Posted inCOVID, Health, Politics and Government

How Colorado lawmakers closed a $3 billion shortfall to balance the budget and why it led to tears

To address a $3 billion shortfall, Colorado lawmakers made a series of drastic spending cuts Thursday and moved close to finalizing a state budget battered by the coronavirus and the paralyzed economy. The legislative budget committee cut $448 million from K-12 education — a 10% cut compared to a year ago. The actual cut is […]

Posted inBusiness, Politics and Government

To balance budget, Colorado lawmakers add to PERA’s long-term debt and backtrack from landmark deal

Just two years after Colorado approved sweeping pension reforms aimed at wiping out what was then an unfunded $32 billion debt to public sector retirees, state budget writers — facing a financial catastrophe of their own — have temporarily undone a portion of the landmark rescue package. The Joint Budget Committee tentatively decided to eliminate […]

Posted inCOVID, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers won’t be required to wear masks at Capitol when legislative session resumes

Colorado lawmakers and the public will not be required to wear masks or adhere to standard coronavirus protocols at the Capitol when the legislative session resumes next week. Democratic and Republican leaders failed to agree on any public health measures and instead decided Monday to issue only informal guidance. The recommendations ask lawmakers and the […]

Posted inBusiness, Health, Politics and Government

Health-related industries top Colorado lobbying spending so far, and it’s only expected to intensify

The total that special interests spend on lobbying Colorado lawmakers appears destined to set records, despite the potential for a shortened session amid the coronavirus pandemic. The payments made by various corporations and interest groups to lobbyists topped $29.6 million from July 2019 through the end of March, according to a Colorado Sun analysis of […]

Posted inCOVID, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers began slashing the budget and state employees are bracing for the worst

Two weeks after she tested positive for COVID-19, Brandi Axelsen is still waiting for her symptoms to subside so she can return to work. The licensed psychiatric technician works for the state of Colorado and contracted the disease on the job helping clients with developmental disabilities.  Her state-paid sick days expired and she now must […]

Posted inCOVID, Education, Health, Politics and Government

Colorado’s coronavirus budget crunch is putting Democratic accomplishments at risk

Anna Layden makes $57,000 a year as an educator in Durango and owes the same amount in student debt after putting herself through college and graduate school. To pay it down, she applied for a $5,000 loan repayment through a new initiative for Colorado teachers. Deana Cairo wanted to see her 19-year-old son with developmental […]

Posted inCOVID, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers set date for return, hoping the worst of the coronavirus will pass

The General Assembly tentatively plans to resume the legislative session May 18 after a two-month hiatus amid the coronavirus. The Democratic leadership set the date during a meeting Wednesday at the closed state Capitol but suggested it may change depending on the status of the public health crisis. “Keep in mind, a lot could change […]

Posted inCOVID, Health, News, Politics and Government

A lawmaker returns to frontlines of the coronavirus fight as an ER nurse: “You can see a tsunami coming”

Just before he enters the hospital for a 12-hour shift in the emergency room, Kyle Mullica pauses to narrate the moment. The 33-year-old state lawmaker struggles for words to describe what it feels like to trade his suit for scrubs and return to his job as an ER nurse amid the outbreak of the novel […]

Posted inCOVID

Colorado’s legislature won’t resume Monday as planned. It’s an open question when they will return.

The Colorado General Assembly will not resume its lawmaking term next week as scheduled and may not return until the second half of April as the coronavirus pandemic worsens. The legislature is scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. Monday after a two-week break imposed in response to the public health emergency. But legislative leaders told […]