On the Republican side of the 2016 race, this was the week the courting of the Latino vote seemed to begin.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas spoke Wednesday at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., after the group criticized him for skipping their summit last month. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush went on a Spanish-language tour — first to Puerto Rico and then speaking to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Houston.
Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 5:01 am
The state budget has cleared both legislative chambers but still needs to head to a conference committee to iron out differences. The end of the budget process means lawmakers will shift their attention to other bills before the end of the session. With that May 6 deadline rapidly approaching, what's in store for some of the outstanding legislation?
Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:46 am
Trying to get more information on the health impact of oil and gas drilling is a topic that lawmakers will soon be taking up at the statehouse. It comes after the Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force finished their work and issued several health related recommendations.
"I get a little bit concerned and annoyed when people try to use health as the basis of what they don't like about oil and gas," said Dr. Larry Wolk the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.
He said he understands the concern, but worries the state doesn't have enough hard data.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 8:52 am
Two Republican religious freedom bills drew strong opposition from gay rights groups, civil liberties organizations and members of the business community Monday. The first bill, known as House Bill 1171 [.pdf], would have forbade government officials from constraining the exercise of religion had it not been struck down in committee.
The second bill, House Bill 1161 [.pdf], would have protected people from facing penalties for refusing to violate their beliefs and was also defeated.
State lawmakers are officially at the halfway point of the 2015 legislative session. What needs to be done before the end of the session? Lawmakers will need to pass a balanced budget, and along the way grapple with some hot-button issues such as school testing requirements and police reforms.
"Most of the big work is ahead of us, what happens for the first half is kind of getting ready for it," said Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs).
State lawmakers are midway through the annual legislative session – but there's still a lot to be done.
House Democrats would like law enforcement to increase the use of body cameras, set up a special prosecutor to review decisions when a law enforcement official isn't charged when there are allegations of deadly force, ban choke holds, and collect demographic data on arrests. What are the chances for passage?
Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:14 am
Governor John Hickenlooper's oil and gas task force recently proposed nine recommendations to try and easy concerns for people living near energy development, but it did not vote to give local communities more control over oil and gas drilling.
The big question on everyone's mind now: What's next for the state Legislature and for a possible anti-fracking initiative going before voters in 2016?
Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:21 pm
Reaction at the state capitol to work of the Oil and Gas Task Force was decidedly mixed. Members of the governor's own party called the effort a failure, one lawmaker even graded it an "F+."
The proposed recommendations are intended to mitigate the impacts of energy development near communities. While the task force wants local governments to be more involved in developing large drill sites, it stopped short of allowing cities and counties to adopt rules stricter than the state standards.
With the final nine recommendations to hit Governor John Hickenlooper's desk Feb. 27, what are his thoughts on the group's work and the backlash?
The political battle over immigration, now provoking a confrontation between Congress and the White House, touches all of us in one very direct way: our food. That salad mix, and those apples, may well have been harvested by workers who arrived here in the U.S. illegally.
Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 2:04 pm
Put it in the category of things we know for sure that just ain't so.
No sooner did the Democratic National Committee announce it had chosen Philadelphia, Pa., as its 2016 convention site than a lot of us political analyst types popped out the conventional wisdom about "appealing to a swing state in the general election."
It sounds good and it makes sense, as far as it goes. It just doesn't go very far.
Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 12:48 pm
State parties, once the cornerstone of American politics, don't get much attention anymore. And when they do, it's often negative.
One long-standing example: the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, with Jimmy Stewart as a young and naive senator battling the evil political boss in his (unnamed) home state. As the climax approaches, Stewart launches a filibuster to expose the boss, "a man who controls a political machine, and controls everything else worth controlling in my state."
Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:15 pm
Democratic lawmakers in Colorado recently introduced a measure to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their lives. The patients must be given a prognosis from two different physicians giving them less than six months to live.
It's a charged issue that has many questions to it. Why do supporters say it’s the compassionate choice? Who strongly opposes it?
A bill to fund a state program that's been credited with reducing teen pregnancies and abortions in Colorado was introduced to the House Friday.
The measure would allocate $5 million from this year’s state budget to pay for the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. It’s a program that helps low-income women access long-acting birth control at certain health clinics.
Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:02 am
Colorado's new Republican Senate has majority flexed their muscles at the state capitol, using their power on the Joint Budget Committee to defund a 2013 law allowing people in the country illegally to obtain a state driver's license. They also struck down a bill to harmonize Colorado's civil unions law with a gay marriage ban that was deemed unconstitutional by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. On top of that, a commission looking at pay equity between men and women was struck down.
With split legislative control and Democrats in charge of the House, how will this impact both parties politically?