• 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):
  • 9 federal judges set to decide fate of TABOR repeal lawsuit

    Hickenlooper submits his final state budget, but it may not last long
    Exactly 10 years after a group of local and state elected officials first filed a legal challenge to Colorado’s most celebrated — and vilified — constitutional provision, the entirety of the Denver-based federal appeals court will now consider whether to pull the plug on that fight.

    On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which hears appeals from Colorado and five surrounding states, will hold a rare all-judges hearing, known as an “en banc” review, of the lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Although appellate courts typically issue decisions in panels of three judges, the 10th Circuit in October granted en banc review of the TABOR case.

    Such hearings are highly atypical: from October 2018 through September 2019, the 10th Circuit only heard one case en banc out of more than 1,100.

    There are 12 authorized judgeships on the 10th Circuit that require presidential nomination and U.S. Senate confirmation. However, only nine judges will participate in the en banc panel: five who were nominees of Democratic presidents and four who were Republican nominees.

    The diminished number is the result of two Clinton administration appointees retiring from active status earlier this year. One of them, Senior Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, will join the en banc hearing. In addition, of the 10 remaining active judges, Scott M. Matheson Jr., a nominee of President Barack Obama, and Joel M. Carson III, a nominee of Donald Trump, have each recused themselves.

    TABOR, a 1992 constitutional amendment, limits the amount of revenue the state can collect and spend, and requires voter approval for new taxes and tax rate increases. The amendment also provided a mechanism to refund revenue collections to taxpayers in excess of a formula based on inflation and population growth. Colorado refunded nearly $3.5 billion in the quarter-century since TABOR’s passage.

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

  • Paul Lundeen
    Paul Lundeen

    There is no doubt Colorado needs to upgrade its roads and bridges. You can’t drive in El Paso County without swerving around potholes. Now that the pandemic appears to have crossed a tipping point, wait times are building again to get from Colorado Springs to Denver.

    The fact that Colorado legislators are paying attention to our infrastructure problems should be a win. But SB 260 is more about building government than building roads.

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

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    • Debate over North Carolina’s recently proposed Taxpayer Bill of Rights will begin heating up soon
    • Opponents will likely try to portray Colorado’s experience in a negative light, to serve as a warning
    • Their major claims, however, are easily debunked

    North Carolina legislators recently filed a bill that would enable voters to decide if a Taxpayer Bill of Rights should be added to the state constitution.

    The main feature of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights is that it would limit the annual growth rate of the state budget to a rate tied to inflation plus population growth. Other provisions would require voter approval of tax increases and mandate that excess revenue collections be used to bolster the state’s Rainy Day fund and refunded back to taxpayers.

    The benefits of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights are many, most notable in that it would make permanent the fiscal restraint that conservative lawmakers have exercised over the last decade. Common-sense restraints on spending can smooth out spending cycles, better prepare the state for economic downturns, and enable tax cuts to make North Carolina more competitive for investment and job growth.

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

  • Luke Ragland, President of the Ready Education Network, joins host Jon Caldara to give an update on the state of the school choice movement in Colorado and America-at-large. No matter how successful charter schools are, they continue to come under fire by the teachers union and the entrenched education bureaucracy who fear giving parents options for their children’s education.

     

     

  • You’ve likely heard about the legislature’s new gas tax proposal, which seeks to raise over $4 billion to “solve” our infrastructure needs. This massive proposal includes new charges at the gas pump, on delivery services like Amazon, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and more.   No matter who you are, they have a new charge for you.

    We all agree that our roads and bridges need repair, but Coloradans already pay 22 cents per gallon in State taxes, on top of the 18.4 cents we pay in federal taxes. For certain politicians that’s just not enough.

    Much of the debate has focused on the questionable legality of the proposal, due to the passage of Proposition 117 just this past November.  That requires governments to receive voter approval before enacting these types of new, large “fees.” The unique protections of our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, require the legislature to obtain voter approval before raising taxes. But sponsors won’t let that stop them. Instead, they’re calling these new taxes, “fees,”’ so that Colorado voters won’t have a voice in the process. Read more …

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