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Joey BunchJoey BunchSeptember 16, 20171min5790

Rep. Dan Thurlow has a couple of ideas on the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights he wants to present during next year’s session of the Colorado Legislature, the Grand Junction Republican told people at a town hall meeting on state tax issues Thursday.

First, Thurlow wants to try again to change how the Legislature calculates how much the state’s annual spending plan can grow each year.

Second, he wants to freeze the state’s property assessment rate for residential homes at the current 7.1 percent.

Read the rest of the story here.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJune 26, 20178min94

A group of liberal advocacy organizations for the first time released combined legislative scorecards this week, conglomerating assessments of the 100 Colorado lawmakers’ votes last session on key legislation the organizations said they plan to present to voters next year. A Republican who received among the lowest overall scores, however, dismissed the endeavor as a “political stunt” and told Colorado Politics he doubts the predictable rankings — Democrats good, Republicans bad — give voters any meaningful information.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 25, 201727min1351

By one measure, state Rep. Justin Everett, a House Republican serving his third term in the Colorado General Assembly, and state Reps. Chris Hansen and Chris Kennedy, a pair of Democrats in their first terms, stand as far apart as any lawmakers at the Capitol, based on the votes they cast in the just-completed 2017 regular session. Considering all the bills that made it to final, third-reading votes in the session — 490 in the House and 459 in the Senate — between them, these three legislators cast the most ‘no’ votes and the most ‘yes’ votes, respectively, according to an analysis prepared by bill-tracking service Colorado Capitol Watch.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 25, 20178min1000

Democratic leaders dodged a bullet Tuesday afternoon and passed with one vote to spare a crucial “orbital” budget bill that nevertheless threatens to blow a gaping hole in state hospital budgets and shutter healthcare facilities in already woefully underserved rural districts. Senate Bill 256 passed on 33-31 vote. Four Democrats joined the Republican caucus to vote against what would amount to a $500 million cut to state hospitals. The Democratic opposing votes were cast by Joe Salazar and Steve Lebsock from Thornton, Barbara McLachlan from Durango, and Donald Valdez from La Jara.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 18, 20173min860

Some real animals descended on the Capitol on Tuesday -- real-life animals. It was Denver Zoo Day at the Legislature. Zookeepers and their wards made the rounds, joining the state's political animals in their natural habitat. Zoo staffers later sent out photos -- the captions write themselves.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 21, 20175min920

It was a tax bill bound to make a splash, even though it was doomed not to pass into law from the start. It was a Republican proposal meant to tweak the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, which caps taxing and spending in the state, and which is also sacrosanct among Republicans. <a href="https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1187" target="_blank">House Bill 1187</a>, sponsored by Rep. Dan Thurlow, a Republican from Grand Junction, and Sen. Larry Crowder, a Republican from Alamosa. The bill passed in the Democratic-controlled House and was voted down by Republicans in the Senate State Affairs committee. The bill aimed to allow the state to collect and spend more revenue by basing the tax rate on personal income levels tabulated over the last five years. The sponsors think their formula is a better way to arrive at the tax rate than the current formula, which adjusts the limit each year based on inflation and population changes. Any boost in tax money collected as a result of the new formula would have been set aside to pay for education, health care and transportation projects. The bill would have submitted a ballot question outlining the plan to voters to approve or reject.



Peter MarcusPeter MarcusMarch 20, 20177min59
Senate Republicans on Monday killed a TABOR reform effort by one of their own to allow the state to retain excess revenue when economic times are good. On a party-line vote, the TABOR reform measure died in a Republican-controlled “kill committee,” where legislation deemed unfavorable by the majority party is sent to die. What was […]

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Jared WrightJared WrightMarch 20, 201712min812

Good morning and Happy Monday. Whether we like it or not, those Mondays keep on a comin'. Thank you sir, may I have another! Read on for this week's rundown of intel straight from Colorado's political pipeline ... COLORADO KUMBAYA: The Neil Gorsuch Support Ticker (confirmation hearings begin this week): Steve Farber of Brownstein Farber Hyatt and Schreck, Sen. Cory Gardner, former Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justices Michael Bender and Rebecca Love Kourlis, former chief legal counsel to Gov. John Hickenlooper Jack Finlaw, Jim Lyons, Michael Davis and many more ... over 200 Colorado "legal eagles," to be exact. Via Denver Post. Still no confirmation on an up or down vote from Sen. Michael Bennet yet, though ... a man who has swam in the same pond so to speak (read the Post story). UP ON the state House Second Reading Calendar: State Rep. Dan Thurlow's bill to allow those in violation of campaign finance reporting rules to cure "reporting deficiencies" first before being levied hefty fines (which are usually reduced greatly by the judge on first offenses). Ehem, some watchdogs assert, shouldn't Thurlow have to take a 21c on this bill? ... oh wait, he's the sponsor ... wow. Thurlow was fined in his freshman term for failing to meet certain campaign finance reporting requirements — $1,080 in fines. Matt Arnold of Campaign Integrity Watchdog: “(The bill is) quite possibly among the most personally self-serving pieces of legislation I’ve ever seen proposed." Via Grand Junction Daily Sentinel IT AIN'T just the hospital construction project that's all wrong. Oh no. From Colorado's VA critic in chief: "These veterans, often prescribed a very powerful cocktail of drugs, what we call psychotropic drugs, that effect them emotionally. It is a shortcut from the kind of treatment they need." — U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, calling for a congressional investigation into what may be an issue of inappropriate prescriptions by the VA for its patients and other patients not getting appropriate treatments. Full interview via Fox31. "What we're seeing quite frankly is a pattern of suicides," Coffman added.