Marianne Goodland

Borrowed cowboy hat better than no hat at all

The Colorado Statesman

During an interview with KUNC last week, new Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown commented that he didn't own a cowboy hat.

During the Feb. 26 Governor's Forum on Ag, he got a chance to try on a new one, owned by his boss, Gov. John Hickenlooper. The governor took off his new Stetson, a gift from Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa, and dropped it on Brown's head.

JBC votes to dramatically reduce scholarship initiative

The Colorado Statesman

The Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday voted to dramatically scale back a request from the Governor for a state scholarship program that he mentioned in the 2015 State of the State address.

The JBC is in figure-setting this week for the 2015-16 budget. On Tuesday, the committee took up the budget for the Department of Higher Education. Gov. John Hickenlooper had asked for $30 million for the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) for its second year of funding.

Legislative Brief

The Colorado Statesman

Follow up:

Bill deadlines — Wednesday marks the first deadline for bills to move out of their original chambers, unless they are granted late bill status or otherwise had deadlines extended. This session looks to be off to a slow start in getting bills to the governor, highlighting the divisive nature of this year’s General Assembly.

Regis Groff memorialized at state Capitol

The Colorado Statesman

“This is an example of a life well-led….”

The Colorado State Senate on Wednesday memorialized the life and service of one of the titans of the state Senate in the 20th century, former Sen. Regis Groff, who passed away in October at the age of 79.

Groff served 20 years in the Senate, from 1975 to 1994, including four years as minority leader.
Wednesday’s memorial saw a long line of current and former legislators eager to share their memories of Groff and the impact he had on Colorado.

House kicks immigrant driver’s license fight back to Senate

The Colorado Statesman

The Democratic-led House on Wednesday sent a supplemental bill back to the Republican-led Senate that will start another round of dueling press releases around ideological differences over driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Construction defects heads to Lone Tree

The Colorado Statesman

As local governments wait for the General Assembly to begin its work on Senate Bill 15-177, the construction defects bill, others continue to make decisions about their own ordinances, in hopes of attracting more affordable multi-family construction.

Tuesday night, the Lone Tree City Council, located in the south metro area, unanimously passed an ordinance partly based on one passed late last year by the Lakewood City Council. The vote came after about two hours of testimony from representatives of the Community Associations Institute and several Lone Tree realtors.

National Org Sues Colorado over Marijuana Industry

The Colorado Statesman

Two lawsuits filed in federal court Thursday seek to force Colorado to end the legalization of marijuana.

The Safe Streets Alliance, along with a Frisco hotel and two Lakewood residents are suing the state, the local jurisdictions that zoned marijuana operations, and several marijuana distributors.

Republicans leverage JBC, Senate stances for policy maneuvering

The Colorado Statesman

Senate Republicans flexed their muscles this week in a big way, shooting down a supplemental bill for the Department of Public Safety that seeks to provide more funding for background checks.

Legislative rural caucus kicks off 2015 with first meeting

The Colorado Statesman

The General Assembly’s rural caucus began its 2015 activities Wednesday, hosting a meeting with the Colorado Ag Council to find out how they can help the ag community in the coming months.

Concurrent committee hearings kept some rural members from taking part in the Feb. 18 lunch meeting, although a dozen legislators were able to attend, some for the entire meeting and some for just a few minutes. One-third of the legislators are new members this year.

Construction bill would curb lawsuits

The Colorado Statesman

What is expected to be the landmark bill of the 2015 legislative session was introduced Tuesday. Senate Bill 15-177 would amend Colorado’s construction defects law, first passed in 2001. Supporters, including four bipartisan lawmakers, say the bill will help address a dearth of affordable middle-class housing in Colorado, primarily in the condo market.

SB 177 is the third attempt in as many years to address what supporters claim is an inability of developers to build affordable condos because of fear of class-action lawsuits.