There’s more than one election looming within the next couple weeks in Colorado. Two days after voters finish casting ballots on Nov. 8, state lawmakers — including what could be more than a dozen newly elected legislators — are scheduled to gather at the Capitol to elect leadership positions for the 71st General Assembly.
More than 2,000 civic, philanthropic and political leaders filled a converted Air Force hanger on Wednesday night to honor Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, the 2016 recipient of the Mizel Institute’s annual Community Enrichment Award.
The institute’s annual dinner, dubbed “spring political prom” by one wag on Twitter, returned to the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver to bestow the honor on an individual who exemplifies service toward bettering the community.
The first act of this year’s Legislative session has been one of mostly compromise and accord. But the second act should be when the drama starts up in earnest.
During a mid-session review by members of the House Republican Leadership Friday, Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, said the first half had been fairly slow and marked mostly by bills with bipartisan support. But with the budget set to drop in a couple of weeks, and issues like the state’s hospital provider fee and construction defects on the horizon, the legislative seas will likely start to get a little rough.
The surest sign that an oil and gas bill is about to be debated at the Capitol is the sea of “I ♥ energy” stickers affixed to lapels of well-tailored suits.
The energy lobby was out in full force Thursday to oppose a bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton. House Bill 1310, which is sponsored in the upper chamber by Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, would make it easier for property owners to sue drilling companies if their operations cause damage to property, including any damages tied to earthquakes caused by deep-earth injection of hydraulic fracturing waste water.
A pilot program aimed at teaching military veterans to train service dogs to help them cope with issues like post traumatic stress disorder is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The program proposed in HB 1112 by Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, would spend $130,000 from the state’s Veterans Trust Fund. The bill passed the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee on a 11-2 vote Monday.
DENVER - The big day has arrived — SUPER TUESDAY. Good luck and stay safe as you make your way out to your caucus locations tonight.
"I have learned the difference between a cactus and a caucus. On a cactus, the pricks are on the outside." — Mo Udall
Now, your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:
THE CAUCUS BREAKDOWN
Colorado caucusing — Right here in our little mountain state, somewhere around 100,000 Democrats will turn out to 3,010 precinct caucus locations while in the ballpark of 20,000 to 60,000 Republicans will gather in 2,995 precinct locations.
Now your substrata feed straight from the politics pipeline:
Colorado Senate Democrats and House Republicans, how about this for an idea? ... from your Oregon brothers and sisters — "It's the procedural stuff that keeps us from beating each other up, literally." — Oregon Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli. This in a report from the Oregon's Statesman Journal on some of the procedural shenanigans that have been playing out in the Oregon State Legislature the past couple of weeks. Republican lawmakers in the minority have been trying to run out the clock on the short, 35-day annual session by requiring all bills to be read aloud, a constitutional requirement in the state that is usually waived by two thirds of the lawmakers. Republicans are blaming the Democrats for trying to ram through a high octane agenda in the short, just over month-long session, including bills on the minimum wage, affordable housing, climate change and firearms. Issues sound familiar?
The Democrat majority is now threatening to use their secret weapon, "The Chipmunk Voice," a high-speed computer to read all bills at length.
Democratic members of the House took time Friday morning in the chamber to recognize the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Speakers, including Reps. KC Becker, D-Boulder, Angela Williams, D-Denver, Joann Ginal, D-Fort Collins, Lois Court, D-Denver, Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Max Tyler, D-Lakewood, spoke for several minutes each about the importance of the decision to women’s health and safety and well-being. They also lauded Colorado for leading the nation by liberalizing its abortion laws in 1967, six years before the Roe decision.
Democratic caucus members stood in support of the remarks. No Republicans went to the well to speak and observers noted that some House Republican members left during the Democratic comments. Sources at the Capitol, however, said there was no statement-making undertaken on the part of Republicans — not with words or feet.
Republican Reps. Lang Sias, R-Arvada, and Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, are sponsoring an anti-abortion personhood bill this session.
Bipartisanship for the championship
Members of the House and Senate agreed to pass a joint resolution supporting the Denver Broncos and the team’s push to make it once again to the Super Bowl, and declaring Sunday Jan. 24 as Denver Bronco’s Appreciation Day. The team will play a conference championship game this Sunday against the New England Patriots. Orange-clad lawmakers from both sides of the aisle teamed up to show their support and to throw shade on teams like the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Senators donned Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning jerseys and noted that his winning No. 18 is the same winning number of votes it takes in the Senate to pass a bill.