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Pro-business in a dismal economy helps, but Hickenlooper faces budget-slashing nightmare

For somebody often awkward in his public speeches, prone to stutter-stepping his way through sentences, Governor-elect John Hickenlooper has superb skills as a salesman. Maybe it goes back to his days as a barkeep in Denver’s LoDo, bantering for a moment before moving onto the next table. Now he’ll be using those same skills as a street-savvy, business-friendly Democrat who will also become the most public face as state government faces the need to quickly cut $1.1 billion from the state budget.

Rep. Judd to go after business subsidies, ‘wipe out’ enterprise zones

In the face of the state's mounting budget crisis, state Rep. Joel Judd plans to introduce two bills next month that would dissolve tax-free business "enterprise zones" and that would levy taxes on services across the state. "The question is: Do we provide education for children or do we get to go to a salon without paying a tax?" he told the Independent.

Pizza man DelGrosso eschews GOP talking points and wins in Loveland

Thursday night, a Larimer County GOP selection committee passed over local favorites and tapped Domino’s Pizza chain owner Brian DelGrosso to fill the House...

State Long-Term Fiscal Commission a ‘philosophical battleground’ by design

It appears at first as though an important political-cultural wall has crumbled. Provocative conservative talk-radio host Amy Oliver is offering testimony in an official capacity on state budget and funding priorities. She is a member of the legislature's Interim Long-Term Fiscal Commission, the site this summer of what the Denver Post called a battle of philosophies.

News Nuggets: 30 July 2009

Dug up fresh, daily. THE POLITICS OF NO, NEW AND IMPROVED: House minority leader Mike May wants to bring change to the state's Joint Budget...

Maverick Rep. Marostica resigning to join Ritter team

Loveland Republican Rep. Don Marostica has been tapped by Gov. Bill Ritter to become the state's chief economic development director. A member of...

Ritter signs budget reform bill, ends reign of Arveschoug-Bird

Gov. Bill Ritter signed budget reform Senate Bill 228 into law this morning. The controversial bill -- the work of bipartisan co-sponsors Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, Rep. Don Marostica, R-Loveland, and Rep. Lois Court, D-Denver -- made an amazing journey this past legislative session. And, as law, will now serve to test hotly debated partisan theories about public spending in the state.

Innovative budget reform bill passes House

Senate Bill 228, the controversial budget reform bill introduced to lawmakers and the public in February, was passed in the House today, clearing yet another hurdle on its remarkable path toward loosening the state's famously rigid spending structure. Sponsored by Colorado Springs Democratic Sen. John Morse and Loveland Republican Rep. Don Marostica, the bill inspired exasperated attacks in the Senate that culminated in an historic GOP filibuster, where members of the minority party argued the bill was an unconstitutional attack on voter-mandated spending limits and that it would drain the state's transportation fund.

Real Republican leaders emerge in budget battle

Faced with unprecedented budget shortfalls that could tank higher education in the state, forcing campus closings and steep tuition hikes, Colorado lawmakers are leaning on pragmatists Al White, R-Hayden, and Don Marostica, R-Loveland — both of whom labor on the Colorado Legislature's Joint Budget Committee, which has got to be one of the most difficult and thankless jobs in government.

Tempers flare over budget impasse; Marostica to Penry: ‘Go jump in...

The Colorado Senate finally gave an initial OK to an $18 billion state budget late Thursday night after approving a plan over vehement GOP objections to lift $500 million from a state worker's compensation fund to avoid massive cuts in higher education funding. But not before things got mighty testy.