There are 15 new lawmakers in the House; seven Republicans and eight Democrats.
The 73rd General Assembly adjourned on Friday after passing seven urgent bills, although not before Republicans in the House of Representatives lodged one final protest of the planned month-long hiatus.
The General Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a memorial to be sent to President-elect Joe Biden and others, asking him to reverse the decision that would move the post to Huntsville, Alabama.
Paul Andrews wears more hats than a cowboy on Christmas at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo. He's the president and CEO, to begin with, but Andrews is so much more — fundraiser, planner, promoter and native son of the show.
The Colorado Politics team offers some context and analysis to the opening day remarks from the leaders who gave speeches to their colleagues on Wednesday.
The four-page letter provided an update on the efforts Polis has made to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, and to thank lawmakers to stepping up in that effort, both in the regular session and in the November special session, even at risk to their own health, he wrote.
The Colorado House of Representatives quickly approved four of its own bills and three of the Senate’s on Thursday, speeding along multiple measures to correct and adjust laws previously passed before lawmakers head home for a month starting Friday.
On day two of a planned three-day beginning to the 2021 General Assembly, the Senate quickly moved through final votes on their three bills — passing all on a 34-0 vote and sending them to the House — as well as working on the four House bills sent over Thursday morning.
House Bill 1003 allows per diem to be collected even for those lawmakers who are participating remotely, including from home. That raised objections from House Republicans Wednesday night, who claimed someone participating remotely from home isn’t incurring any expenses related to their legislative work.
Facing a lawsuit by limiting the relief funds to race-based criteria, the wording stood to tie up money elsewhere in the package. As a fix, the legislature is adding "disadvantaged" and "disproportionally impacted" businesses to the language.
Joey Bunch: "Most folks have something they geek out about. One of mine is highway funding."
"It's kind of fun to be the first speaker elected through roll call on the floor of this House," quipped Alec Garnett. "Let's look on the bright side."
Find maps and listings with representatives for state Senate and House districts for the 73rd General Assembly.
The purpose of these written protocols is to ensure a safe and healthy working environment while the General Assembly is reconvened.
Once gaveling in and taking care of necessary duties, lawmakers will quickly work through seven bills to fix some errors before adjourning until February, when the bulk of the legislation will be introduced.
“It’s important for everyone to remember where we were last year. We were facing one of the starkest, most devastating economic forecasts that the Joint Budget Committee has ever seen,” incoming Speaker of the House Alec Garnett, D-Denver, told the region’s business community during a virtual legislative preview event. “I just wanted to paint a picture of the amount of revenue pressure, revenue crisis, that Coloradans face.”
Lawmakers return to the Capitol on Wednesday to officially start the new session, but they will delay most of their work until at least mid-February, when they hope COVID rates will be lower and more people will have been vaccinated.
For the fund to recover to its pre-pandemic solvency by 2028, employers' taxes and contributions will have to grow by an average of $420 million a year after 2023, the Common Sense Institute projects.
The 120-day session is expected to adjourn quickly and return once the COVID-19 crisis abates, leaving the wreckage of the state budget. But many of its economic problems remain the same, the outline from Colorado Rising State Action indicates, including tax policy, government overreach, health care, education, energy and transportation.
Colorado’s gas tax of 22 cents per gallon has not increased since 1992. A 2018 report on the state’s transportation infrastructure showed funding from dedicated sources like the gas tax has risen slowly — and in some cases decreased — over the last decade. In recent years, the legislature has diverted millions of dollars from the general fund to the state highway fund.
The Brighton lawmaker is the first prominent Colorado Republican to publicly call for Trump's ouster before his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, is inaugurated in less than two weeks.
Three groups that could be most affected by such a bill have gone public with claims that they have been left out of virtually every discussion of how that policy should look.
Joey Bunch: "Colorado Democrats have their own problems, including a splintering party. Last year, a handful of qualified women of color were in the primary for U.S. Senate. None got traction, and ultimately the party oversaw the race as it dwindled down to two white guys."
While angry, frustrated and occasionally boisterous, those at the rally have not been violent, in contrast to their compatriots in Washington.
State Rep. Alex Valdez of Denver, caucus co-chair, said the 2021 agenda will focus on policy issues to address the effects of the pandemic, which have disproportionately affected communities of color, including Latinos.
The legislature’s Joint Technology Committee successfully referred one bill to the General Assembly in 2020 and prioritized $8.1 million for capital projects, the committee’s annual report describes.
