matt jones Archives - Colorado Politics

Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 8, 20182min3980

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, 20186min833
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, 20184min306
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, 20174min7391

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.

Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 7, 20175min308
Sen. Matt Jones of Louisville said Wednesday he plans to introduce a bill in the next session to give local governments more authority to “plan, zone, and refuse to allow oil and gas operations as they see fit — just as they do with every other industry.” Though Jones is the Senate Democrats’ appointed leader […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 4, 20173min1941
While a Democratic effort to restore marijuana tax money to special districts was underway, Colorado state Sen. Matt Jones was pitching a different idea to fund a commuter rail Tuesday. The Democrat from Louisville would like to see marijuana tax money directed to metro Denver’s Regional Transportation District to keep the special district’s promises to […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 24, 20179min148
Sometime between now and November, a select committee of lawmakers will come up with their own ideas for the direction of Colorado’s 2-year-old water plan. It’s a bit of a change-up from the current role of the Colorado General Assembly, which for the past several years has done little more than write checks to implement […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 25, 20173min1704

Long-timers at the state Capitol would have a hard time imagining the place without state Sen. Matt Jones. Off and on, the Democrat from Louisville has been in the legislature since he was elected to the House in 1986.

But next year, he plans to run for Boulder County Commission, he tells Colorado Politics.

Jones is a former pro mogul skier, wildland firefighter and, this past session, deputy Senate minority leader for Conservation, Clean Energy and Climate Change. During most of his long legislative career, he has been part of the Democratic leadership.

“Having twice survived cancer, I know what it is like to be knocked down,” Jones said. “I also know how to keep hope, get back up and come back stronger, just as we must stand up to Donald Trump and regressive policies. We must keep Boulder County a leader on climate, public lands, transportation, and education. We cannot let Trump and the federal government undercut the progress Boulder County has made.

“We have a great county. I’ll fight to keep it that way.”

Jones is seeking the District 3 County Commission seat held by Cindy Domenico, who faces term limits next year.

Jones was re-elected to the Senate last year, after he ran without opposition. If he loses the County Commission race, he’ll still have a job in Denver.

The race won’t be easy. Lafayette Mayor Christine Berg filed to run for the seat in April. Interestingly enough, she endorsed Jones for state Senate.

Besides a stellar legislative career, Jones  touts 18 years in local government as a Boulder open space and trails planner and part-time wildland firefighter. He fought the Fourmile fire in Boulder County in 2010.

He said he would work for solar energy and and a commuter rail to Boulder, as well as oppose oil and gas companies’ overreach.