Colorado politics Archives - Colorado Politics
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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 19, 20184min66
The Colorado Democratic Party seemed all too pleased to give Republican gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Coffman a boost with the opposing party’s conservative base Thursday. Democrats alerted reporters to her comments at a Colorado Hispanic Republicans forum Wednesday night. Red-meat conservatives, who are likely to support Tom Tancredo anyway, have been none too happy with the […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 18, 20185min146
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democrat from Denver who is an architect of compromise and reason on immigration issues in Washington, took to the floor of the Senate Wednesday evening to try to salvage a compromise on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. A deal tied to President Trump’s demand for a wall and […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 17, 20184min5760

You won’t find Bob Hope or Bing Crosby but Americans for Prosperity are urging Colorado lawmakers to take the “Road to Freedom,” the conservative organization’s legislative agenda.

Colorado Politics scored an early review of the AFP’s positions on energy, education, transportation and the  Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

You can read the document by clicking here.

“We made great strides in 2017 defending TABOR and advancing policies that promote economic freedom,” Jesse Mallory, AFP’s state director and the former Colorado Senate Republicans’ chief of staff, said in a statement.

“Legislators must show fiscal discipline and prioritize our transportation needs over pet projects and extraneous spending. Attempting to push through a tax increase after such a large increase in the state budget would be insincere, For the sake of Coloradans seeking to enter jobs that require licensing credentials, I urge the General Assembly to revamp our occupational licensing practices, keep energy affordable for working families, expand educational freedom, and protect TABOR from further attacks.”

Here are the highlight of the priority list, in AFP’s words:

Energy
Colorado’s energy policy should ensure energy remains reliable and affordable. The legislature must protect the rights of landowners and allow citizens to develop natural resources instead of imposing restrictive bans. The legislature must also not allow government to pick winners and losers in the industry by doling out corporate welfare and hand-outs to specific companies. That eliminates competition and drives up the cost of energy for Coloradans living paycheck to paycheck. The state should also end its Renewable Energy Standard, which drives up electric rates for residents.

Educational Freedom
Colorado’s parents are eager for more educational freedom. But compared with its neighbors, our state is falling behind. That said, Colorado is on the front lines of the battle for educational freedom, especially at the local level. We will fight back against any bills that seek to limit educational choices for families and children and hold elected officials accountable to protect the right to equally funded and accessible educational choices for families.

TABOR
Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) is a crown jewel of state policy and has been one of the primary reasons the state’s economy is among the strongest in the country, despite lacking other advantages like a right-to-work law or no income tax. TABOR has empowered voters to keep government spending in check, which has enabled the private sector to flourish. Despite constant attack from special interests and politicians who seek to raise taxes and expand bureaucracy, lawmakers must stand firm in their support for limited government and defend TABOR.

Transportation
Over the years, the Colorado legislature has not prioritized funding for our growing transportation needs. Unfortunately, transportation continues to be crowded out in the budget by rapidly growing entitlement programs like Medicaid. The legislature should not ask the voters for a tax increase to fund roads while the state budget continues grow year after year. Instead, they should fund our transportation needs using existing funds. Moreover, the state can enact numerous regulatory and labor reforms to ease the burden of bureaucracy and make each dollar go further – to ensure that Coloradans’ tax dollars are being spent on asphalt and pavement rather than red tape or inflated union contracts.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 17, 20187min250
Senate Republicans say they want to make the Colorado Energy Office great again, and Senate Bill 3 this session is just the ticket for an all-of-the-above energy effort, said Sen. Ray Scott, the sponsor of the bill. In a partisan standoff at the end of the last session about the office’s mission, it was left […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 16, 20183min4770

The Millennial Policy Center in Denver updated its “Restoring Higher Education in America” policy paper this week after the Brookings Institution called student loan defaults a looming crisis in its report last Thursday.

The left-leaning Washington, D.C., think tank alleges that data shows “default rates depend more on student and institutional factors than on average levels of debt. For example, only 4 percent of white graduates who never attended a for-profit defaulted within 12 years of entry, compared to 67 percent of black dropouts who ever attended a for-profit. And while average debt per student has risen over time, defaults are highest among those who borrow relatively small amounts.”

The right-leaning Millennial Policy Center said in its paper last year that the cost of higher education has risen without good reasoning while tracking along with the increased availability of loans. The paper proposed reforms at the state and federal levels.

“Our research shows that the burden of student loans isn’t expanding because college is becoming more expensive,” Millennial Policy Center president and CEO Jimmy Sengenberger said in a statement. “Rather, school is too expensive because of the growth of student loans and grants.

“The fact is that ‘free college’ and student loan forgiveness would greatly exacerbate the cost crisis, not resolve it. It’s essential that any substantial higher education reform measures directly address the main drivers of this nearly $1.5 trillion college calamity by injecting real market forces – especially competition – throughout the system.”

You can read the updated Millennial Policy Center paper by clicking here.

“The Brookings report is a startling reminder that the college cost calamity and student loan bubble are indeed a catastrophe in the making,” Sengenberger said. “It is imperative for students and graduates alike that we address this crisis today, rather than kicking the can down the road.”


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 16, 20183min161
The Colorado Farm Bureau is proposing a ballot initiative that would compensate farmers when laws or regulations put their mineral rights out of reach. The text of Initiative 112 can be found by clicking here. Those affected would be paid the difference in fair market value before and after the new regulation was implemented on […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 15, 20183min7300

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