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Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 16, 20187min493

An intense discussion of legal interpretation, voter intent and the state constitution by high-priced, well-known lawyers boiled down to a simple question Thursday: Do lawmakers think arcades that offer cash prizes constitute gambling? The answer was yes. House Bill 1234 passed the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee 12-0. The legislation fills in legal gaps left in a law banning "internet sweepstakes cafes" three years years ago that an El Paso County judge later was ruled constitutionally vague. The case ultimately could be decided by the state Supreme Court.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 3, 201810min797

The battle is heating up over how Colorado draws its legislative and congressional boundaries. After failing to knock out a pair of proposed redistricting and reapportionment ballot measures in court, a rough coalition of mostly liberal and good-government groups filed competing ballot measures in late December and is vowing to take the choice before voters this fall — potentially a case of, if you can't beat 'em in court, join 'em on the ballot.


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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandDecember 10, 20178min801

Final campaign finance reports for the 2017 school board elections in Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties show millions of dollars were spent around the issues of charter schools, vouchers and teacher performance. And one committee that has already run afoul of Colorado’s campaign finance rules during the recent election cycle may have yet another problem in its bookkeeping.


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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandOctober 2, 20177min370
The biggest fight over whether to fix a drafting error in an omnibus rural sustainability bill is whether the fix requires voter approval. Senate Republicans are adamant that voters in those special districts should weigh in. Democrats and those who have fought similar battles in the courts say no. And it’s all about how the Taxpayer’s […]

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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyAugust 21, 20174min929

If you get bit by the gambling bug and want to deposit some of your hard-earned cash in the slots or try your luck at roulette or blackjack, you’d have to leave the Denver-metro area for someplace like Blackhawk or Central City.

That’s by design, as Coloradans have said no to gaming expansion on the Front Range. Yet, when the folks over at the Colorado Gaming Association heard news about a possible entertainment district coming to the outskirts of Aurora, they still reached out for assurances it wouldn’t include gambling, the Aurora Sentinel reports.

The district could include a NASCAR-style racetrack, restaurants and nightlife, but a casino is not on that list. As the Sentinel’s Kara Mason notes:

Colorado’s current casino owners are excruciatingly protective of their turf, saying that any metro expansion of gaming would critically affect the state’s mountain gaming communities.

“Over time there has been proposals to put a casino in the vicinity of Denver International Airport. I believe the thought was that by putting a casino close to the airport there would be the possibility of tourists who would fly in, go to the casino and they’d be captured on that site and never make it to Aurora or Denver,” said Mark Grueskin, the CGA’s legal counsel.

When CGA approached the city about the possibility of a casino in the entertainment district, Grueskin said the city ensured that gambling was not any part of their intent.

CGA is working with the city on an ordinance that would ban limited gaming operations in the city, Mason reports.

A 1999 city charter amendment, barring public funding for motor sport projects, has dogged Aurora’s ambitions for the entertainment district and racetrack for years. The city decided in June to seek voter approval through a ballot initiative to roll back the amendment and recently cleared an early hurdle, winning a court challenge to the ballot question.

History is not on Aurora’s side however, with the city twice unsuccessfully asking voters to strike the amendment.

 


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinJanuary 5, 201710min644

A proposed initiative to limit growth survived two protests before the Colorado Secretary of State's Initiative Title Setting Review Board, although some wording changes were made to clarify and address some of the concerns. The Wednesday, Jan. 4, hearing concerned what is being called Initiative 4 for the 2018 general election ballot, a measure proposed by Dan Hayes of Golden that would place a 1 percent annual increase limit on new housing building permits in 2019 and 2020 in 10 Front Range counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld. That limit would stay in place unless amended or repealed by voters in each county, starting in 2021. The measure would also allow the rest of Colorado's counties to set local housing growth limits through voter-approved initiatives and referendums, specifies the number of signatures needed to put housing limits on the ballot and how petitions can be challenged.