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Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 10, 201813min501


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 27, 20172min347

This week Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, was named the legislator of the year by the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center at an event in Lakewood, the House Democratic Press Office said.

The center advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

“I’m grateful for the recognition but even more grateful for the DDRC’s work to expand opportunities for people with disabilities in all areas of Colorado society,” Danielson said in a statement.

In the last session, she sponsored a new law during the 2017 legislative session to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.

In the last session, she sponsored House Bill 1253, which protest at-risk adults from financial exploitation and scams.

Democrats passed the bill out of the House on a party-line vote and the Senate passed it 27-7, before the governor signed the extra protections into law in May.

Danielson is the House speaker pro tempore and vice chair of the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.

She was a talked-about option as a Democratic candidate for Congress this year, but in May told Colorado Politics she would run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, next year. Jahn is term-limited.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 7, 20172min892

Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran is putting on a town hall Tuesday night to chat with the experts and community members about the challenges of the state’s population growth.

The state Demographer’s Office said Colorado’s population was about 5 million in 2010 and could reach 8 million by 2040.

The town hall is from 7 to 8: 30 p.m. at the Girls Athletic Leadership School at 750 Galapago St. in Denver

Duran’s panel includes:

  • Will Toor, director of transportation programs for  the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.
  • Laura Brudzynski from the Denver Office of Economic Development.
  • Rick Padilla, director of housing development for the city and county of Denver.
  • Carol Hedges, director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute.
  • Jerilynn Martinez, director of marketing and community relations for the Colorado Housing Finance Authority.
  • Jack Tone, a board member of the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association.
  • Dre Chiriboga-Flor, transit organizer for 9to5.

“While growth has led to many benefits, such as low unemployment and good jobs for Coloradans, we need to take on the challenges that come with this growth,” Duran said. “Whether it is skyrocketing housing costs, dealing with the high cost of living or being stuck on the highway for hours during rush hour, we can and must to more to address these issues.”

Colorado is one of the fastest growing states in the country and already is far behind in funding roads and schools. Lawmakers such as Duran and state Reps. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, and Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, have taken a lead on programs that help people plan for retirement and assess pubic services.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchJune 4, 20178min317

From Republican Sen. Cory Gardner’s meeting with a “murderous strongman” to the hot-button issue of climate change getting plenty of time in the limelight thanks to the United States’ departure from the Paris Accord, the week after Memorial Day proved to be a warm start to the summer season in Colorado politics.

Here are five stories from the week that our staff thinks you should keep in mind.

 

In this Sunday, July 24, 2016, file photo, climate change activists carry signs as they march during a protest in downtown in Philadelphia a day before the start of the Democratic National Convention. Matthew Nisbet, a communications professor at Northeastern University, says the split with science is most visible and strident when it comes to climate change because the nature of the global problem requires communal joint action, and “for conservatives that’s especially difficult to accept.” (AP file photo/John Minchillo)
In this Sunday, July 24, 2016, file photo, climate change activists carry signs as they march during a protest in downtown in Philadelphia a day before the start of the Democratic National Convention. Matthew Nisbet, a communications professor at Northeastern University, says the split with science is most visible and strident when it comes to climate change because the nature of the global problem requires communal joint action, and “for conservatives that’s especially difficult to accept.” (AP file photo/John Minchillo)

5. Potential Democratic prosecutors press the case on climate change

With President Donald Trump pulling out of the Paris climate accord this week and incumbent Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman saying she refuses to take sides, the three Democrats hoping to unseat her next year made hay while the sun shined on the issue.

Read the full story here.

 

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Thousands turn out for the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade in 2015. (Photo by Daniel Owen/Colorado Springs Gazette file photo)

4. Veterans get more than honor for their service, as new law awards college credits

Rep. Jessie Danielson’s bill to translate military experience and training into college credits got a signature from the governor this week, uniting patriotism’s highest calling with higher education.

Read the full story here.

 

Colorado democrat Mark Udall talks to the media before President George Bush discussed with an audience his commitment to researching and developing alternative sources of energy to replace the country’s addiction to oil while at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. The discussion followed a tour of the facility. During his state of the union address Bush indicated how Americans were addicted to oil and how he supported efforts to find alternative fuel sources to break the addiction. (The Gazette file photo)

3. Mark Udall makes early pick in CD6

Jason Crow cemented his position as the establishment Democrat in the 6th Congressional District primary this week when former U.S. senator and party elder Mark Udall threw his support behind the first-time candidate in a crowd of newcomers.

Read the full story here.

 

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, left, meets with Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at Villamor Air Base in Manila, in a photograph provided by the Philippine government. Gardner was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, while Duterte was accompanied by his foreign affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, the government said. (Photo via Philippines Presidential Communications Operations Office)
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, left, meets with Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at Villamor Air Base in Manila, in a photograph provided by the Philippine government. Gardner was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, while Duterte was accompanied by his foreign affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, the government said. (Photo via Philippines Presidential Communications Operations Office)

2. National security or ‘murderous strongman,’ Gardner takes a meeting

U.S. Cory Gardner of Colorado met Wednesday with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at an airbase in Manila. ProgressNow Colorado called out the Republican from Yuma, but Gardner’s staff said the meeting was about a good chat about keeping Americans safe.

