• Senate Bill 199 would repeal language barring immigrants in the U.S. illegally from accessing state and local public benefits. It’s among several bills that would affect Colorado immigrants.

    The Colorado State Capitol in Denver is pictured during the first day of the General Assembly’s 73rd regular legislative session on Jan. 13, 2021. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

    State lawmakers this year are advancing a historic slate of legislation aimed at assisting the estimated nearly 200,000 Coloradans living in the U.S. illegally, including through measures to shield them from federal immigration authorities and granting them access to state-funded benefits and services.

    The bills would also remove requirements that people prove legal residency to receive professional and business licenses, and create a state program to provide free birth control care and counseling for low-income immigrants without legal status.

    The Colorado Sun identified 11 bills debated at the legislature this year focused on immigrants, including four that have already been signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis.

    “Not even a decade ago, it was considered a win to be able to pass one immigration-related bill in an entire legislative session,” said state Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat and one of the fiercest immigrant advocates in the Colorado legislature. “Because of the work that’s happened outside of this building, because of the activism of undocumented people sharing their stories and speaking for themselves, there has been a sea change.”

    To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

  • Senate Bill 199 would repeal language barring immigrants in the U.S. illegally from accessing state and local public benefits. It’s among several bills that would affect Colorado immigrants.

    The Colorado State Capitol in Denver is pictured during the first day of the General Assembly’s 73rd regular legislative session on Jan. 13, 2021. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

    State lawmakers this year are advancing a historic slate of legislation aimed at assisting the estimated nearly 200,000 Coloradans living in the U.S. illegally, including through measures to shield them from federal immigration authorities and granting them access to state-funded benefits and services.

    The bills would also remove requirements that people prove legal residency to receive professional and business licenses, and create a state program to provide free birth control care and counseling for low-income immigrants without legal status.

    The Colorado Sun identified 11 bills debated at the legislature this year focused on immigrants, including four that have already been signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis.

    “Not even a decade ago, it was considered a win to be able to pass one immigration-related bill in an entire legislative session,” said state Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat and one of the fiercest immigrant advocates in the Colorado legislature. “Because of the work that’s happened outside of this building, because of the activism of undocumented people sharing their stories and speaking for themselves, there has been a sea change.”

    To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

  • PROMO Government - Taxes Money Calculator Word Blocks - iStock - LIgorko
    Published Friday, May 14, 2021
    by Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

    (The Center Square) — Colorado lawmakers introduced a pair of bills this week that seek to overhaul the state’s tax code.

    House Bill 21-1311 would revise corporate tax reporting standards, limit itemized deductions, and restrict contributions to tax-savings accounts to subsidize increases to the earned income tax credit and the state’s child tax credit.

    House Bill 21-1312 would update several provisions of the state’s property tax code and also initiate a phasing-out of tax credits and exemptions for the coal industry.

    Both bills are sponsored by a Democrat coalition of Sens. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Reps. Emily Sirota, D-Denver, and Mike Weissman, D-Aurora.

    Supporters of the bills say they do three important things: increase tax fairness, close loopholes for the wealthy, and modernize the tax code.

    Scott Wasserman, president of the Bell Policy Center (BPC), a left-leaning think tank, described the bills as “important” for the structural integrity of the state budget going forward.

    “Politicians always talk about cleaning up the tax code, but this is one of the first attempts to really do it,” he said. “We have a structural budgetary deficit in this state. When is it going to be the right time to address it?”

    To read the rest of this story, please click (HERE):

  • House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, a Loveland Republican, defended the list, saying it was created at the behest of a member who wanted to know how to best navigate the Capitol media landscape.

    A list of media outlets handed out by House Republican leadership to its members. The list included a column denoting whether an outlet is “friendly” or “not friendly.” (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

    A few weeks ago, leadership in the Colorado House Republican caucus handed out a list of media outlets to their members. But instead of just titles, mediums, phone numbers and email addresses, there was an untitled column with one of two descriptors: “friendly” and “not friendly.”

    Six outlets, including The Colorado Sun, The Denver Post, Colorado Public Radio, Axios Denver, Colorado Newsline and 9News, were listed as unfriendly, according to a copy of the list obtained by The Sun’s politics newsletter, The Unaffiliated.

    To see the rest of this story, please click (HERE):

    FILE - Weld County Board of Commissioners
    Weld County Board of Commissioners

    The move means the board stands by its 2019 decision not to adopt any ordinance which abridges or restricts a person’s individual right to bear arms. At the same time, the Weld County Sheriff has sole discretion to enforce firearms laws that may be unconstitutional.

    “Weld County is a Second Amendment Sanctuary County because the Board of Weld County Commissioners honor the Constitution of the United States and the rights of individuals to defend themselves and their families,” Commissioner Lori Saine, a former state representative, said in a statement.

    Commissioners cited three bills they’re opposing: House Bill 21-1298House Bill 21-1299, and Senate Bill 21-256. The legislative package was introduced last month in response to the mass shooting at a Boulder King Soopers in March that left 10 people dead.

    Commission Chair Steve Moreno said SB21-256 poses the greatest threat to gun rights in Colorado.

