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John TomasicJohn TomasicMay 2, 20173min7390

It took <a href="https://www.coloradostatesman.com/colorado-senate-advances-ban-on-toxic-coal-rolling-cultural-protest/" target="_blank">two tries</a> this legislative session, but Colorado lawmakers on Tuesday voted to ban "rolling coal," the practice of modifying a diesel car or truck engine to spew unfiltered exhaust. Senate Bill 278, sponsored in the House by Fort Collins Democrat JoAnn Ginal and in the Senate by Durango Republican Don Coram, <a href="http://leg.colorado.gov/content/sb17-278vote55457c" target="_blank">passed</a> a final reading in the House today by a wide margin, 40-25.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicMay 2, 20174min410

The May Day labor-rights demonstration at the Capitol in Denver was a modest, peaceful affair that brought out roughly 50 socialists, anarchists and Occupy movement members, some of whom wore black masks and waved red flags in solidarity with anti-capitalist or anti-worker, anti-immigrant labor abuse they said was on the uptick in the United States around the world. "I think it's obvious that something has to change for real people," said one of the protesters.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicMay 1, 20175min278
The big game this week will strut into the open on Tuesday at 8:40 a.m., when the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 267, the forebodingly titled “Sustainability of Rural Colorado” proposal. The bill would rescue the proposed state budget from its wretchedness by refilling $500 million in hospital cuts and generating […]

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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 28, 201710min379

Sate Sen. John Cooke, a Republican from Greeley, played point-man Thursday in an effort to <a href="https://www.coloradostatesman.com/touted-energy-efficiency-program-re-hits-legislative-speed-bump/" target="_blank">kill</a> a popular Colorado energy efficiency program, which he argued was an absurd waste of money and a form social engineering. But <a href="http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/HB17-1227" target="_blank">House Bill 1227</a>, which would reauthorize the ten-year-old program, isn’t dead yet, and its bipartisan supporters didn’t submit meekly to the surprise legislative jiu-jitsu Cooke let loose in the Senate Agriculture and Energy Committee.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 28, 201710min558

The session’s unloved grand bipartisan transportation measure, <a href="https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1242" target="_blank">House Bill 1242</a>, is dead, but the closing remarks — you might say the sickbed epitaph — delivered for the bill by Republican sponsor and Senate President Kevin Grantham are worth revisiting, especially given that, in the last week, and with a little more than a week left in the legislative session, three new transportation-related bills have been introduced. Grantham spoke right before the bill was dispatched Tuesday by the Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee, addressing the bill and its critics with words that might come to resonate beyond the committee hearing, even if in a ghostlike way, floating into remarks made years from now by lawmakers begging please for someone somehow to expand I-25 south of Castle Rock or to find a way to get their aged mother or father to the doctor in the middle of the day.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 27, 20175min343

Boulder County’s moratorium on new oil and gas drilling expires in three days — but the lawsuit seeking to lift that moratorium will continue, for now. On Wednesday, Boulder District Judge Norma Sierra denied the county’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed early in the year by state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and later joined by the oil and gas industry.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 27, 20174min435

“Senate Bill 267 will be laid over,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Kevin Lundberg. “We’ll begin with…” But the room wasn’t listening to him anymore. Nearly all of the reporters and lobbyists sitting arrayed before the committee members rose from their chairs and headed to the door. “Thank you for coming, everyone,” joked one of the members. Another said something like, “Did someone throw a skunk in the rom?”


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 26, 20175min462

A bipartisan bill to reauthorize a popular and by most accounts dramatically successful utility-run <a href="https://www.coloradostatesman.com/state-energy-efficiency-program-renewal-faces-main-legislative-hurdle-thursday/" target="_blank">energy efficiency program</a> in the state was detoured Wednesday on its way to the Senate floor. Republicans on the Senate agricultural and energy committee voted as a bloc to send <a href="http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1227" target="_blank">House Bill 1227</a> to the hardline Senate finance committee.