Joey Bunch, Author at Colorado Politics - Page 2 of 111
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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 15, 20181min3420

No, Senate President Kevin Grantham isn’t the Jackie Robinson of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus, but the photo on the front page of the latest Denver Weekly News might have made you look twice.

Grantham posed on the opening day with the Historic Eight, as they’re called, the largest number of black lawmakers ever to serve in the 100-member General Assembly at the same time.

But there he is, the Republican from Canon City, standing tallest under the superimposed headline, “Colorado’s 8 Black Legislators Ready to Work.”

The cutline, of course, makes it clear that the H8 are posing with the Senate president, but the photo is still good for a double-take a grin. If you count the faces in the photo there’s nine, making Grantham more like the fifth Beatle.

Colorado Politics’ Gabrielle Bryant also wrote about the work the black caucus has in mind this session to improve the lives of Coloradans of color.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 15, 20183min7360

The Colorado House Republicans announced its committee assignments Friday. As the minority party in the chamber, the caucus controls no committee chairmanships or majorities.

Here are the assignments:

House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee

  • Jon Becker, ranking member
  • Perry Buck
  • Marc Catlin
  • Kimmi Lewis
  • Hugh McKean
  • Lori Saine

House Appropriations Committee

  • Bob Rankin, ranking member
  • Jon Becker
  • Susan Beckman
  • Justin Everett
  • Patrick Neville

House Business Affairs and Labor Committee

  • Lang Sias, ranking member
  • Larry Liston
  • Shane Sandridge
  • Dan Thurlow
  • Kevin Van Winkle
  • Dave Williams

House Education Committee

  • Jim Wilson, ranking member
  • Justin Everett
  • Tim Leonard
  • Paul Lundeen
  • Judy Reyher
  • Lang Sias

House Finance Committee

  • Kevin Van Winkle, ranking member
  • Susan Beckman
  • Phil Covarrubias
  • Polly Lawrence
  • Shane Sandridge
  • Dan Thurlow

House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee

  • Susan Beckman, ranking member
  • Phil Covarrubias
  • Stephen Humphrey
  • Lois Landgraf
  • Kim Ransom
  • Jim Wilson

House Judiciary Committee

  • Yeulin Willett, ranking member
  • Terri Carver
  • Paul Lundeen
  • Cole Wist

House Local Government Committee

  • Kim Ransom, ranking member
  • Larry Liston
  • Hugh McKean
  • Judy Reyher
  • Dan Thurlow
  • Jim Wilson

House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee

  • Lois Landgraf, ranking member
  • Susan Beckman
  • Marc Catlin
  • Justin Everett
  • Hugh McKean
  • Kim Ransom

House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee

  • Stephen Humphrey, ranking member
  • Tim Leonard
  • Dave Williams

House Transportation and Energy Committee

  • Polly Lawrence, ranking member
  • Jon Becker
  • Perry Buck
  • Terri Carver
  • Kimmi Lewis

Legislative Audit Committee

  • Lori Saine
  • Tim Leonard

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 14, 20183min4320

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a fighter for immigration reform, holds out hope for Donald Trump. Maybe.

“I was raised not to call people a racist on the theory it’s hard for them to be rehabilitated once you’ve said that,” Bennet said on “Meet the Press” Sunday, when he was asked by host Chuck Todd if the president is a racist.

“But there is no question what he said was racist. There’s no question what he said is unAmerican and completely unmoored from the facts.”

Bennet cited his family’s immigration to the U.S. as Polish Jews and the hardworking immigrants in Colorado.

“I think he has no idea what he’s talking about,” Bennet said.

Bennet was on the NBC news show  to discuss the pending but dimming prospects for Dreamers who could face deportation because of Washington politics.

The Democrat from Denver told Todd that the compromise provides President Trump with some money for a border wall and border security — $1.6 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively — in exchange for offering good people brought to the U.S. as children a pathway to citizenship.

Trump is asking for $18 billion over the next decade to pay for 316 miles of wall along the 2,000 border with Mexico.

Sunday morning Bennet waged a finger at intransigent Republicans who five years ago bottled up a comprehensive immigration reform package that Bennet and seven other Democrats and Republicans, called the Gang of Eight, passed out of the Senate.

“If the House had ever put it on the floor (it) would have  passed, and I think we wouldn’t be in all the nonsense we’re in now,” Bennet said.

That bipartisan bill included $40 billion for border security, Bennet said.

“This idea that Democrats somehow aren’t interested in border security is demonstrably false,” he said. “We should just stop talking about it and get on with it.”

Todd pointed out that leading Democrats want a renewed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals bill debated separately from border security, but Bennet suggested they aren’t being realistic.

He called the bipartisan solution on the table a “principled compromise.”

“I think it’s a recognition that unfortunately the Republicans have a majority in the House, the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, and we have a Republican president who doesn’t seem to appreciate the contributions immigrants make to this country,” he said.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 13, 20183min52343

State Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. Lois Court think plastic bags can help fund affordable housing.

The bill, if passed, would refer a measure onto the ballot to ask Colorado voters to approve a tax on plastic bags from the supermarket. The tax would be a quarter, the same amount whether the customer at the checkout counter uses one bag or several. The proceeds would go to grants and loans to local governments and building contractors to build or retain affordable housing in Colorado.

The text of House Bill 1054 can be read by clicking here.

Compared to runaway housing prices, the bag tax comparably is a small price to pay, The tax, they project, could raise $50 million a year.

“No matter where I go or who I talk to, the sky-high cost of housing is the number one concern that I hear,” Rosenthal said in a statement.

Court said, “Even with the construction of a large number of new condos, the leases are expensive and not bringing down the cost of housing in the city,” she said. “We see many areas of the state dealing with this issue—it’s not just the Denver metro area.”

As a bonus, the tax would encourage the use of reusable or paper bags and raise awareness of plastic bag waste in Colorado.

“Plastic bags pollute and litter our environment, plus they’re an eyesore and they don’t biodegrade,” Rosenthal said. “We have to be far more aggressive when it comes to curbing our daily waste, which only adds to the mountainous heaps of garbage that currently litter our state.”

Several Colorado cities already tax plastic bags, “proof that the system works in the state,” according to Rosenthal.

Boulder passed a 10-cent fee on all disposable paper and plastic bags and reduced in 2013, and the next year bag use dropped 69 percent in the city, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.

The bill carves out exemptions for restaurants and those eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 13, 201813min2590


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 13, 20185min269
State Rep. Brittany Pettersen was pleased after Gov. John Hickenlooper finished his State of the State address Thursday. He, Senate President Kevin Grantham and House Speaker Crisanta Duran agreed with her: Something must be done about Colorado’s opioid abuse epidemic. Each of the leaders made finding answers a priority. “We really have all of our […]

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