Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado’s kindergarten landscape will even out, with benefits flowing to state’s wealthiest, poorest families

A decade ago, when Colorado officials surveyed school districts about then-Gov. Bill Ritter’s big idea to put full-day kindergarten in every school, support wasn’t unanimous. School administrators in Telluride, one of the state’s wealthier resort towns, were dismissive of the full-day kindergarten priority from the governor back then, according to the survey conducted by the […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, Education, Energy, Health, Politics and Government

A breakdown of the 8 issues Colorado lawmakers will study before the 2020 legislative session

Before lawmakers left the state Capitol earlier this month, they issued homework for the interim. And if the assignments are any indication, the next legislative term is expected to be another doozy. The Democratic-led General Assembly is preparing to study eight major policy topics — ranging from school safety and college affordability to private prisons […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

$120 million in requests and $40 million in the bank. How an obscure theory helped prioritize the Colorado budget.

Midway through the Colorado legislature’s 2019 session, the appropriations committees in each chamber became the legislative version of purgatory. Dozens of bills went in. Few came out. By the start of April, the backlog totaled more than 100 bills carrying a cumulative price tag of more than $120 million. And the supporters for each bill […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Politics and Government

Big tobacco is fighting Colorado’s nicotine tax bill with powerful lobbyists and a social media campaign

Big tobacco has launched a forceful effort to stop a bill that would ask Colorado voters to approve a cigarette tax increase and a new nicotine tax, spending thousands of dollars on a social media campaign against it and hiring some of the most powerful lobbyists at the state Capitol to ensure the measure is […]

Posted inGrowth, Politics and Government, Transportation

Colorado lawmakers plan to remove $2.3 billion transportation question from ballot, delay it to 2020

Worried about asking voters for too much money in November, Democratic leaders are moving to withdraw a $2.3 billion transportation measure from the 2019 ballot. A bipartisan bill expected to debut Friday would delay the ballot question until 2020 and reduce the size of transportation bonds issued. State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, the measure’s sponsor, told […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Politics and Government

Colorado Democrats postpone paid family leave effort until 2020, opt for study after mounting pressure against bill

Democrats at the Colorado Capitol won’t meet one of their prime goals this year, passing a paid family and parental leave bill, opting instead to study how to resolve differences surrounding the bill in hopes of pushing forward in the 2020 legislative session. The resolution comes after weeks of mounting pressure from business groups against […]

Posted inEducation, News

Teachers living in campers: How rural Colorado districts are coping with growing teacher shortage

Steve Wilson has spent 35 years in education in rural Colorado, the past 14 as superintendent of the Big Sandy School District that stretches across ranchland in Elbert and El Paso counties. In his second year as superintendent there, four teachers retired, wiping out more than 132 years of experience. Back then, the vacancies posed […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

The Denver teacher strike is over. Now lawmakers are trying to solve Colorado’s chronic education funding problem.

Top legislators this week said they feared the teacher strike in Denver was a symptom of chronic underfunding for Colorado public schools and expressed concern that teachers in other districts will get restless if the state doesn’t tackle school financing. They pointed out that the state put a budget-balancing tool in place in 2009, in […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

Democrats want more disclosure of campaign advertising, but dark money remains an issue

Colorado is taking a step toward more disclosure of campaign advertising. The state Senate is expected to approve legislation Tuesday that would mandate more disclosure from political committees that send mailers or air commercials in an election year. Senate Bill 68 requires disclosure of how much is spent on communication that mentions a candidate for […]

Posted inAnnotated, News, Politics and Government

Leroy Garcia’s opening remarks are notable for what he didn’t mention. Here’s the Colorado Senate president’s speech, annotated.

The 72nd General Assembly, with Democrats at the helm of the House and Senate, convened Friday for the 120-day lawmaking term. The new Democratic leaders in each chamber — House Speaker KC Becker and Senate President Leroy Garcia — gave opening-day remarks that outlined their visions for the 2019 session and the party’s legislative agenda. […]