Marianne Goodland

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.

Oil, gas advocates warn against ballot measures

The Colorado Statesman

Oil and gas advocates warned Tuesday that Colorado’s economic recovery could shift back into recession if two ballot initiatives on oil and gas development get onto the November ballot and are approved by voters.

During a telephone town hall Tuesday, attorney Peter Moore, chairman of Vital for Colorado and Tisha Schuller, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, advised callers to say “no” to anyone asking them to sign petitions for the two ballot measures.

$100 million under SB 1 will aid education

…but it’s only a beginning
The Colorado Statesman

Colorado isn’t likely to climb much out of the cellar in nationwide rankings of per-student funding for higher education anytime soon, but a $100 million investment from the General Assembly should be a good start.

Voters may get to weigh in on ag animal issues

The Colorado Statesman

Animal rights activists who want voters to ban certain livestock procedures may have to contend with a bill at the state capitol that could rein in some of their tactics.

Getting down to business at this year’s legislature

The Colorado Statesman

Affordable housing, workers’ compensation, construction defect law, oil and gas regulations, and business personal property tax relief are on the minds of business people who heard from legislative leaders Jan. 7.

The business legislative preview breakfast gave lawmakers an opportunity to discuss their legislative agendas and some of the business bills that could show up during the 2014 session. The Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Competitive Council hosted the morning event, held at the History Colorado Center.

Businesses brace for workers’ comp bill in 2014 session

Bill sponsor Rep.Williams says second draft already in the works
The Colorado Statesman

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct a mistake in the earlier version. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment was not interviewed for this story and has not taken a position on this proposed legislation as initially indicated. The Colorado Statesman apologizes for the error and to the CDLE.

Colorado business leaders will keep a watchful eye on the 2014 session that starts Jan. 8. Topping the watch list: a proposed bill on workers’ compensation that some business groups believe could be bad for business. Bill supporters say it will restore balance to a system that has for too long favored employers over employees.