Read the full story here.

 

1. June bride: Colorado Politics marries The Statesman

The new kid on the blog and one of the oldest political newspapers in the state got hitched this week, as Colorado Politics and The Statesman merged to form the state’s largest political reporting team in print and online.

Read the full story here.



Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 30, 20175min1222

House Speaker Pro Tem Jessie Danielson announced on Wednesday she’s running in next year’s election for the Senate District 20 seat held by term-limited state Sen. Cheri Jahn, a fellow Wheat Ridge Democrat, and Wheat Ridge City Councilwoman Monica Duran, also a Democrat, said on Friday she’s launching a bid for Danielson’s House District 24 seat with the support of the incumbent.



Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 24, 20174min869

A legislator widely expected to be a contender for Congress next year would, instead, prefer to govern closer to home. Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, told Colorado Politics Wednesday that she intends to run for the state Senate next year, instead.

She will run for the Senate District 20 seat to represent eastern Jefferson County. The job is being vacated by Cheri Jahn, D-Arvada, who was elected in 2010 and faces term limits next year.

“In the Colorado Senate I am going to keep fighting for our state’s future – by empowering hard-working Coloradans who want to build secure futures for their families, see their kids go to great public schools, and know they have access to opportunity and prosperity,” Danielson said Wednesday.

So far, Republican mortgage banker Christine Jensen of Arvada is the only other candidate in the race. Jensen has served as chair of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, and in 2015 was a finalist for a vacant seat in the House, which a Republican committee awarded to Lang Sias.

Danielson was elected to the House in 2014 to represent Wheat Ridge, Golden, Edgewater, Applewood, Fairmount, Mountain View and Lakeside. She has been an advocate for pay parity, veterans and older Coloradans, as well as the driving force behind last year’s push to legalize rain barrels for household use. In November Danielson was elected House speaker pro tempore by the Democratic caucus.

As word that U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter would likely run for governor next year, Danielson’s name quickly emerged as a contender for the seat, given her skill and strong Democratic political connections.

In private conversations, however, Danielson told Colorado Politics she was flattered by the consideration but didn’t have a passion to move to Washington right now, when she thought she could do a lot more at the Capitol in Denver.

Rep. Brittany Pettersen, Sen. Andy Kerr and, as of this week, Sen. Dominick Moreno have said they would compete in next year’s Democratic primary for the 7th Congressional District seat, which has been in Democratic hands since Perlmutter won it in 2006.

Danielson beat Republican Joseph DeMott in both her House races, by about 7 percent in 2014 and nearly 13 percent last year.

She grew up on a family farm near Ault on the Eastern Plains and graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the former political director and board member for NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado and is a former board chairman for Emerge Colorado, which trains Democratic women in politics, and also has served on the board of ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest liberal advocacy group.



Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 9, 20174min1474

A week after a Colorado Senate committee killed a package of license and fee increases on outdoorsmen, two lawmakers want to give veterans a lifetime pass to hunt and fish.

Democratic Reps. Jessie Danielson of Wheat Ridge and Barbara McLachlan of Durango got the Colorado Heroes Hunting and Fishing Act out of the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on a party-line vote Monday afternoon.

House Bill 1374 still needs to pass the House Appropriations Committee, two votes on the House floor, passage from at least one and probably two Senate committees, then score two up votes from the Republican majority on the Senate floor in the under 48 hours.

Maybe next year.

“I believe veterans who hunt and fish ought to be able do so for free – and that is why I wrote the Colorado Heroes Hunting and Fishing Act,” McLachlan said in a statement. “It’s the least we can do for Coloradans who stepped up to defend our freedoms.”

Danielson said the state owes a debt to those who served the country and put their lives on the line.

“In a state as beautiful as Colorado, one of the things we can do to honor the service of those who put their lives on the line for us is give veterans free access to hunt and fish,” she said.

Saluting the military is hard to argue against, but it’s not cheap.

Try on $1.6 million a year, according to legislative analyst’s report on the bill between licenses that aren’t purchased and federal matching money for outdoors programs.

Fees on hunters and anglers haven’t gone up since 2005, and the Division of Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking for ways raise money to keep some areas open to outdoorsmen, to maintain species management programs and staff.

House Bill 1374, which was killed last week, would have ended free licenses for senior citizens.

The Division of Parks and Wildlife doesn’t get a direct appropriation from the legislature and can only spend what it generates in fees.

Bob Broscheid, the agency’s director, said higher fees were needed to stave off cuts, not expand the department.

Since 2005, because of inflation and recession, the agency has trimmed about $40 million and 50 full-time positions from its budget, he said.

“This is just to maintain what we’re currently doing today,” Broscheid told the committee that turned him down last Thursday. “We simply will not be able to fund those current programs at 2005 prices.”