APTOPIX-Supreme-Court_Prat-1280x853.jpg

Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandMarch 13, 201817min983

It was founded nearly 70 years ago, before the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, and has its roots in an early state anti-discrimination law that dates back to 1895. But now the state’s Civil Rights Commission is teetering on the brink of elimination — or potentially facing major changes to its mandate and authority — thanks in large part to the Lakewood baker who refused, on religious grounds, to provide a cake for a same-sex couple.


f551059088cd170e7f362176557c8e4c-1280x721.jpg

Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandMarch 13, 20189min1688

The Trump administration is OK with a ban on bump stocks. The Florida Legislature, despite opposition from the National Rifle Association, last week approved a package of gun control measures, including a ban on bump stocks that increase the firing capacity of normal rifles. Colorado's state Senate is a week away from hearing a bill that would take the same step. But it won't pass here, according to Senate Republican leadership. And they're backed by several gun rights groups that all oppose bump stock bans and which have been generous with Senate Republicans.


Thea-Chase-Arts-W.jpg

Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 6, 20185min237

Palisade Town Trustee Thea Chase announced Monday she's running as an unaffiliated candidate for the House District 54 seat represented by Mesa County Republican Yeulin Willett, who isn't seeking reelection. She'll have the backing of Unite Colorado, formerly known as the Centrist Project, an organization that's working to elect independent lawmakers.


MoveOverforCody-Pledge-W.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 6, 20186min495
Velma Donahue and her daughters Leila and Maya lead the Pledge of Allegiance with Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City, on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, in Senate chambers at the state Capitol in Denver. Her husband, Colorado State Trooper Cody Donahue, killed by a careless driver when he was investigating a crash along Interstate 25 near Castle Rock on Nov. 25, 2016, was the inspiration for the Move Over for Cody Act. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

The Colorado Senate honored the family of the late Trooper Cody Donahue Monday after passing the Move Over for Cody Law last session. This year, lawmakers will consider a bill to help sustain insurance for the families of fallen officers.

While law enforcement officers are in mind, Senate Bill 148 also would extend insurance coverage for up to one year for any state employee killed while doing his or her job.

Donahue was working at an accident scene near Castle Rock, when he was hit by a food truck that allegedly had room to move to another lane. Last year lawmakers passed a law that toughened the punishment on those who don’t slow down and move over for first-responders and parked utility vehicles.

Donahue’s widow, Velma Donahue, and daughters Maya and Leila led the Pledge of Allegiance in the Senate Monday.

Afterward, she talked to Colorado Politics about the value of the proposed benefits for future families like hers. Her husband was killed on Nov. 25, 2016, and after Dec. 1, his wife and daughters were uninsured.

“I felt punched in the gut,” she said. “The funeral hadn’t even been completed yet.”

A change in the law is vital, she said, to give grieving families time to get their life  back in order after losing the family member who provided their insurance.

“It was devastating,” she said. “I was so scared. I thought. ‘Oh my God, what if something happens before I get this going?’ I didn’t even know what to do.”

The bill will get its first hearing Thursday afternoon before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. It enjoys capable bipartisan sponsorship: Sens. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Beth Martinez Humenik, R-Thornton, with Reps. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park, and Tony Exum Sr., D-Colorado Springs.

Humenik said the state has lost six employees on the job in the last five years, and the issue isn’t about finances as much as compassion for those who serve the citizens and ultimately sacrificing their lives for that service.

“This allows time to take some of the stress off the families, so they don’t have to think about this kind of business, about what to do next with their insurance, This gives them a year to figure that out.”

After leading the pledge Monday, Donahue’s wife and sister, Erin Donahue-Paynter, were lauded for their advocacy, which Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, called a “heroic, honorable and effective” effort to pass the Move Over for Cody Law last year.

Lawrence said of public servants on the roadside: “They’re watching out for us, and it’s important we need to watch out for them.

Another sponsor of the traffic law, Kim Ransom, R-Littleton, said she has become a friend to Velma Donahue; Ransom’s husband also was killed in a traffic accident, she said.

“I think this is a special follow-up for what the Donahues have been through,” Ransom said Monday morning.

The Senate presented the family with a framed display of all five pages of the legislation and the pen the governor used to sign it into law.

House Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, examines a framed copy of the 2017 Move Over for Cody Act in Senate chambers at the state Capitol in Denver on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. Colorado State Trooper Cody Donahue, the inspiration for the law, was killed by a careless driver on Nov. 25, 2016, while pulled over to investigate a crash along Interstate 25. Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, along with state Reps. Kim Ransom, R-Parker, and Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park, presented the law, including a pen used to sign it by Gov. John Hickenlooper, to Donahue’s widow, Velma Donahue, and their daughters Leila and Maya. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Chris-Holbert-1280x1697.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 3, 20183min618
A significant bill with bipartisan momentum could make it easier for college students to transfer to other state schools. Senate Bill 69 passed the upper chamber Friday on a 33-0 vote, so it bounces to the House to start the process there. It’s sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert of Parker and Sen. Rachel […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


CPLR-Hanfling-Herod-Arteaga-W.jpg

Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 30, 201811min471

More than 150 politicos of all stripes packed the historic Carriage House at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion in Denver Wednesday night for a session-opening shindig thrown by Colorado Politics. Republicans rubbed shoulders with Democrats, toasting the young political news website and the nearly 120-year-old publication it incorporated last year.