Marianne Goodland

Construction defects clears first hurdle

The Colorado Statesman

After some delay, Senate committees this week finally debated two bills that seek to make the state’s construction defects law more industry-friendly. The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, on a 3-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 15-091 on Monday. The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee, on a 6-2 vote, passed SB 177 on Wednesday.

Lawmakers cut deal cut on illegal immigrant drivers license funding

The Colorado Statesman

The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday reached a compromise on a 2014-15 spending bill that would allow the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to clear off a backlog of requests for driver’s licenses from people in the country illegally.
The supplemental bill has been on the legislative docket for more than six weeks, an unusually long time for a bill that seeks to finish out the spending year for a state agency.

But Senate Bill 15-161 was controversial even before it was introduced.

Colo. Ag Day big hit under Gold Dome, promoting industry and philanthropy

The Colorado Statesman

Perhaps the most popular Capitol event of the session, Colorado Ag Day, did not disappoint hundreds of hungry legislators, staffers and Capitol visitors on Wednesday.

The fourth annual Farm to Fork competition, which highlights Colorado agricultural products, took place on Wednesday, and is sponsored by the Colorado Chefs Association. This year’s competition showed off dishes made with Colorado bison, lamb, bass, beef, eggs, potatoes and desserts, and fed long lines of those eager to sample Colorado cuisine at its best.

Hick implies 'Real misgivings' with repealing mag ban

Senate Judiciary passes magazine ban repeal bill
The Colorado Statesman

While Senate Republicans this week celebrated bipartisan support for a bill repealing a 2013 law limiting the size of ammunition magazines, Governor Hickenlooper hinted a veto may be in the cards, should the bill reach his desk.

Hickenlooper recaps legislature's first half

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the slow start to the 2015 legislative session Wednesday, calling it “probably a good thing” that fewer laws will make it to his desk this year. The General Assembly crossed the midpoint of its 2015 session last Saturday, and as of press time the Governor had signed only twenty four bills into law, including twenty-one on Wednesday. It's been the fewest bills to reach his desk by mid-session since he took office in 2011.

Microbeads under Senate microscope

Ban passes final legislative test
The Colorado Statesman

A bill banning the manufacture and sale of personal care products with synthetic plastic microbeads achieved final Senate approval on Wednesday, but not without a science lesson from one of the bill’s opponents.

House Bill 15-1144 sailed through its Senate committee hearing and final passage without amendment but not without challenge.

Rep. Klingenschmitt distributes controversial letter to colleagues

The Colorado Statesman

A two page, single spaced letter from one legislator became the talk of the Capitol this week.

On Tuesday, the House voted 35 to 29, with Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction, siding with the Democratic caucus, to pass House Bill 15-1175. The bill would have prohibited state-licensed therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals from providing gay conversion therapy for minors under the age of 18.

Hullinghorst: construction defects bill ‘non-starter’

The Colorado Statesman

This week marks the halfway point of the 120-day legislative session, and House and Senate leadership called upon the press to show off their accomplishments and talk agendas for the next 60 days.

Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, kicked off two days worth of meetings with reporters on Wednesday morning, discussing the budget and bills that will set up the last half of the 2015 session.

Bipartisanship makes appearance

The Colorado Statesman

In the most bipartisan manner since the start of session, legislators Thursday announced a package of 10 bills on workforce development, ranging from internships to assistance with student loan payments and helping the unemployed find jobs.

More than two dozen legislators from both chambers and both sides of the aisle were on hand to announce the package; some bills are already in the process of moving through the legislature while others are not yet introduced.

House blinks on public safety supplemental fight

The Colorado Statesman

The House blinked on Wednesday and decided to save their fight over background check funds for the Department of Public Safety for another day, and another budget.

Senate Bill 15-159 got unanimous support Wednesday from the House and is now on its way to the governor’s desk.