Posted inSun Investigation

Jared Polis is taking big money from private donors to fund key positions in Colorado governor’s office

To deliver on his campaign promises and policy priorities, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is relying on wealthy donors and major advocacy organizations to pay the bill. The Democratic governor is accepting more than $1 million from donors, nonprofits and foundations to pay salaries and costs associated with six top policy positions, according to a review […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, News, Politics and Government

As the financial crisis hits Colorado, PERA’s new oversight commission is sidelined

Two years ago, when Colorado lawmakers agreed to rescue the state pension plan from the financial brink for the second time in a decade, they insisted on new safeguards. Among them: A special oversight commission with a subcommittee comprised of lawmakers and outside financial experts to monitor the reforms, vet pension-related legislation, and — if […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

Coronavirus bills push lobbying to record total in Colorado. Here’s a look at the big spenders.

The total spent on lobbying at the Colorado Capitol topped $40 million this session — a record driven in part because of contentious last-minute legislation introduced in response to the coronavirus. The spending to lobby the Democratic-led General Assembly is nearly 12% higher than 2019 and $10 million more than in 2016, according to a […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

Colorado spared more budget cuts for now, but an additional $1 billion in reductions looms on 2021 horizon

No further budget cuts are immediately necessary as an economic forecast from the Polis administration shows a series of tax changes approved by Colorado lawmakers generated enough revenue to preserve the state’s slim budget cushion. Gov. Jared Polis’ office says a new economic forecast shows that tax revenue will allow the state to carry a […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

Colorado lawmakers made billions in cuts to finish the budget. Now Gov. Polis may need to make even more.

In the final hours of the lawmaking session, the General Assembly finalized a $30.3 billion state budget after weeks of difficult work to close a $3 billion deficit. Instead of expressing relief at the finish line, the top legislative budget writer issued a warning. “For those of you who haven’t heard the news flash, next […]

Posted inSun Investigation

Oil and gas and private donors paid for initiatives in Hickenlooper’s administration, investigation finds

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper accepted millions of dollars from corporations and nonprofits to fund initiatives and positions in his office — an arrangement that came with limited oversight and public disclosure despite the potential conflicts of interest. The most significant corporate donations came from the oil and gas industry, where Anadarko Petroleum and Noble […]

Posted inPolitics and Government, Transportation

Amid budget crunch, Colorado nets much-needed windfall for road projects with strong debt sale

For once, some good budget news. Colorado received a $111 million premium on a debt issuance of $500 million, thanks to strong investor demand for state-issued debt. As a result, budget writers say that $100 million in planned cuts to the Colorado Department of Transportation over the next two years — and some additional cuts […]

Posted inBusiness, Politics and Government

Gallagher led to $35 billion in residential property tax cuts. Now Colorado lawmakers want voters to repeal it.

In a desperate attempt to stave off further budget calamity, state lawmakers are fast-tracking a landmark ballot measure that would ask voters to repeal the Gallagher Amendment — the property tax-limiting constitutional provision that has provided an estimated $35 billion in tax relief to Colorado homeowners since 1983. The bipartisan proposal — which requires a […]

Posted inCOVID, Education, Health, News, Politics and Government

Colorado’s $30.3 billion coronavirus-sickened state budget explained in 10 numbers

Colorado lawmakers will begin debate Monday on the $30.3 billion coronavirus-sickened state budget — and no one is happy. “Do we love this budget? No,” said state Rep. Daneya Esgar, a Pueblo Democrat and chairwoman of the Joint Budget Committee. “This budget is hard. There are a lot of cuts in this budget.” The cuts […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

A conversation about what to expect when the Colorado legislature returns to the Capitol on Tuesday

Colorado lawmakers return to the state Capitol on Tuesday to revive the legislative session after the spread of the coronavirus led to a 10-week intermission. But the lawmaking won’t look the same. In the time since lawmakers hit pause, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything — including  the priorities for the Democratic-led General Assembly. The disease […]