Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandMarch 25, 20188min238
A review of the lighter side, usually, of what happens at the state Capitol. Getting a little hard to find the humor of things these days… That said, off to the races.   Bet you’ve never seen something like this before…The picture below shows a center cut from a tree that played an important role […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 14, 20186min670

The Colorado Senate considered a bill to beef up funding for transportation without raising taxes Wednesday but it bogged down in amendnents about where the money would go, as well as delivering a tacit protest of the bill's sponsor. Senate Bill 1 would ask voters in November to set aside more than $300 million a year in existing sales taxes and fees to repay more than $3.5 billion in loans to jump-start major projects, especially widening Interstate 25 north of Monument and Denver, as well as the I-70 mountain corridor.


Joey BunchJoey BunchMarch 13, 20183min380

State Sen. Bob Gardner was having breakfast reading the newspaper when he saw that a public-sector union was on strike elsewhere in the country. The Republican from Colorado Springs was not supportive. "And I got to thinking about the fact that those collective bargaining agreements are often negotiated by people who are being paid by the taxpayers to negotiate against the interests of the elected officials and the government that the taxpayers fund," he told the Senate chamber Monday morning.


Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 8, 20182min713

The conservative policy-shaper Americans for Prosperity held its annual lobby day at the Capitol Thursday with a free box lunch for members and legislators who participated in their program.

No Democrats showed up to speak in the West Foyer of the state Capitol, though some joked that they liked the annual handouts from the organization that eschews government handouts. Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, showed off his collection of AFP swag in his office, but he didn’t show up later for the doughnuts or lunch offered by the organization.

House Republican Leader Patrick Neville explained the difference to the AFP crowd.

“It’s great to hear from good citizens,” Neville said. “We’re surrounded by a lot of different special interests down here at the Capitol, and they’re all arguing for more and more money. What they don’t realize a lot of times is that it’s your money.”

He added, “We want you to have more money in your pockets and less in the special interests up here. That way when you have more money, the economy grows, we all prosper and Colorado becomes more affordable.”

Neville and Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City, were the highest-ranked dignitaries who spoke.

Neville thanked AFP and its members for “giving us the support we need to argue on behalf of the individual citizen and not just for more government programs and more regulations and all the other bad stuff, and we can actually advocate on behalf of you, for private citizens.”

Grantham said after his address that he appreciated the AFP members for being at the Capitol to learn how to be “advocates for policies that affect us on a daily basis.”


Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 2, 20186min1043
It’s a new year, but it’s the same legislative outcome for Democratic bills to regulate oil and gas or to promote renewable energy in Colorado. Republicans Thursday made short work of two Senate bills that would pledge the state to get all its energy from renewable sources by 2035, and another to hold oil and […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 19, 20184min569
A bill to restore the funding and redistribute the attention of the Colorado Energy Office cleared its first committee Thursday. That’s not surprising for a Republican bill in a Republican-led committee, but the bipartisan 9-2 vote on Senate Bill 3 means it might have a chance to rescue an imperiled agency. Last year a partisan […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 19, 20174min1005

If you thought gubernatorial candidates Jared Polis and Michael Johnston are thinking big on renewable energy, then get a load of state Sen. Matt Jones.

While Polis and Johnston are running on a proposals to get the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, the state lawmaker from Louisville will run a bill next session to get the state there by 2035, which could place it in most current legislators’ lifetimes.

Jones has said he will run for Boulder County Commission next year. He leads the Senate Democrats’ environmental efforts.

A 2012 poll by the American Council on Renewable Energy suggested “72 percent of Coloradans agree that “rather than using more coal, we should move toward cleaner sources of energy, a view held across party lines including Democrats (92 percent), Independents (75 percent) and a plurality of Republicans (48 percent to 38 percent).”

Jones said he will call the bill the Cheaper Cleaner Power Act. It’s bound to get unplugged by the Republican majority in the state Senate that has shown an affinity for the existing energy industry, favoring a market-dependent transition into renewables. Jones said in a statement that the wealthy oil-and-gas industry, with its political reach, should not get in the way of Coloradans’ goals for all-renewable energy.

Jones cited climate change in a statement Monday.

“We can choose one of two paths: We can continue to ignore the surge in abnormal, severe weather events. We can continue to hitch our wagon to expensive, unpredictable fossil fuel sources that pollute our air, cause deadly explosions and spills and drive climate change,” he said.

“Or, we can be a leader in a technological revolution that prioritizes public health, creates thousands of well-paying jobs, and ensures that our air, land, and water endure as a resource for all Coloradans for generations to come. Investing in clean energy means investing in our communities’ ability to take charge of our own energy future instead of depending on fossil fuel prices set by foreign cartels like OPEC.”

He also cited good-paying jobs in the wind, solar and energy storage industries. Jones said technology is moving fast and “Colorado should be positioned to benefit from (the) technological revolution.”

Jones concluded. “We have a moral responsibility to our children to make the most of the clean energy revolution and fight the unprecedented global threat that is climate change. A warmer climate is already likely contributing to Colorado’s a major flood, droughts, record destroying wildfires. One in 14 trees across our state is already dead.

Jones also plans to run a bill next session to give local governments more say in where oil-and-gas operations locate, which the GOP majority also is likely to kill in its first committee hearing.