Legislative News

Caucuses signal official beginning of election season

The Colorado Statesman

Just as crocuses are beginning to stir under snow-packed lawns, Democrats and Republicans roused the grassroots at caucuses on Tuesday across the state, when thousands of voters convened in schools, churches and community centers to kick off the year’s election calendar.

New effort to connect on telecom reform

The Colorado Statesman

The Colorado telecommunications industry is hopeful that the reception has cleared enough in the state legislature this year to connect on a package of reform proposals that lawmakers hope to introduce in the next couple of weeks.

Drafts had not yet been presented to industry stakeholders as of press time on Thursday, but Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, who is leading the charge, said she plans on presenting them to all stakeholders before the bills are introduced.

Rural interests are still waiting for a little love

Out-state frustration could aid GOP at polls
The Colorado Statesman

As the legislature reaches mid-session, lawmakers are receiving an “incomplete” grade for addressing rural Colorado; being told by rural interests that they still have much more work to do.

It appears unlikely that the Democratic-controlled legislature will end the session in May with applause from rural citizens. The frustration is likely to serve as a campaign call for Republicans, who say they are more connected with rural parts of the state than Democrats.

Beauprez joins crowded field in guv’s race

The Colorado Statesman

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez formally entered the governor’s race this week, making it eight Republicans hoping to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“I’ve been watching this race and thinking that this was an opportunity to maybe take some turf back for the GOP side, especially given the governor’s record of late,” Beauprez told The Colorado Statesman.

Rally for same-sex marriage held at Capitol

The Colorado Statesman

Marriage equality advocates rallied at the Capitol on Monday, imploring that “all loving, committed couples should have the freedom to marry in the state that they call home.”

The rally came as nine couples have filed a legal challenge to Colorado’s constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The lawsuit comes in the midst of a groundswell of support for gay marriage, and a shift in the national landscape for marriage equality.

A second Colorado lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage was filed in Adams County.

Water issues compel Sylvester to run for guv

Agricultural issues are a big concern for this rural Republican
The Colorado Statesman

Republican gubernatorial candidate Roni Bell Sylvester flip-flopped the second she entered the already crowded field of GOP candidates.

“I’m on record for having said that there is no amount of money you could pay me to run for public office,” laughs longtime Weld County resident Sylvester.

But Sylvester, 68, was motivated to throw her name into the race over concerns with water rights and what she believes is a government intrusion into private property ownership, all of which she says is connected to the water issue.

Read Across America Day promotes early literacy

Gov. Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia joined more than 45 million participants across the nation for the National Education Association’s 17th annual Read Across America Day celebration on March 3.

As part of the festivities celebrating the legacy of Dr. Seuss, Hickenlooper read Green Eggs and Ham and a special rhyming proclamation at the State Capitol to a group of 55 kindergarteners from Clyde Miller Elementary School.

Gardner’s switch changes the game

The Colorado Statesman

In a stunning development that instantly reconfigured Colorado’s electoral landscape, news broke Wednesday afternoon that U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican, plans to drop his bid for reelection and instead challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall for a seat that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

More money for education means more fights

The Colorado Statesman

Lawmakers are learning the hard lessons of funding an education budget in a year when there is more money to go around. Fights are already underway between educators, administrators and legislators over how to reduce the so-called “negative factor” before enacting additional mandates on teachers and districts.

Lawmakers on Tuesday formally introduced what is being called the Student Success Act, or House Bill 1292, a bipartisan effort that would address some of the fallout from the failure of Amendment 66 this past November.

Coffman, Romanoff rally supporters in highly competitive CD 6 race

The Colorado Statesman

The two candidates in what some observers have already pegged the most competitive congressional race in the country this year — and likely the most expensive — encouraged supporters and previewed their campaigns at rallies last weekend in Aurora.