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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirApril 14, 20174min256
Even amid the ever-shifting alliances of hardball politics, there are some loyalties you generally can rely on. You know, like how the environmentalists, the abortion-rights advocates and the trial lawyers are generally in the Democrats’ corner. And the gun owners, the right-to-lifers and the fossil fuelers — to say nothing of the tort reformers — will line up with the GOP. […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirApril 10, 20175min350
Some Colorado legislative Democrats believe it’s unfair to make job-seekers disclose their criminal histories on their applications — often, by checking a box — so they’ve introduced legislation to stop the practice. House Bill 1305, sponsored in the lower chamber by state Democratic Reps. Mike Foote of Lafayette and Jovan Melton of Aurora, would “ban the box” — part of a […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 10, 20172min412

A bipartisan effort to give Colorado’s vocational/technical school students greater access to state tuition assistance breezed through a Senate committee at the Capitol Thursday with unanimous support.

As noted on the state’s legislative website, the Department of Higher Education runs a tuition-assistance program for students enrolled in career and technical education certificate programs at trade schools and other institutions. That state program provides tuition assistance for students who meet income-eligibility requirements but do not qualify for a federal Pell grant because their certificate program does not happen to meet the Pell grant’s minimum credit-hour requirements.

House Bill 1180 fixes that, expanding eligibility for the tuition assistance program by including students who meet a state income eligibility standard — separate from the federal Pell standard — that is established by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

The bill’s sponsors in the upper chamber are Sens. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, and Tim Neville, R-Littleton. In a press statement issued by the Senate GOP, Neville says:

“Our current system is punishing our young people who dare to think outside the box…College is not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that those folks shouldn’t receive the same assistance in pursuing the dream of a better future through opportunity. As long as this program exists, it should be available to all our students, not just those who fit the mold of ‘traditional education.'”

As noted in a press statement from the Senate Democrats:

House Bill 1180 would ensure that tuition assistance funds go to students who desperately need aid, and quickly, relieving some burden for paying tuition, course materials, and fees. For those interested in learning a trade, this move provides much-needed support in their future careers.

The bill previously passed the House with near-unanimous, bipartisan support.



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 3, 20175min274

Critics of gun legislation billed as “constitutional carry” — an envelope-pushing proposal allowing Coloradans to carry concealed weapons without a permit — will converge on the Capitol Monday to meet with lawmakers and rally opposition. As announced in a press release this afternoon:

Volunteers with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and gun violence survivors from the Everytown Survivor Network, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, will gather at the capitol for an annual advocacy day to meet with lawmakers and urge them to oppose SB 116, a dangerous bill that would allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or any handgun safety training.

They seem to think it could pass. As if.’s Joey Bunch observed here just a few weeks ago that 56-year-old John Elway will don No. 7 once again and lead the Broncos to another Super Bowl  — and then run for governor — before Senate Bill 116 becomes law. Actually, that’s not what Joey wrote though he probably came up with something even more colorful. Point is, the bill seems intended more as a right-to-arms manifesto by its Republican authors than a realistic attempt at lawmaking.

Even more to the point: The bill may have passed a couple of committees on party-line votes last month in the GOP-ruled state Senate, but it is dead on arrival if it makes it to the door of the Democratic-controlled house.

It was only relatively recently in Colorado history that the legislature pushed through the state’s standardized concealed-carry policy, allowing citizens who meet certain basic standards and comply with a training requirement to be issued a permit to carry a gun discreetly under a jacket, in a handbag, etc. It was a hard-fought, years-long effort getting that far; previously, concealed-carry permits were issued entirely at the discretion of county sheriffs, which in most counties meant none at all.

Just for the record, Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, the bill’s sponsor, provided this rationale for the legislation when it debuted in committee: “If you’re legally eligible to possess a firearm, you should be able to carry that weapon concealed for self-defense without begging for government’s permission.”

Also for the record: Moms Demand Action called the measure a “reckless bill that would undermine Colorado’s public safety” in today’s press release.

So, just in case, the Moms will be at the Capitol Monday to ensure the long odds against SB 61 are even longer. Here are the details of the gathering as stated in the group’s press release:


More than 100 Colorado Moms Demand Action volunteers from across the state will meet with lawmakers to urge them to put the safety of their constituents first and oppose SB 116.


Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Amy Chambers, volunteer chapter leader with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Jane Dougherty, whose sister, Mary Sherlach, was shot and killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting on December 14, 2012, and a member of the Everytown Survivor Network

Tom Sullivan, whose son, Alex Sullivan, was shot and killed on his 27th birthday at the Aurora movie theater shooting and a member of the Everytown Survivor Network

Other volunteers with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America


Monday, March 6
9 AM


Colorado State Capitol
200 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80203

State lawmakers are ready to crack down on something that might not be a problem at all in Colorado — that law enforcement might be taking more than they’re entitled to when criminals forfeit property. “I think it’s more about transparency … than anything else, making sure we focus on everything being reported, so we can […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 2, 20172min363

Republican state Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton says it’s wrong to confine college students’ views to “free speech zones” on Colorado campuses. Neville’s Senate Bill 62, approved today by the Senate Education committee, would set them free.

The measure now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Said Neville in a press release from the Senate GOP this afternoon:

“Free speech zones are counterintuitive to our core values. We should never falter in our defense of our constitutional rights or confine a free exchange of ideas…Students on Colorado campuses are growing into the leaders of tomorrow, and restricting their fundamental rights as they seek out truth and knowledge is contrary to the American spirit as well as the mission of universities.”

College brass have expressed some muted reservations about the proposal.

University of Colorado spokesman Ken McConnellogue told The Denver Post’s Monte Whaley: “The university has demonstrated a fundamental commitment to the free speech that is essential to our mission, but it is also incumbent upon us to maintain the safety and integrity of the learning environment for all our students.”

Which probably means they fear a riot when young campus firebrands of opposing views aren’t cordoned off from one another.

Whatever the merits of that concern, it’s worth noting that the Senate Education Committee unanimously approved the staunchly conservative Neville’s bill. That suggests that if the legislation passes out of the Republican-run Senate as now appears likely, it also might not get spiked the moment it enters the Democratic-controlled House.

And however it fares, it’s worth taking in the big picture here for a moment: When a right-as-they-come Republican takes a stand for free speech on campus — it ain’t your grandad’s GOP anymore.


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJanuary 31, 20172min216

Cutting regulations on business — especially small business — is as much a part of the Republican brand as the elephant itself. A bill that Republicans are touting to do just that — by giving small businesses a month to fix minor breaches of state regs before fines are levied — passed the state Senate Monday on a voice vote and even picked up support from across the aisle. After a formal roll-call vote as early as today, Senate Bill 1 will head to the Democratic-controlled House.

The measure is being sponsored by the father-son tag team of Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, in the upper chamber and, in the lower chamber, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock.

The Senate GOP was pleased at the development. More so, perhaps, given SB 1’s uncertain-at-best prospects in the House. A press release from the Senate Republican communications office captured the moment:

“Our aim is to ensure that government offers of ‘help’ aren’t quite as terrifying as they were back when Ronald Reagan made his famous joke about the 9 most feared words in the English language,” (Sen.) Neville said, “because our bill requires state agencies to work cooperatively with small businesses that may be out of compliance with minor rules, rather than just bringing down the hammer.”

The press release noted, “The bill only pertains to relatively minor administrative rules violations, not those that potentially put public health or safety at risk.”


Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 30, 20179min280
You know how Colorado Senate Republicans are making America great again? Legalizing switchblades. Hear me out on this. State Sen. Owen Hill has a bill that would make it legal to own a switchblade in Colorado.  You read that right: make it legal. You carry an ax like a briefcase, depending on your job. You […]

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Kara MasonKara MasonFebruary 23, 20163min344
Republicans fully restored Littleton Republican Sen. Tim Neville’s “Right to Work” bill, SB16-70, following a surprise turn in debate when an amendment submitted Friday by pro-labor Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster, was mistakenly approved unanimously by the Republican majority. The Ulibarri amendment turned Neville’s bill upside down, stripping it of its anti-union provisions and transforming it […]

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Kara MasonKara MasonFebruary 23, 20166min446

Monday was another gun-policy day at the Colorado Capitol. At the center of a second-reading back-and-forth in the state Senate, U.S. Senate candidate Tim Neville, R-Littleton, defended his proposal to lift the requirement that Coloradans who wish to carry concealed firearms apply for a permit and take training classes. “Coloradans shouldn’t have to go begging to the government to exercise their God-given unalienable Second Amendment right,” Neville argued. His bill passed the Senate Tuesday morning on a party-line 17-18 vote and now heads to the House where Democrats are sure to defeat it.