Marianne Goodland

Senate childcare bill faces uphill struggle

The Colorado Statesman

An effort to deregulate licensing requirements for childcare providers who serve up to nine children has run into trouble in its first committee in the Senate.

Thursday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee reviewed Senate Bill 15-070, sponsored by its chair, Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud.

The bill would remove licensing, registration and other regulatory requirements for childcare providers who serve fewer than 10 children. Current state law caps the number of children cared for by an unlicensed provider at four or fewer.

New pols look at gun laws from other side

The Colorado Statesman

This week, the General Assembly began the process of dealing, once again, with legislation that seeks to repeal some of the controversial 2013 gun control laws.

Six legislators in the 2015 session can tie their 2014 elections either directly or indirectly to the 2013 gun debates. All of them own guns, some with lifelong histories with firearms, and three were part of Monday’s hearings in the House and Senate.

Rural Caucus to meet Feb. 18

The Colorado Statesman

Two-thirds of the Colorado General Assembly live in the state’s population centers along the Front Range. Over the last several years, rural legislators outside the Front Range have complained that some of their urban cousins don’t understand the rural way of life, which has led to heated battles over gun rights, energy and agriculture. It has also led to the formation of a caucus that, its members hope, will lead to a better understanding of rural issues.

Bill could ban water-polluting microbeads

The Colorado Statesman

It’s always about water in Colorado, and the present Legislative Session is no exception. A bill headed for the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee will attempt to make sure Colorado doesn’t wind up with the same water pollution problem as other states.

House Bill 15-1144 will be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 1:30 p.m. in the public health committee. Its sponsor is Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield, the committee’s chair.

CenturyLink files suit against PUC over funding mechanisms

Rural broadband could be affected
The Colorado Statesman

A deal to deregulate CenturyLink and get broadband services into unserved areas has hit a snag: the Public Utilities Commission.

CenturyLink filed a lawsuit against the PUC earlier this month, challenging the way the agency decided to allocate funds tied to two of five telecommunications reform bills passed by the General Assembly in 2014.

New higher ed funding model out of the gate

The Colorado Statesman

Next week Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia will sit down with the joint House and Senate Education Committees to explain how the General Assembly will fund higher education for the foreseeable future.

The conversation will deal with House Bill 14-1319, which changed the decade-long funding formula that some claimed lacked transparency and didn’t meet state policy goals.

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.