    To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

  • Even without the waiting-period measure, the 2021 legislative session in Colorado will be one of the state’s most significant with regard to gun control.

    Eagles Nest Armory gun shop seen on March 24, 2021, in Arvada. (Hugh Carey, Special to The Colorado Sun)

    Democratic state lawmakers have shelved efforts to pass a bill imposing a gun-purchase waiting period this year, as they had planned before the 2021 lawmaking term began.

    State Rep. Steve Woodrow, a Denver Democrat, was slated to be the prime sponsor of the measure. He said the massacre at a Boulder King Soopers reshaped lawmakers’ gun-control plans this year and they decided to focus on other policies.

    “After the shooting we worked diligently to craft a package of bills that will have the most impact and that’s the package we’re moving forward with this session,” he said in a written statement.

    State Rep. Tom Sullivan, a Centennial Democrat whose son was murdered in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, said the waiting-period bill could be introduced at the Capitol next year.

    “It’s a work in progress,” he said. “We’ll keep working on it.”

    Sullivan said lawmakers next year may also try to raise Colorado’s minimum age to purchase high-powered rifles. Currently anyone over 18 and older can purchase a rifle or shotgun while anyone 21 and older can purchase a handgun.

    To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

  • Biden 100 Days Promises
    FILE – In this March 4, 2021, file photo a syringe of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a drive-up mass vaccination site in Puyallup, Wash., south of Seattle.

    After a marathon eight-hour hearing, a House panel rejected a GOP bill seeking to ban employers in Colorado from mandating a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Rep. Kim Ransom, a Littleton Republican who is sponsoring House Bill 21-1191 along with Rep. Tonya Van Beber of Eaton, pitched her legislation as an effort “to address equity under the law and anti-discrimination.”

    “Federal and Colorado state governments have stated they currently will not impose vaccination mandates or certificates, however, if HB 1191 does not pass, we therefore allow and even encourage private business to implement and enforce such mandates,” Ransom said. “We would be, in essence, voting for discrimination.”

    Van Beber, meanwhile, indicated the bill was not an effort to question the efficacy of vaccines, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic or promote anti-vaccine sentiments. Instead, she couched the bill as a matter of law.

    “Our rights and access are granted by the constitution; they are not granted to us by receiving a medical procedure,” she said. “Anything less really doesn’t honor equity, inclusivity and diversity.”

    To read the rest of this story, please click (HERE):

  • May 5, 2021

    Ballot Sorting Counting Denver Elections DivisionHart Van Denburg/CPR News
    Sanitizing socially-distanced voting booths at Denver Elections Division headquarters on Primary night, June 30, 2020.

    After a string of election losses, the new head of the Colorado Republican party says it’s time to target suburban, unaffiliated voters with a platform that includes improving education and cutting taxes.

    Attorney Kristi Burton Brown was elected GOP chair in March, succeeding U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, who decided not to run again. The party suffered heavy losses in Colorado in 2020 — President Donald Trump lost the state by almost 13 percentage points and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was defeated in his bid for reelection. The governorship and control of the state legislature are also in Democratic hands.

    Burton Brown said the party will have a better plan in 2022. “It is going to be a Colorado-focused year, Colorado-centric issues and true leadership in Colorado centered on our jobs, our kids, the American dream. What does that look like? And who are our candidates who can best promote the message that the people of Colorado and many suburban moms like me — that’s a big chunk of our unaffiliated voters in Colorado — what they want to hear about.”

    To keep reading this story (or listen to the audio of it), please click (HERE):

  • Federal appeals court to consider future of lawsuit over Colorado’s TABOR

    The 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requires that tax increases be approved by voters

    Two women walk up the steps on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, on Oct. 16, 2018. (John Ingold, The Colorado Sun)

    The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider whether a long-running lawsuit challenging Colorado’s strict tax and spending limits as unconstitutional can proceed.

    Colorado Politics reports that a nine-judge panel will consider on Monday a review of the lawsuit, which was filed in 2011 by group of elected officials.

    The 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requires that tax increases be approved by voters. It also requires the state to refund tax revenue that exceeds a figure determined by a formula based on inflation and population growth.

    To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

  • Colorado lawmakers introduce 2021 transportation fee bill

    Fees would raise about $3.8 billion over next 11 years, coupled with $1.5 billion from general fund

    Posted at 6:46 PM, May 04, 2021

    DENVER – State lawmakers unveiled their much-awaited transportation bill on Tuesday, saying 2021 is the year Colorado lawmakers will finally take action on such a measure after years of stalemates at the state Capitol and ballot box.

    The Democratic sponsors of the bill, SB21-260, were joined by Gov. Jared Polis, Republican State Sen. Kevin Priola of Henderson, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, also a Republican, and the presidents of Colorado Concern and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, among others, to unveil the bill they first previewed in March.
    Some has changed since then, but the core of the effort remains the same: leveraging fee increases and new fees on gasoline, diesel, ride-sharing services, retail orders and electric vehicle registrations to come up with about $3.8 billion over the next 11 years and pairing that with about $1.5 billion in contributions from the general fund, for a package estimated at about $5.3 billion.
    To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):
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