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Hugh McKeanHugh McKeanAugust 6, 20185min1715

At first glance, hearing that Colorado’s Democratic Party State Executive and Central Committee recently voted in resounding favor to support the oil-and-gas-killing Initiative 97 was not surprising. But as I thought more about the message this endorsement sends to all of Colorado I became increasingly frustrated by the news. I understand that there is an activist wing that has been vocally opposed to the oil and gas industry, and while I challenge any activist supporting this initiative to explain how Colorado’s economy, and more importantly Colorado’s K-12 schools, could adjust to billions in lost revenue if this industry was forced out of the state, I never expected the state Democratic Party to officially endorse this economically-crippling position. I am shocked and deeply concerned about what this means for Colorado.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 11, 20184min1086

Larimer County Republican Nic Morse is withdrawing from the race for the Senate District 15 seat held by term-limited state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, who is seeking the GOP nomination for state treasurer, Colorado Politics has learned. Morse, a marketing executive and the 2016 Republican nominee for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, said his decision was due to poor fundraising and tepid support within the party. His move leaves fast-food restaurant owner Rob Woodward as the only GOP candidate running for the heavily Republican seat.


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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandMarch 3, 20184min306
A lighter side, usually, at what goes on in the state Capitol. Given what’s gone on at the Capitol this week, a little lightness is definitely in order. Suggestions that a little harp music might improve attitudes in the House have already been made, but you’ll have to wait until Sine Die.   The things […]

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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandJanuary 18, 20183min2058

With one day to spare, (whew!) Gov. John Hickenlooper Thursday signed into law the first bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly, a measure to help Colorado nurses.

The new law would allow Colorado’s 78,000 nurses to participate in a 25-state compact that allows them to work across state lines. The compact had a deadline of Friday; without action Colorado nurses would have been limited to just four states that hadn’t passed a revised compact.

The bill, Senate Bill 27, started out in the Senate last Thursday, won final approval on a 33-0 vote on Friday, preliminary approval in the House Tuesday and a 58-2 vote on Wednesday. It’s not quite the record – bills can get through both chambers in as little as three days – but for an early session bill it’s quite the feat.

“But the speed with which Senator Jim Smallwood’s SB-27 flew through the Statehouse had heads spinning and showed how quickly lawmakers can move when they absolutely must,” the Senate GOP said in a statement Wednesday. Smallwood, a Parker Republican, teamed up with Sen. Nancy Todd, an Aurora Democrat, to get the bill started. In the House, the measure was sponsored by Rep. Hugh McKean, a Loveland Republican, and Rep. Tracy Kraft Tharp, an Arvada Democrat.
“Nurses are the unsung heroes of our medical community, and this legislation allows those licensed in the State of Colorado to practice outside of our state without the need for redundant, costly, and unnecessary licenses in other states,” Smallwood said. “SB-27 will facilitate telehealth nursing services, online education, and will even allow our nurses to assist other states in times of natural disaster.”
UPDATED: the Colorado Hospital Association also weighed in on the governor’s action. “Health care was once again the beneficiary of bipartisan efforts working to ensure that Colorado’s health care system remains strong and effective,” said Steven Summer, CHA President and CEO in a statement Thursday.  “It is due to efforts like the [Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact] that Colorado continues to serve as a national model in how legislators can reach across the aisle to ensure patients and communities continue to have access to outstanding health care”.
Senate President Kevin Grantham of Canon City said he is optimistic that this won’t be the last time lawmakers find speedy solutions to Colorado problems.