Ernest LuningErnest LuningApril 27, 201731min142

Arapahoe County Democrats say they’re working to resolve racial tensions within the party after a years-old remark about “too many blacks” running for office in the county resurfaced recently on social media and in a newspaper article, reigniting a long-simmering controversy. The conflict stems from a candidate training session conducted by party officials in Aurora nearly three years ago when comments — there’s sharp disagreement whether the handful of words were overly blunt, too clumsy, poorly chosen, insensitive or downright racist — left some uncomfortable and others offended, while still others contend the words were misinterpreted beyond recognition. But it’s what happened next that stoked rancor that persists years later, and that’s what party officials say they are determined to mend.


John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 20, 20177min1250

State House Democrats joined Republicans late Wednesday night to vote down a bill that has made waves in various versions the last three years for championing the civil rights of the state’s homeless population. After nearly six hours of emotional testimony, the “Right to Rest Act,” <a href="">House Bill 1314</a>, sponsored by state Democratic Reps. Joe Salazar from Thornton and Jovan Melton from Aurora, fell short in the House Local Government committee. The 8-5 vote came around midnight, Democrats Paul Rosenthal from Denver and Matt Gray from Broomfield joining Republicans in opposition.

Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 20, 20179min131
A Democratic-led House committee killed the latest version of Colorado’s “Right to Rest” bill to outlaw urban camping bans that keep homeless people from sleeping in parks and other public spaces. House Bill 1314 died on a 8-5 vote in the House Local Government Committee, marking the third year in a row the effort by Democratic […]

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John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 17, 20176min920

It’s a strange run-up to the home stretch at the Legislature. This week there will be floor votes and committee hearings same as the weeks before, but the whole endeavor seems to be operating in a suspended state, the major legislative projects of the year still hanging in the balance. The state’s $26.8 billion budget passed in both chambers but has stalled in conference committee, where members wait on essential “orbital” bills without which the figures fail to add up — and the fate of the orbital bills seems to be growing more shaky by the day.


Lois CourtLois CourtApril 10, 20173min781

We all try to multitask in the modern world, but when it comes to texting while driving, no message is worth a life. Texting while driving kills people in Colorado. In January of this year, Brian and Jacquie Lehner, a couple, died while on their motorcycle when struck by a woman who was drunk and texting while driving. Family and friends of the victims of these crimes go through unimaginable grief that is entirely preventable, if individuals realize that their actions could take a life. I believe that we at the state Capitol have a responsibility to do something about this.


John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 6, 20175min640

Colorado House members on Wednesday drew up 93 amendments to this year’s state “long bill” budget proposal. Members are reviewing them together in caucus meetings before floor debate begins on the $26.8 billion Thursday afternoon. The number of amendments seems high but the general topics they seek to address, at least so far, come as no surprise. Questions from a budget preview Democratic caucus meeting yesterday circled around the corrections department, capital development and the marijuana cash fund.


John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 3, 20177min690

The Democratic-controlled House takes up the budget, which was passed without an inordinate amount of pain in the Republican-controlled Senate last week. Democrats will likely try to move the ball on items of priority that were shot down in the Senate. Contraception: It’s a personal matter and a state budget concern. State health estimates routinely put the cost savings of in the tens of millions. Some lawmakers oppose contraception. Some oppose using public money to pay for contraception. Others insist on debating the science that clearly separates most contraception methods from abortion.


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 20, 20179min610

The week is already moving fast. Republican-sponsored <a href="" target="_blank">House Bill 1187</a> was shot down by Republicans in the Senate State Affairs committee. It was an important bill. Here’s a magazine-like summary of what it proposed to do, as best as I can write it at this stage: The bill aimed to allow the state to collect and spend more tax money by basing the limit of collectable money on Colorado personal income levels tabulated over the last five years. The sponsors think their formula is a better way to arrive at the tax-and-spending limit 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 be set aside to pay for education, health care and transportation projects. The bill would have had a ballot question outlining the plan submitted for voters to approve.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 20, 20176min1191

Colorado Senate Republicans want Aurora officials to know they’re standing with the owners of Capone, the dog being held by the city’s animal shelter on suspicion the longtime family pet is a wolf hybrid. And by Monday afternoon, hundreds of people had signed their names to an online petition started by the Senate GOP asking Aurora to save Capone and send him home.