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Let the sun shine in on ballot measures via basic fiscal facts

GUEST COLUMNIST

The days of playing “20 questions” with petition circulators about the fiscal facts of a proposed ballot initiative are coming to a close thanks to a landmark law Gov. Hickenlooper signed into law this week. House Bill 1057, which passed with solid bipartisan support, will give voters a clear and unbiased fiscal impact statement on the petition form, allowing Coloradans access to critically important data as they consider if they will sign their names in support.

Hickenlooper tees off on Jeffco super at bill signing

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper this week accused the Jefferson County schools superintendent of playing politics over a perceived snub by the school district's chief — a response that included a reference to a pop superstar's visit to Jeffco a couple of years ago.

The Democratic governor recently sought permission from Jeffco schools to hold an education bill signing at Lakewood High School. Instead, his request was denied by conservative district Superintendent Dan McMinimee, who cited security and other logistical concerns.

This week's political cartoon

'Cooking with the State Treasurer'

The Colorado Statesman

This week's political cartoon by editorial cartoonist and Statesman Publisher Jared Wright, "Cooking with the State Treasurer."

To see more cartoons, click on the image below:

‘It’s Broke, Fix It’

Business, agriculture groups call for immigration solutions from GOP

The Colorado Statesman

Last year, Front Range grocery store customers ate plenty of sweet corn grown at Sakata Farms. But the Brighton producer’s other major summer vegetable, cabbage, didn’t make it to kitchen tables, left unharvested in the field. And forget about broccoli, another labor-intensive crop. The farm has supplied most of the metro-area’s locally grown broccoli in recent years, but its owners didn’t bother planting last spring, because they couldn’t count on having enough workers to get it to market.

Cañon City considering Main Street smoking ban

The Colorado Statesman

Smoking outdoors on Main Street in Cañon City could become a fineable offense if the city council there moves forward with a proposal to ban the activity in its historic downtown.

The issue was brought to the council by Kathy Schumacher, a Main Street business owner, and was discussed at the city’s General Government Committee meeting on May 6.

Councilman Jimmy Characky was the most vocal council supporter of a full ban — he initially advocated banning smoking in the entire Central Business District of the city, an area extending well beyond Main Street.

Democracy dominated by silence

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats in the Colorado Legislature began pushing the state’s election process toward all-mail balloting several years ago. Their premise was that easing voting would, over time, benefit Democratic candidates. Evidence supporting this hypothesis was thin. Oregon, the first state in the nation to adopt an all-mail, all-the-time ballot process had experienced growing Democratic majorities. Republican legislators resisted these Democratic proposals, but the success of Cory Gardner’s U.S.

Lone Tree sees clash over Hooters, council urged to nix liquor license

The Colorado Statesman

Lone Tree city council member Kim Monson isn’t what you’d call a Hooters regular — in fact, she’s never visited the place — but she also doesn’t think it should be barred from the city because its waitresses wear skimpy outfits.

Her stance has put her at odds with a vocal swath of residents fighting to keep the restaurant also known for its chicken wings from opening a franchise near upscale Park Meadows Mall. A Change.org petition against “Hooters in our backyard” posted by Centennial resident Paul Allen was rapidly closing in on its goal of 200 signatures as of Tuesday.

Primaries, Lamm to White House and police snafu

The Colorado Statesman

35 Years Ago this week in The Colorado Statesman … The race for the chance to challenge U.S. Sen. Gary Hart was heating up. Attorney John Cogswell was the overwhelming choice of state Republican Party county chairs to take on the first-term Democrat, preferred by 36 percent of the chairs surveyed by The Statesman. Former Georgia Rep. Howard “Bo” Callaway came in second, with 19 percent support, followed by Colorado Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchannan, who was the favorite of 10 percent of the county chairs. State Sen.

Governor signs bill to ‘jump-start’ rural areas

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper this week signed into law a bill that aims to boost economic development in rural parts of the state.

Senate Bill 282 has been dubbed the “Jump-Start Program for Economically Distressed Counties.” The bill seeks to help economies in struggling parts of the state by creating tax-friendly zones in hopes of luring new businesses to those areas.

Williams, Cooke: a partnership for success

The Colorado Statesman

They couldn’t be more different.

She’s a Denver Democrat. He’s a Greeley Republican.

She’s a businesswoman. He’s a former sheriff.

She’s a veteran lawmaker. He’s in his first term.

But together, Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley and Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, forged a partnership that will change law enforcement in Colorado. Of the six law enforcement reform bills that went to the governor, Cooke and Williams were co-sponsors on four.