Current News

Compromise struck on student testing bill

The Colorado Statesman

In a laborious Capitol battle over student testing between the “good enoughs” and the “not enoughs,” the former prevailed.

After digging through the weeds for months on the biggest education issue of this year’s legislative session, lawmakers finally emerged with compromise legislation that will reduce the number of assessments that students are required to take at Colorado’s public schools.

But it sure wasn’t easy.

YESTERYEAR

Sine Die through the years

The Colorado Statesman

Ten Years Ago this week in The Colorado Statesman…The Legislature gaveled down the session two days early, wrapping things up ahead of schedule for the first time since the 120-day calendar was adopted in 1989, saving taxpayers some $30,000. But not before passing the Colorado Economic Recovery Act with barely bipartisan support.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

In Miller Hudson’s May 1 op-ed, his first three paragraphs can be summarized in one sentence: “Rich Jews meet in Sin City to hear Republicans, support Israel and hate the press.” He ignores the recent comments of Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, admitted liar. The political money from George Soros, backer of every leftist cause. And the ever-expanding Clinton, pay-to-play scandal with missing emails that may expose far more than 17 minutes of tape.

Locating the firing squads, snake charmers, grenade tossers, snipers lurking beneath the Gold Dome

The Colorado Statesman

A dozen years ago the Colorado Legislature imposed a “pay-for-performance” compensation plan on state workers — no more merely going through the motions on the job and then collecting a guaranteed pay raise on the part of the alleged “deadbeats” burrowed within the ranks of state government. This plan has never really been implemented due to budget shortfalls over the past decade. The executive branch goes through the motions of ranking individual performance. However, the few times the JBC has found a few dollars for raises, they’ve been funded as flat, across-the-board pay hikes.

CHATTER

Morgan Carroll, Mike Coffman both subject to swift attacks

Republicans wasted no time taking aim at state Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll when news broke this week that the Aurora Democrat is weighing a run against U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the swingy 6th Congressional District.

Deploying the adjective “liberal” multiple times — including three times as part of the “ultra-liberal” epithet — the National Republican Congressional Committee blasted Carroll as, well, a liberal lawmaker in a release on Thursday.

WAYPOSTS

Haley to head COGA

Former Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley was named president and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, the trade group announced on Wednesday. Haley takes over from Tisha Schuller, who announced in May she would be departing the post after heading COGA for five years.

Haley is currently vice president of communications, development and strategy at the public affairs firm EIS Solutions. Prior to that, he was director of communications for Denver-based CoBank.

Denver municipal elections: More of the same, but different

The Colorado Statesman

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock strolled to a second term on Tuesday against a handful of mostly unknown challengers, but voters stunned two city council veterans, sending one packing by a wide margin and denying another his bid for election as city auditor.

The message in the low turnout, nonpartisan election was clear: More of the same, only different.

Voters are likely to get their wish.

Tense debate precedes re-up of consumer watchdog office

The Colorado Statesman

The final day of the legislative session featured a fierce debate over the reauthorization of a consumer watchdog agency, one that resulted in most Senate Democrats refusing to vote on a Republican-backed measure for its continuance.

“This will be one of the things we've done that I'm not proud of this session,” Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, said of a Republican bill that would strip a key component from the purview of the Office of the Consumer Counsel.

Hospital Provider fee bill dies, but it’ll be back

The Colorado Statesman

A late-session priority for Gov. John Hickenlooper fell by the wayside Tuesday.

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Tuesday put an end to a bill the governor had hoped would help provide financial space for the state under the TABOR revenue cap.

Legislators to get pay raise

The Colorado Statesman

While the General Assembly spent much of their last three days killing bills right and left, they did decide to give a pay hike to future legislators, and state and county elected officials.

Currently, Colorado’s lawmakers make $30,000 per year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado’s pay ranks at about the mid-point for all state legislatures.