Marianne Goodland

Ag committee members bridge urban vs. rural divide

The Colorado Statesman

Agriculture is Colorado’s number two economic engine, with receipts of more $8 billion in farm and ranch products in 2012. The legislative committee that has the most impact on that industry, the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, saw some of its greatest turnover ever with the 2013 session, with eight new legislators from both sides of the aisle. None work in the agriculture or livestock industries. That led to concerns about a steep learning curve on agriculture issues for those first-year representatives.

Talk of state’s water flows from interim committee

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado faces the loss of hundreds of thousands of agricultural lands due to a statewide “buy and dry” problem, but water advocates hope that a new statewide water plan will slow those losses to a trickle.

Legislators return to Capitol for summer school

The Colorado Statesman

After a two-month break, some legislators are returning to the state capitol for the start of summer interim committee meetings.

First out of the gate: the economic opportunity poverty reduction task force. Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, chairs the 10-member group. The task force was authorized by 2009 legislation, but in the wake of budget cuts did not formally meet after that.

Committee begins work on hot button SB 252

But whether cooler heads will prevail is yet to be determined
The Colorado Statesman

The committee that will figure out whether SB 13-252 is actually doable begins meeting this week to review the law signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper last month.

The law requires certain rural electric providers, those with at least 100,000 meters, to increase their use of renewable energy resources from the previous 10 percent standard to 20 percent by 2020. Providers must do so without raising renewable rates by more than 2 percent.

‘Campaign for Kids’ off to good fundraising start

The Colorado Statesman

Organizers of the campaign for a ballot measure that will ask voters to okay a nearly $1 billion tax increase are off to a strong start, reporting more than $342,000 in their first campaign finance report.

Hick waiting before bestowing blessing

No all-out endorsement of school finance ballot measure — yet...
The Colorado Statesman

The new school finance act is preparing for its first test of public support, with petitions headed to the streets for a $950 million ballot initiative.

Tuesday, a coalition of civic, business and community leaders, known as “Colorado Commits to Kids” announced the launch of a petition drive for a November vote on funding P-12 education.

2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

Criminal justice legislation steeped in controversy

The Colorado Statesman

Was there anything about criminal justice in the 2013 General Assembly session that wasn’t controversial? Bills on criminal justice pitted Republicans against Democrats, Democrats against Democrats and Democratic legislators versus the governor.

2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

Legislators grind out new school finance act

But whether it passes or fails will be decided by the voters
The Colorado Statesman

With Democrats in charge of both chambers and the governor’s mansion, Democratic legislators embarked on an ambitious plan during the 2013 session to revamp the state’s school finance system. Along the way, legislators also dealt with guns in schools, sex education, new degree programs in higher education and restoring merit-based aid.

2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

Legislators prescribe Medicaid expansion, funds for health benefits exchange this session

The Colorado Statesman

With the full implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) just months away, legislators in the 2013 session had a full plate of bills to work on to get the state ready.

Renewables bill signed by Governor

... but Hickenlooper sets up advisory committee that can tweak bill next year
The Colorado Statesman

Governor John Hickenlooper Wednesday signed into law the controversial bill requiring certain rural electric utilities to double their use of renewables by 2020. But unlike the gun control bills signed earlier this year, whether Hickenlooper would sign the bill remained a mystery up until the last day before the deadline.

Senate Bill 13-252 applies to rural electric providers with at least 100,000 meters. That’s just two electric co-operatives: Tri-State Generation & Transmission and its 18 member co-ops in Colorado, and Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA).