John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 23, 20176min538

Relatives of 1940s Republican Colorado Governor Ralph Carr have asked that his name be removed from a legislative proposal that has made headlines for months and generated political heat at the Capitol even before it was introduced earlier this month. State Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton and the sponsor of the “Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act,” said he was happy to comply with the wishes of family members and plans to remove the name of the bill when it next comes to the floor for action — likely next week. Salazar said he spoke to Steven Carr Wednesday night.


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 16, 20179min441

The press conference convened to roll out House Bill 1230 — the <a href="http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1230" target="_blank">Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act</a> — was held in the blazing sun Thursday at noon and drew a crowd of supporters who lined up on the west steps of the Capitol behind the speakers. The press conference acted like another rally for multi-cultural solidarity in the Trump era. The bill, which is being heard in the House Judiciary Committee Thursday, would bar officials in the state from providing any information that could be used by the federal government to unconstitutionally monitor or detain Colorado residents based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status or religious affiliation.


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 14, 20174min1426

The sponsors of the "<a href="http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1230" target="_blank">Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act</a>" plan to roll out the bill Thursday in a press event on the west steps of the Capitol. The hot-button bill, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Joe Salazar from Thornton and Daneya Esgar from Pueblo and Sens. Lucia Guzman from Denver and Daniel Kagan from Cheery Hills Village, is meant as a safeguard against what the sponsors see threats to civil rights to Coloradans posed by the Trump administration. It would prohibit officials in Colorado from providing any information that would could be used by the federal government to monitor or detain residents based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status or religious affiliation.


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 13, 201710min377

This week we take up where the thud-like introduction of the transportation-funding <a href="https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1242" target="_blank">House Bill 1242</a> left off. Conservatives remain unimpressed. Sponsors, House Speaker Crisanta Duran, a Denver Democrat, and Senate President Kevin Gratham, Canon City Republican, will work to make their trial balloon seem less like the Hindenburg, to <a href="https://www.coloradostatesman.com/republicans-conservative-groups-rip-proposal-send-transportation-tax-hike-voters/" target="_blank">borrow a phrase</a> from Littleton Republican Sen. Tim Neville. Supporters of the bill have eight weeks to win over the building. Here’s a GOP source hoping for the best but fearing the worst: “Maybe it’s term limits, but they say deals used to be arrived at in this building through the process of moving a bill through the chambers. Now it’s about backroom handshakes that lead to a bill and, basically, the dealmaking is done. People are lined up for or against. It either passes or fails.” Here’s some of what else is happening this week. As always, the schedule is subject to change.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningFebruary 15, 20178min741

A House Republican took a Democratic colleague to task Wednesday for calling him “half Latino” as the debate over sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants simmers at the state Capitol. Saying he wanted to talk about “a matter that affects the dignity of this chamber,” state Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, took to the House microphone near the end of morning announcements to “call attention to the insensitive words that were spoken about me” during a discussion about pending legislation concerning sanctuary policies.


John TomasicJohn TomasicJanuary 30, 20175min426

State Rep. Joe Salazar, a Thornton Democrat, said the explosive Trump White House — which has taken even Republican members of Congress and Trump cabinet appointees <a href="http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-gop-whiplash-20170130-story.html?ncid=newsltushpmgnews" target="_blank">by surprise</a> in the ten days since inauguration — is affecting the mood at the Capitol in Denver. “I can say it has changed conversations,” he told the Colorado Statesman on Monday. “My Republican colleagues have been very quiet about what’s happening with this administration.” Salazar added that he thought some of his GOP colleagues may be taking their cues from Washington. He singled out Rep. Dave Williams, a Republican lawmaker from Colorado Springs. “I’ve heard Rep. Williams is introducing a bill that would criminalize lawmakers — something to do with holding lawmakers criminally liable for any laws that might protect an undocumented person who caused harm to a Coloradan,” he said. “It’s utterly tone deaf coming from a freshman legislator.”


Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 30, 20178min1538

A Colorado Springs Republican wants victims of what he calls “sanctuary city policies” to be able to file lawsuits and lodge criminal complaints against the “lawless politicians” who put the policies in place. State Rep. Dave Williams said Monday he plans to introduce “The Colorado Politician Accountability Act” this week, legislation aimed at holding officials criminally liable for the “carnage” committed by some immigrants.