BACK TO SCHOOL: In Colorado, Republicans have moved to give school districts greater latitude in permitting firearms on school grounds
DENVER–Colorado teachers are going back to class for firearms training, joining thousands of educators across the nation even as Democratic lawmakers move to restrict access to guns.
The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners reports being inundated with responses after offering a free course for teachers interesting in earning their concealed-carry certification in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. Read more »
MEDIA BLACKOUT: Just a few years ago, Colorado Democrats approved an enforcement bill described as the “toughest in the nation.”
DENVER – Much has been made of former Bush Administration official Condoleezza Rice and conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer’s suggestions that Republicans must soften their rhetoric on the issue of illegal immigration or face electoral consequences.
As Democrats prepare to push for sweeping immigration reforms, the mainstream media has been quick to cite the statements of such beltway luminaries as indications that a Republican flip-flop on the issue is forthcoming. Read more »
TVERT: “Why is it that someone who is an heir to an alcohol fortune would want to keep an alternative to alcohol that’s less harmful illegal?”
DENVER–Colorado pot advocates were anything but mellow Thursday as former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) unveiled a national and state effort to highlight the public-health drawbacks of marijuana.
Kennedy, a scion of the prominent Democratic family from Massachusetts, announced the launch of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), described as a bipartisan alliance aimed at promoting science-based marijuana information for public-policy development. Read more »
Hickenlooper’s speech included calls for expanded gun background checks, tuition discounts for illegal immigrants and same-sex unions
DENVER– Keenly aware of Democrats controlling both the state House and Senate, Gov. John Hickenlooper asked legislators for bills with biparatisan support – but his State of the State address was loaded with a left-leaning agenda that few Republican legislators will likely endorse. Read more »
NEW GUY: Republican Michael Fields, 25, would be the youngest member of the Legislature if he is elected to replace term-limited Rep. Spencer Swalm (R-Aurora)
DENVER — The 2013 legislative has barely begun and already candidates are lining up to run in next year’s election.
Earlier this week Michael Fields, a Teach for America 4th grade teacher in Aurora and former political strategist, announced a run for House District 37 in Centennial. The district is currently represented by Republican Spencer Swalm, who is term limited. Read more »
Any bill passed by the legislature would overrule the commission’s work and land in the lap of Gov. John Hickenlooper
DENVER–The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission set up a showdown with the state legislature Wednesday by signing off on a setbacks rule opposed by some Democrats and the environmental movement.
The commission gave preliminary approval to a staff proposal to extend the minimum distance between drilling rigs and residential development to 500 feet in both urban and rural areas. The current rule requires a setback of 150 feet in rural and 350 feet in urban communities. Read more »
OPENING DAY: Legislative leaders gave speeches that mixed political goals and personal stories, somber tones and humorous quips
DENVER– The 69th General Assembly opened Wednesday with state House and Senate leaders recalling tragedies of last year, calling for bipartisanship in tackling top priorities of economic recovery, job creation and education. Those goals will likely be echoed today in Gov. John Hickenlooper’s State of the State Address. Read more »
The commission is expected to vote Wednesday on a proposal to extend the distance between drilling operations and residential areas, known as setbacks
DENVER–The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted Monday to toughen up rules on groundwater contamination in order to deal with a problem that has little to do with groundwater contamination.
The underlying problem facing the commission is public sentiment against hydraulic fracturing. Read more »
Bills to legalize same-sex unions, provide special tuition discounts to illegal immigrant students, and tighten gun controls are reportedly on tap for the 2013 legislative session
DENVER – In the weeks leading up to the legislative session that begins Wednesday, leaders on both sides of the aisle in the Senate and the House have pledged civility in accord with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s directive to pass bills with bipartisan support. Read more »
WALLER: ”[T]he governor’s plan doesn’t address concerns that this expansion could potentially cost upwards of $800 million”
DENVER—Whether Obamacare represents a much-needed revolution in health coverage or a fiscal disaster waiting to happen, it appears that Colorado will be one of the first states to find out.
Gov. John Hickenlooper announced last week plans to expand Medicaid coverage in keeping with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, making Colorado one of 15 states so far to signal its participation in the effort. Read more »