The departing Democrat from Boulder spoke with Colorado Politics about the highs and lows of her tenure at the statehouse as she prepares for the next phase of her life. Hint: it's not necessarily political. But it could be.
Despite the partisan battles in 2020, there was one thing we could all agree on: Let's order takeout. As it turned out, it became our civic duty to ensure that restaurants, where 10% of Coloradans work, could survive the pandemic.
After the Colorado General Assembly gavels in on Jan. 13, there will be at least a couple of lawmakers who might breathe a little easier: Senate President Leroy Garcia of Pueblo and Rep. Kyle Mullica of Thornton.
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse is joining Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg and other Democratic legislators from Boulder for a virtual town hall on Tuesday to close out 2020 and point toward the new year.
Colorado clearly has the pedal to the metal on electric vehicles, as the state's Public Utilities Commission approved a plan to allow Xcel Energy to provide 20,000 charging stations and pass the cost on to its ratepayers.
A lot of bills and issues got shelved in 2020, including the public option. How many will live again 2021 and how many are dead, dead, dead?
- • OVERVIEW: As lawmakers return to Denver, recovery is king
Six months after widespread racial justice protests catalyzed the Colorado General Assembly to pass sweeping reforms to policing and law enforcement accountability, the Democratic majority is planning to push the envelope further.
The General Assembly will gavel in on Jan. 13 as originally scheduled, deal with swearing-in of new members and other constitutional and statutory obligations, and then temporarily recess until Feb. 16. They've reserved the right to come back at any time before that if emergency matters require immediate legislative attention.
“Paid Leave will now be a reality for state employees, many of whom have worked day and night during this past year to ensure that we can save the lives of Coloradans and come out stronger from this public health crisis,” Polis said in a statement announcing the decision.
Weeks out from the start of the legislative session, state lawmakers’ plans to confront the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic largely amount to general goals, reinforcement of executive actions and an anxious hope that Congress will refrain from washing its hands of further financial relief.
- • RELATED: Five things to watch after the gavel falls
When lawmakers return to the statehouse, they are expected to talk about vaccines and the price of health care, stimulus and stop-gap measures, animal welfare and managing wolves, broadband internet and turning regulations and federal dollars into green energy. Read more about what will be issues under the gold dome. You'll also find links to all the other coverage of the upcoming legislative session, including the news that after a quick gavel in, work will be delayed until February.
When last year's legislative session gaveled in, the hottest show under the gold dome was the pending fight over the public option, one of the last big pieces of Gov. Jared Polis' campaign promise to save people money on their health care.
Colorado Politics' insiders handicapped the issues to keep an eye on in the 2021 legislative session.
Enrollment in Colorado's public schools has declined overall by 2.6%, or about 22,280 students, according to a forecast presented Friday to the Joint Budget Committee by Legislative Council economists.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, the Windsor Republican who doubles as chairman of the state GOP, also said in a statement that despite his disappointment that President Donald Trump didn't win re-election, he respects "the constitutional process" and added that he also respects Trump's right to "exhaust all legal options."
Ellis is a senior legal adviser to the Trump campaign and a frequent guest on TV shows, but from 2015 to 2018, the former Weld County prosecutor taught pre-law, ethics and leadership courses at Colorado Christian University.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was one of 23 attorneys general who filed a friend of the court brief Thursday supporting the four swing states that delivered the win to President-elect Joe Biden.
With the 2020 general election out of the way, leaders of House and Senate Democrats Thursday turned their attention to changing up committee assignments, including replacing departed lawmakers.
After getting a firm "no" from Speaker of the House KC Becker on Monday, House Republicans aren't giving up on their efforts to find evidence of election irregularities.
Lynn Bartels: "Republican Rep. Larry Liston of Colorado Springs, who is heading to the Senate in January, jokingly wore his mask as a bonnet at one point, the media reported. 'Bonnet?' Is Laura Ingalls Wilder covering the session?"
According to a statement from the VA Office of Research and Development, at least 50 unique clinical trials are taking place at VA medical centers around the country. In 2020, three clinical trials — two on a COVID-19 treatment and one on a vaccine — were conducted at the VA Medical Center. Two are still ongoing.
The bills provide funding for rental and other housing assistance, food pantry aid, direct aid to restaurants, bars, gyms, minority-owned businesses and arts organization and help with utility bills.
It may surprise you that with all the millions spent on renovation in the state Capitol in the last decade or so, that this one crack never got fixed. It may be because the crack has a story all its own, a story that doesn't get told on Capitol tours.
The funds represent four times more money than the Colorado Creative Industries’ entire COVID-ravaged 2020 operating budget.