Legislative News

Photo: Hickenlooper signs legislature's biggest microscopic issue

The Colorado Statesman
Gov. John Hickenlooper gets close and personal with a jar of microbeads, brought to him by House Bill 15-1144 sponsor Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora. Hickenlooper signed HB 1144 into law on March 26.

Photo of the Day

The Colorado Statesman
Rico Turner, 6, of Denver was among more than 250 people at a rally outside Colorado's State Capitol today to show support for raising the minimum wage in the state.

Competing police bills spark division

Attempts at bipartisanship at the Capitol on Tuesday over a law enforcement package instead exposed a divide between the two chambers on major legislation that has dominated the 2015 session.

The issue: a package of bills that House Democrats claimed would help “rebuild trust” in law enforcement. Despite claims of bipartisan support for most of the bills, never the twain did meet when it came to making the announcement. House Democrats and Senate Republicans held separate news conferences on Tuesday to discuss the bills they plan to sponsor.

Construction defects clears first hurdle

The Colorado Statesman

After some delay, Senate committees this week finally debated two bills that seek to make the state’s construction defects law more industry-friendly. The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, on a 3-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 15-091 on Monday. The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee, on a 6-2 vote, passed SB 177 on Wednesday.

GOP CLEANS HOUSE

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Republicans on Saturday elected former gubernatorial candidate Steve House as state party chair, ousting two-term chair Ryan Call by a comfortable margin at the party’s biennial reorganization meeting in Castle Rock.

Republicans were restless at the meeting, also replacing the party’s vice chair and secretary. Derrick Wilburn, the founder of American Conservatives of Color, defeated incumbent vice chair Mark Baisley, former El Paso County chair Eli Bremer and former Summit County chair Debra Irvine. Moffatt County chair Brandi Meek beat incumbent secretary Lana Fore.

Two Grand Junction city council races in full swing

The Colorado Statesman

GRAND JUNCTION - There are two contested races in this year’s Grand Junction City Council election, which concludes April 7; ballots were mailed on March 16.

Running for a four-year term are Dennis J. Simpson, a certified public accountant who describes himself as “a fiscal conservative and lifetime Republican,” and Chris Kennedy, a telecommunications executive who secured the Democratic Party’s nomination for House District 55 in 2014.

LEGISLATIVE BRIEFS: MARCH 20, 2015

FOLLOWUP:

Magazine Ban Repeal — The Senate on Tuesday gave its final approval to Senate Bill 15-175, which would repeal 2013 legislation limiting the size of ammunition magazines. SB 175 passed on a 21-13 vote, with one senator (Michael Johnston, D-Denver) absent. Three Democrats, who had already been announced as co-sponsors, voted with the Republican majority: Sens. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail; Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo; and Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge.

GOP dines to celebrate ‘earthquake’ victories

The Colorado Statesman

Colorado Republicans celebrated victories in last fall’s election and turned an eye toward next year, when the swing state will again be in play and at the center of national attention, at the state party’s annual Centennial Dinner on Friday in Greenwood Village.

P-Tech high school bill aims to address industry need for middle-skilled jobs

The Colorado Statesman

Two Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday presented a bill in the House Education Committee that would lay the groundwork for an enhanced high school degree program serving as a pipeline from the classroom to mid-level jobs.

Lawmakers cut deal cut on illegal immigrant drivers license funding

The Colorado Statesman

The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday reached a compromise on a 2014-15 spending bill that would allow the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to clear off a backlog of requests for driver’s licenses from people in the country illegally.
The supplemental bill has been on the legislative docket for more than six weeks, an unusually long time for a bill that seeks to finish out the spending year for a state agency.

But Senate Bill 15-161 was controversial even before it was introduced.