Peter Marcus

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Bills add new offenses, reforms to criminal justice system

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed more than a dozen judicial bills this year that add new offenses, eliminate old offenses and bring reforms to the overall criminal justice system.

Perhaps the most controversial judicial bill was House Bill 1271, sponsored by Reps. B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland, and Beth McCann, D-Denver, and Sens. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, and Tim Neville, R-Littleton. It requires a court hearing before prosecuting youth defendants as adults.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Defenders of liberty, true liberals singled out by the ACU

The Colorado Statesman

The American Conservative Union released its ratings of Colorado lawmakers on June 29, the first time that the organization graded state legislators based on votes on conservative issues.

ACU has been offering its ratings for Congress since 1971, and this year it expanded to 15 state legislatures, including Colorado. The organization made the announcements for Colorado at an event at the Hyatt Regency in Denver.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Legislators get down to business with a package of bills

The Colorado Statesman

Of the dozens of bills sent to the governor by the Legislature this year, at least eight specifically addressed burdens faced by businesses in the state, including taxes, rules, fines and fees, while also simplifying business filings and reducing insurance costs.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Republicans score ‘uniformly high’ on Chamber scorecard

The Colorado Statesman

Republicans outscored Democrats this year on the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce annual legislative scorecard.

The Republican caucus scored “uniformly high” with the lowest scoring member in the House — Rep. Glenn Vaad, R-Mead — earning a 69 percent, according to the Chamber. The lowest scoring Republican in the Senate was Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, with 77 percent.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Bills streamline gov’t, invest in future and add oversight

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several bills this year to streamline government and save the state money, while making investments for the future and adding accountability and oversight.

On June 6, Hickenlooper signed a bill to modernize the state’s archaic personnel system. The bipartisan House Bill 1321, sponsored by Reps. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, and Glenn Vaad, R-Mead, and Sens. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs, and Mike Johnston, D-Denver, establishes a merit-based pay system to replace the current pay-for-performance system created more than a decade ago.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

CUT disheartened by $19 billion bipartisan state budget

The Colorado Statesman

The Colorado Union of Taxpayers, or CUT, gave the legislature an “F” this year for passing one of the largest budgets in recent years.

The organization, which advocates for limited government and low taxes, said the $19 billion budget that passed with historic bipartisan support is “disheartening while Colorado citizens are reeling from a depressed economy and their incomes have not kept pace with such increases.”

“As citizens must tighten their belts, they ask, ‘Where are the spending cuts from government?’” said Marty Neilson, president of CUT.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Lawmakers prescribe antidotes to health care bureaucracy

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed more than a dozen bills this year addressing health concerns in Colorado.

House Bill 1281, sponsored by Reps. Dave Young, D-Greeley, and Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, and Sens. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, and Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, authorizes a pilot project with the goal of reforming how the state pays for Medicaid services. The legislation was considered a centerpiece of health-related legislative actions for both parties. It was signed on June 4.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Planned Parenthood cites 2012 ‘champs’ and ‘chumps’

The Colorado Statesman

Reflecting a national debate on whether there is a “war on women,” Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has released its Colorado legislative scorecard for the year, evaluating lawmakers and policy based on reproductive health care issues.

Through its lobbying organization, Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, the organization has designated “champs” and “chumps” from the 2012 legislative session, mostly focused on bills that they believe would have taken away a woman’s right to choose.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

AARP pleased with increases in benefits for the elderly

The Colorado Statesman

An increase in health care benefits for seniors was the big accomplishment for the elderly at the legislature this year, according to an end-of-session report by AARP Colorado.

2012 Legislative Wrap-up

Health care, safety issues considered by Women’s Lobby

The Colorado Statesman

The Women’s Lobby of Colorado released its fourth annual legislative scorecard for the 2012 session, reflecting women’s health care and safety issues in the state.

The organization based its ratings on issues that seek to provide better opportunities for women in Colorado through “gender equity and justice.”

In addition to providing transparency to its members, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado wants the scorecard to inspire voters to call their elected officials to let them know which issues are important to them.