Marianne Goodland

Legislators get comfortable at 1525 Sherman

The Colorado Statesman

The dome isn’t the only part of the state Capitol to sport new duds for the 2015 legislative session. The House and Senate chambers were both restored to bring out architectural details from the past. A new hearing room has replaced the “bullpen” that served as offices for House members. Even the bathrooms at the north end of the capitol have gotten a makeover. But this could be the legislative session remembered for all the walking everyone will do to get from one end of the capitol complex to the other.

Republicans in Senate kill two commissions

Rep. Jessie Danielson files bill to restore CPEC
The Colorado Statesman

Majority Republicans in the Senate are flexing their muscles this week, putting to an end two commissions designed to address issues often found on Democratic agendas.

Wednesday, the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted along party lines to sunset the Colorado Voter Access and Modernized Elections Commission, a body created through 2013 legislation. The commission is due to issue its final report next month, with analysis from the 2014 election and recommendations for the 2016 election.

Change in Metro’s admission standards could prove a little testy at Legislature

The Colorado Statesman

The new chair of the Joint Budget Committee has stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest with a bill that would radically change the mission and admission standards for Metropolitan State University of Denver. And it’s not a change that they sought.

Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 15-072, which would change Metro’s admissions standards from “modified open” to “moderately selective.”

Hickenlooper delivers fifth State of the State

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper began his second term this week with a different set of challenges than the ones he faced during his first term. His fifth State of the State address Thursday outlined how he will address the challenges of a more prosperous state than the one he led in 2011, and perhaps the legacy he wants to leave.

Cadman: ‘Nothing without providence’

The Colorado Statesman

Newly installed Senate President Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, began his first speech in his new role with the state motto, “Nothing without providence.”

But it may as well have been “Expect the unexpected.”

Cadman led off his first speech with tributes to his family, and to his mother, who died of cancer when he was in his early 20s. He then lit the first of three memory candles at a nearby table in her honor.

New legislators experience range of emotions on opening day

The Colorado Statesman

The first full day as a new member of the Colorado General Assembly left many humbled, excited and at least a few with butterflies in their stomachs.

The Senate has four new members that have never served in the Legislature among its 10 new senators. Four members of the House were elected to Senate seats, and two more are returning to the Capitol after serving in the past.

The House has 20 new members, although two also are returning after past terms.

Construction defects legislation could be hot button issue (again) as local entities also become involved

The Colorado Statesman

The most important investment most Coloradans make — buying a home — may once again take center stage this month, when a divided Colorado General Assembly starts its 2015 session on Jan. 7.

The General Assembly has failed twice in the last two sessions to pass reforms to the construction defects law, with one effort dying in the House (2013) and the other, Senate Bill 14-220, in the Senate.

Effort to sell beer, wine in grocery stores may bypass legislature and instead seek ballot approval in 2016

The Colorado Statesman

Supporters of the effort to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer are turning away from the General Assembly and on to voters.

For four years, beginning in 2009, the Legislature tried but failed to pass laws allowing grocery and/or convenience stores to sell full-strength beer or wine. The push from grocery store owners came after the Legislature lifted a ban on Sunday sales for liquor stores in 2008.

New legislators get advice from the pros

The Colorado Statesman

Learn to count.

That was the first word of advice from former Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood, to new legislators at the last event of orientation on Wednesday.

Anderson was joined by three other distinguished former lawmakers, all who served in the Colorado General Assembly: former U.S. Senator Hank Brown, R-Colo., former Governor Dick Lamm and former state Senator Penfield Tate, D-Denver.

Spouses, partners of legislators have major supporting roles

The Colorado Statesman

New legislators aren’t the only ones going through orientation. Some of their spouses and partners also spent two days this week learning what their roles will, and won’t be, in the coming session.

Only a handful attended the spouses’ orientation sessions, but they told The Colorado Statesman they’re ready to support their partners and help keep them grounded.