Current News

Uncertainty swirls around red-light camera legislation

The Colorado Statesman

There is a traffic jam of bills related to red-light camera technology inside the Capitol these days as a third bill has been introduced on the controversial issue.

That bill would create a study to measure the public safety impact of the use of red-light and speed photo enforcement cameras. The study also would look into claims that cities using the technology are motivated by the revenue collected from tickets.

“We want to make evidence-based decisions when making public policy decisions of this magnitude,” said Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, who is sponsoring the study bill.

Build The Damn Thing

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee holds hearing in Aurora
The Colorado Statesman

“Build the damn thing,” was the message delivered by members of a Senate Committee and Colorado’s congressional delegation at a field hearing held on Friday in Aurora to examine the beleaguered Veterans’ Administration hospital, long under construction and way over budget.

The phrase was lifted from pins that read “B-T-D-T” handed out by Steve Rylant, president of the United Veterans Committee of Colorado, and it expressed a nearly universal sentiment.

Homeless Bill of Rights measure fails in committee

The Colorado Statesman

A wild ending to an April 27 House panel vote on increased public rights for the homeless capped a hearing that resulted in the bill’s failure.

A handful of unruly audience members voiced their displeasure over committee members’ no votes on a bill that would have allowed the homeless to eat, sleep and panhandle in public without harassment.

Some had to be removed from the hearing room for shouting down members of the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee after the panel rejected the measure on an 8-3 vote.

American Indian mascot bill dies in committee

The Colorado Statesman

The use of American Indian mascots by Colorado public schools can continue unfettered after a bill requiring tribal approval of their use died on a party-line vote during an April 29 Senate committee hearing.

House Bill 1165 would have created an approval committee made up of representatives from American Indian tribes for schools seeking to use Indian-themed mascots.

Condo construction defects discussion at an end

The Colorado Statesman

The 2014 legislative session ended with a whimper, not a bang, on the condo construction defects issue. This year’s session on the same issue will end the same way.

But supporters of the efforts vow they will be back next year.

Last week, Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, assigned the Senate’s major construction defects bill, Senate Bill 15-177, to the House’s “kill” committee, the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. They voted along 6-5 party lines to kill the bill after a five-hour hearing Monday.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,
Please identify the organization Americans for Prosperity. It is the voice of the Koch Brothers. It is not a grassroots organization. It has no roots in Colorado. It should not be able to present its agenda in a public forum without disclosing its ownership. 

Every columnist should be identified by his employment as a starting point. 

Good luck on your new venture.
Dolores Kopel

Dear Editor,

Rep. Kevin Priola: Leadership takes a long-term vision

By Rep. Kevin Priola

Today, we live in a society of instant gratification — with one click, you can order just about anything online and have it delivered to your door. Seemingly endless information is shared via the web and social media with just the touch of a button. As a father, business owner, and legislator, I like getting fast results just as much as the next person. But during my seven years in office, I’ve learned that good policy is one area where we can’t afford to hope things happen overnight, especially when it comes to educating Colorado’s kids.

Minimum wage 2015: The ends just don’t meet

By Sen. Michael Merrifield

Next time you’re at the grocery store, keep track of what $8.23 will buy. Maybe it’s a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and some vegetables. Whatever the choices, the money won’t go far — and the point here is that thousands of Coloradans work hard and try to make ends meet on $8.23 per hour, the current minimum wage. They have to find a way to pay for housing, food, health care, transportation, shoes and clothing, and the ever-growing cost of child care.

The Adelson primary at the Republican Jewish Coalition

The Colorado Statesman

Ninety miles outside Las Vegas you begin to see the first indications there must be more than creosote bush and cholla cactus somewhere up ahead. Electric transmission lines start to converge on and then parallel I-15, delivering the electrons required to light up ‘The Strip’ — reportedly visible to space station astronauts at night. What better place for the Republican Jewish Coalition to meet each year than Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian hotel and casino? No other American city is as dedicated to hedonism and sin, or more likely to outrage the mullahs in Iran.

Brown’s bullying holds back Colorado gun-rights

By Jon Caldara

We at the Independence Institute take on bullies. It’s what we do.

Bullies like to use the coercive power of government to take away individual choices, like teachers’ unions work to limit educational choice. 
Nothing exemplifies this more than the current effort by Dudley Brown, of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who is using intimidation and threats to squelch a growing movement to re-legalize 30-round magazines, winning back 99 percent of all the gun magazines we lost in the 2013 ban.