitutional carry’ gun bill, fails to win over Dems

In Saint Joseph, Mo. (Bob Travaglione, via Flickr)

The floor vote in the Senate on Tim Neville’s “constitutional carry” bill on Tuesday went as expected. His Senate Bill 116 passed with full Republican support, but Democrats took turns voicing opposition. The immediate future of the bill is all but carved in stone. It will pass in the Republican-controlled Senate and fail in the […]

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Colorado’s closely watched digital database open records bill advances

State Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, takes notes, February 24, 2016, during a committee hearing on an open records bill he co-sponsored. David Zalubowski, file AP Photo

A long-coming update to the Colorado Open Records Act that aims to make government digital datasets more readily accessible to the public advanced with bipartisan support in the State Senate Tuesday night. Senate Bill 40, sponsored by Fort Collins Democrat John Kefalas, is the latest version of a proposal that has been the subject of […]

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Colorado driverless car bill wins bipartisan support in state Senate

At Seoul National University, a smartphone application for a driverless car. (Lee Jin-man/AP)

A Colorado legislative proposal meant in part to attract automated car entrepreneurs advanced in the state Senate on Tuesday. The bill is being promoted by its sponsors for being ahead of the curve nationwide and welcomed by the burgeoning industry. Supporters played down public-safety and job-loss concerns posed by driverless car technology, arguing that the […]

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