Kicking And Honking

How powerful is the insurance industry in Colorado?

Earlier in the week Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, announced plans to discard a bill that would have required auto-insurance policies to have $50,000 in additional medical coverage for drivers.

Tochtrop was the sponsor of the measure and said she would later submit a more water downed version of the proposal, after facing pressure and exaggerations from the insurance industry.During a hearing with Senate Local Government committee-the only hearing where the bill was discussed-two representatives from State Farm Insurance spoke in opposition to the bill, with one being a registered lobbyist.

Veteran lobbyist William Imig with Allstate also spoke against the bill, while 7 others spoke in favor of it.

Before that, the Farmers Insurance Employee and Agent Political Action Committee (PAC) gave $400 to Tochtrop’s campaign in September, according to Secretary of State records. 

During the same month, Political Works LLC, a lobbying firm employed by Progressive Auto Insurance, gave $200. Lobbyist Michael Feeley, who represents the Colorado Insurance Coalition, also gave $200.

According to government records, Political Works was actively lobbying against the bill, along with Farmers Insurance and the Colorado Insurance Coalition.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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