Legislative News

Udall’s support of Obamacare draws healthy opposition

The Colorado Statesman

A nonprofit group associated with a pair of conservative billionaires this week launched a nearly $1 million ad campaign against U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, linking the incumbent Democrat to the federal health care law known as Obamacare.

“Millions have lost their health insurance, millions can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less,” says a woman in the race’s first major attack ad. “Obamacare doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. Tell Senator Udall to stop thinking about politics and start thinking about people.”

Dems unveil legislation surrounding recall elections

The Colorado Statesman

Democrats this week unveiled legislation that aims to correct some of the legal conflicts revealed last summer during recall elections of two Senate Democrats that nullified mail balloting and contributed to the Democrats’ loss.

During an impromptu media availability hosted by Senate Democrats on Monday, lawmakers proposed a measure that would modify a provision in state statute that allows a person to petition onto a recall election ballot 15 days before the election date.

Lawmakers want potency levels for pot products

Republcian McNulty and Dem Singer to partner on legislation
The Colorado Statesman

Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, has scaled back an original proposal that would have banned cannabis-infused products and concentrates. Instead, his new proposal would set potency equivalency limits for edibles and concentrates.

McNulty has partnered with Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, to push the potency equivalency proposal. The bills — which have delayed status and are expected to be introduced in the coming days — would seek to determine equivalent potencies between infused products, concentrates and the actual marijuana flower.

Rosier budget could trigger TABOR refunds

The Colorado Statesman

This year’s discussions over a rosier budget picture have highlighted issues with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights that could result in refunds to taxpayers in the coming years.

Lawmakers are concerned because the refunds would come despite voters already approving retention of marijuana taxes. The marijuana taxes would be largely responsible for the excess dollars.

Sanctions must continue on Iran

As of press time Thursday night, 85 U.S. Senators — including Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado — have signed a letter to President Obama urging the continuance of the existing sanctions on Iran and expressing their concern if Iran rejects an agreement to bring to an end its nuclear weapons ambitions. Integral in obtaining the support of this letter by U.S. senators across the country has been local attorney and AIPAC national board member Norm Brownstein. Below is the text of the letter:

Gardner officially launches Senate bid

Field narrows as GOP sets sights on Udall
The Colorado Statesman

Vowing to reverse a decade-long slump in the Republican Party’s fortunes in swing state Colorado, Rep. Cory Gardner officially launched his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on Saturday inside a Denver lumber warehouse.

“In 2008, Colorado led the nation for change,” said the two-term congressman, referencing a year Democrats — including President Barack Obama and Udall — carried the state. “And in 2014, we can change it again.”

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.