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In the era of torture memos, government spying and secret rendition, Republican Sen. Greg Brophy is blogging about "surrendering liberties" in response to laws that would regulate phoning-while-driving. "It’s all about liberty and logical thinking," he writes, reaching for the stars. "The banning of cell phone usage is an affront... Liberty cannot be surrendered without careful consideration. Society must benefit greatly from the surrender of liberty and in this case society doesn’t, so it is just an unwanted and unnecessary infringement."
For a pretty unassuming fellow, Colorado Senate President Peter Groff, D-Denver, can still stir up the languid state Capitol press corps. Rumors out of the Golden Dome, reported by the Denver Post today, claim that Groff will resign as top dog for a position with the Obama administration. That news comes as the Colorado Senate announced this afternoon that it rejected the long bill sending the proposed state budget back to the Joint Budget Committee for the first time in Colorado's legislative history.
Colorado inched closer toward fiscal sanity today. Budget reform bill 228 passed the Senate this morning after roughly three hours of back and forth on the chamber floor, where GOP senators renewed the same objections they voiced to no effect during the vote held two weeks ago — objections that the bill is unconstitutional and will lead to greater taxes and big government, et cetera.
On Wednesday, the Colorado Senate Finance Committee approved Senate Bill 228 — legislation that seeks to provide greater flexibility to lawmakers in deciding where to spend the state's shrinking revenues. Sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Morse, the bill would eliminate the so-called Arveschoug-Bird provision, which restricts the state's General Fund to 6 percent growth per year and allocates any surplus specifically to transportation and construction projects. Morse's bill and the problem it seeks to address are tongue-twisting and arcane, yet the small corner room of the Capitol where the hearing took place was filled with laptop jockeys, community leaders, a webcast crew and a buzz that hung in the air when it became clear that SB228 was going to clear its first public hurdle.
Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton, said he’s perplexed by the growing drumbeat from Republicans who want to gut the new oil and gas drilling regulations or at least delay them for a year or two.
Former PolitickerCO.com reporter Jeremy Pelzer -- whose daily postings on the now-defunct site were must-reads for Colorado's politically attuned -- lands this week at Elevated Voices, 5280's everything-to-know-about-Denver blog. Monday's posting examines potential challengers to Rep. Betsy Markey, who unseated three-term Republican Marilyn Musgrave and became the first Democrat to represent the sprawling 4th Congressional District in more than three decades.