Firefighting Air Fleet Bill Set for Vote on Monday

April 11, 2014
By
Sen. Gail Schwartz

Sen. Gail Schwartz

DENVER – A bipartisan bill to establish a firefighting aerial fleet to protect lives, property and water in Colorado stalled Thursday when Senate Agriculture Committee chair Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass Village) postponed the vote until Monday.

The firefighting air corps bill, sponsored by Sen. Steve King (R-Grand Junction) and Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora), has limited time to win committee and floor approvals in the Senate and House chambers.

Committee members heard two hours of testimony by citizens and firefighting experts, including fire chiefs and Paul L. Cooke, director of the state Division of Fire. Cooke issued an extensive report last month on the cost and casualties of fires that have ravaged Colorado in recent years, and recommended a firefighting fleet. Read more »

From the Cheap Seats: British Bash Beans

April 11, 2014
By

Seems that the climate-change chumps across the pond have come up with a half-baked theory that global warming is the result of what can only be described as the result of, shall we say, dropped roses?

The Members of Parliament, known for its deep insight, has concluded that the cause of climate change is, wait for it — beans.

Chili, kidney, lima, even the seemingly innocent garbanzo — no bean is without blemish in the harsh view of the Brits.

“Smelly emissions,” as Viscount Simon of the House of Lords calls it, seem to be major contributors to the plague of global warming, Simon observed during a parliamentary debate.

“You actually do raise an important point, which is we do need to moderate our behavior,” Simon was told by Baroness Verma, who will never be confused with Sir Francis Drake, even though beans seem to be the modern equivalent of the Spanish Armada. Read more »

Hick Hits Back at Ethics Complaint, Says Other Governors Also Received Free Stuff at Conferences

April 11, 2014
By
Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper defended himself Thursday against a complaint alleging that he violated the state’s gift ban by accepting freebies at a Democratic governors’ event, insisting that governors have been doing it for years.

“We’ve all done the same thing. We don’t use any state money, we only go there and focus on trying to get good ideas from each other,” Hickenlooper said in his monthly interview with KOA-AM’s Mike Rosen. “There’s plenty of politics. I’m not saying there’s not politics involved, but the priority is the issues.”

Hickenlooper is fighting an ethics complaint filed by the conservative group Compass Colorado accusing him of acting improperly by allowing the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) to pick up the tab for him and his staff at its August conference in Aspen. Read more »

Udall Absent from Pro-Keystone Dem Letter

April 10, 2014
By

DENVER — Sen. Mark Udall on Thursday put more distance between himself and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline by refusing to sign a letter from fellow Democrats supporting the project.

The letter, signed by 11 Senate Democrats, including five running for reelection in red states, urges President Barack Obama to make a decision by May 31 on a long-delayed segment of the 1,700-mile pipeline to transport oil from Canada to Texas.

“We cannot miss another construction season, given the long, cold winter this year along the Keystone XL route and the time required for ground thaw, we could be looking at a very short season. We need a definitive timeline laid out,” lawmakers said in the letter.

“The time to act is now, Mr. President. Please use your executive authority to expedite this process to a swift conclusion and a final decision so that we can all move forward on other energy infrastructure needs in this country,” the letter said. Read more »

GOP: Dems Don’t Walk the Talk on Gender Pay Issue

April 10, 2014
By

WASHINGTON – Senator Mark Udall came under fire from Republicans this week for supporting equal wage legislation even as the Colorado Democrat was shown to have paid female employees in his congressional office less than their male counterparts.

The pushback came amid a heated election-year debate in the U.S. Senate over legislation that would remove limits on punitive damage awards against businesses that discriminate based on gender.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would also prohibit employers from punishing workers who compare paychecks, and require the Labor Department to collect wage information based on gender and provide more workplace training on discrimination.

Udall and Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet both voted in favor of a procedural measure to advance the legislation, but the issue failed because it did not receive the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. Read more »

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