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Bruce WardBruce WardMay 9, 20186min412

Recent spring snows won’t eliminate the serious wildfire season that Colorado faces this summer. Worse, state agencies can’t help property owners in the “red zones” (where forests and subdivisions intermingle) remove dense undergrowth or dead and diseased trees near their homes. So, either property owners give up and don’t attempt to mitigate against wildfires, or, if they already have cut down problem trees, the debris piles just sit there, like heaps of kindling awaiting a deadly spark. As long-time forest advocates, we know that that the crisis has become a near-certainty. We thus call upon Gov. John Hickenlooper and state legislators to let forest professionals help homeowners mitigate against wildfires.


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John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 3, 201710min339

State Sen. Irene Aguilar, a Denver Democrat, sat at the hearing table alone last Wednesday and told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that she was “very nervous” to present her bills. Rightly so. The direct beneficiaries of her proposals don’t have many defenders at the Capitol — or anywhere else for that matter. Aguilar is a medical doctor who specializes as a lawmaker on health care policy. This year, she said, her preferred topic was a sea of question marks for being the subject of the wavering rhetoric of President Trump and the target of Republicans on Capitol Hill looking to bring radical change to the national health program put into place by President Obama and congressional Democrats.


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Rachael WrightRachael WrightJanuary 26, 201712min287

… Twenty Years Ago This Week in The Colorado Statesman … Take that President Bill Clinton! With Chuck Berry presiding as Speaker of the Colorado House, the Republican majority House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee amended and then proceeded to methodically pass a contentious anti-abortion bill sponsored by state Rep. Barry Arrington, R-Arvada, to ban what he — backed by Christian conservatives who praised Arrington for the measure — called "partialbirth abortions." HB 97-1136, passed after an extensive cross examination by Arrington of Dr. Warren Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic. The bill made it a misdemeanor, punishable with jail time, for a physician to abort a fetus during a partial birth abortion.


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Jared WrightJared WrightJanuary 8, 20174min469

State Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, was chosen Saturday morning by a Republican vacancy committee to replace state Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, in Senate District 6. Roberts announced in October that she was resigning half way through her term effective Dec. 31, 2016, triggering the need for a vacancy committee appointment. “I am humbled that you have chosen me to represent you in the state Senate,” Coram said at the vacancy committee meeting held in Dolores, Colorado, after the votes were counted. “I believe I am very prepared.”



Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 7, 20173min472
If you know Rep. Don Coram, then you should know he’s now Sen. Don Coram. The affable legislator from Montrose was elected by a vacancy committee from Senate District 6 Saturday in Dolores. He was elected 87-24 to Montrose County Commissioner David White. Coram will fill the final two years of the term vacated by Sen. Ellen […]

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John TomasicJohn TomasicJanuary 5, 201713min318

In Colorado’s upper legislative chamber everything is different and everything has stayed the same. For years, Democrats have held the reins of power at the Capitol, and Republicans have exerted what influence they could by acting as the loyal opposition — mainly by blocking bills and offering alternative policy narratives. Most observers expect that arrangement to continue, including many members of the Senate, which this year, same as last year, remains the lone center of legislative power controlled by Republicans. But November’s surprise national election results, which gave Republicans full control in Washington, have shaken expectations in Colorado. Sources on the right and the left at the Capitol, still reeling from the the wild 2016 election season, avoided making anything but the most general predictions about the coming legislative session — except to say that the jolt delivered by voters might just work to shake up battle lines, start conversations, focus lawmakers on solutions and result in productive lawmaking.


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Mario NicolaisMario NicolaisJanuary 4, 20176min372

For the Colorado Legislature, the new year means new bills and new issues to tackle under the gold dome. In one of the legislative chambers, the state Senate, this new season in state politics will also mean plenty of new faces as well. Even before the session convenes on Jan. 11, the judiciary committees will begin their work. Joint judiciary meetings will be held on Jan. 3 and 4. Members will discuss upcoming bills and issues to be addressed. It is effectively a head start on a session that always seems both too long and too short. Too long for those involved in the daily rough and tumble; too short to address many of the state’s pressing issues.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningDecember 16, 201621min413

Although he tracks nearly every bill in front of the Legislature, lobbyist Jeremy Schupbach often won’t weigh in on contentious policy questions or what he describes as “thorny” issues at the state Capitol. But when it comes to commas, he’s often all over it. Schupbach has what he calls his favorite job in the whole world, director of legislative relations for the Colorado Bar Association.