Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 25, 201727min711

By one measure, state Rep. Justin Everett, a House Republican serving his third term in the Colorado General Assembly, and state Reps. Chris Hansen and Chris Kennedy, a pair of Democrats in their first terms, stand as far apart as any lawmakers at the Capitol, based on the votes they cast in the just-completed 2017 regular session. Considering all the bills that made it to final, third-reading votes in the session — 490 in the House and 459 in the Senate — between them, these three legislators cast the most ‘no’ votes and the most ‘yes’ votes, respectively, according to an analysis prepared by bill-tracking service Colorado Capitol Watch.

Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 18, 20173min296
This week’s House Republican video is good for a couple of smiles. It serves up a lot of food for thought about the state budget and paying for transportation. The House GOP has contended all along that a tax increase isn’t needed to fund billions for widening interstates and other core transportation needs. (Transit, not […]

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John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 21, 20176min519

Colorado’s campus free speech bill on Tuesday won a unanimous 64-0 vote on the state House floor. It was another triumph of bipartisan support for a bill that was early linked in the minds of lawmakers to contentious conservative cable-news narratives but that broke increasingly free with each committee and floor debate to be embraced as productive and important public policy, turning skeptics into supporters all along the way. “It was a lot of work, but good work,” said Rep. Jeff Bridges, a Democrat from Greenwood Village after the House vote. “I told people on the campaign trail that I would be looking for common ground at the Capitol and, I can say, we all met in the middle on this bill. It was a huge team effort by colleagues on both sides. Lots of credit all around on this one.”


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 6, 20179min390

Happy halfway mark. On Wednesday, lawmakers will arrive at this year’s legislative session midpoint. Many of the House and Senate minority party bills doomed to die in committee have lived their brief and sometimes newsmaking lives. Now many of the bills doomed to die at the hands of the opposite chamber majority party will meet their own swift ends. Then soon will appear this year’s “long bill” budget proposal. And then, on the long bill’s tale, will come the big compromise proposal on transportation funding… and anything else lawmakers feel pressure or overdue obligation or last gasp whimsy to move on at last. Note as ever that almost everything about the legislative schedule is subject to change, at almost any time.


John TomasicJohn TomasicFebruary 21, 20175min408

State Sen. Tim Neville, a Littleton Republican, was determined to send his hot-button campus free speech bill to the lower chamber with strong support from Democrats as well as Republicans — and he succeeded. Senate Bill 62 is a response to the war around expression being waged largely by conservative media outlets who think speech on campuses has been stunted by political correctness at one end of the spectrum and downright censored by administrative restrictions at the other end.


John TomasicJohn TomasicFebruary 10, 20176min690

On Friday, state Senate Democrats attempted to amend a campus free speech bill to include voter registration activity among the kinds of “speech” the bill marks out in particular for protection. All 18 Senate Republicans voted down the amendment on the Senate floor. Democrats took turns speaking in favor of the amendment. The bill now enumerates "a student's constitutional right to speak" as “speaking verbally, holding a sign, or distributing flyers or other material.”


John TomasicJohn TomasicFebruary 10, 20175min459

State Rep. Stephen Humphrey is feeling optimistic that Democrats and liberal interest groups will join with Republicans and conservative interest groups to support the campus free speech bill he’s sponsoring this year with Sen. Tim Neville. “I haven’t counted any votes yet, but I haven’t heard anyone say they have major concerns,” Humphrey said in an interview on Wednesday. “I think once people heard what the bill was really about, they were like, ‘Well, there are no bogey men in the bill.’ They found out it’s really about free speech and not restricting it to some postage stamp area in a corner of the campus, which I think we can all agree is a good idea.” The bill, <a href="" target="_blank">SB 62</a>, contains free speech protections and free assembly protections on college campuses, which is a factual but benign way to describe it. It’s also a bill that taps into a national cultural battle that has seen conservative cable news pundits clash with university students and administrators in recent years.