The Colorado Independent,2020
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The economy and the environment “both won” in Colorado's legislative session this year, according to an annual scorecard that a leading state environmental group released Thursday.
The campaign mailer features two men leaning together and kissing. The image comes from a treasured engagement photo snapped in New York city that was allegedly stolen and reworked by an anti-gay Virginia group. The group, the Public Advocate of the United States, dimmed the original crisp black and white shot, replaced Manhattan skyscrapers and the Brooklyn Bridge with hazy snow-covered mountains and cut across the middle of the image with words on a blood-red line intended to mock the couple and attack Republican Colorado Senator Jean White, from Hayden in the rural conservative northwest top of the state.
DENVER — Colorado's 2012 Legislature may not have achieved greatness. It may not have risen above partisan divide to solve complex problems and unify a state. It may not have addressed the state's economic malaise or found a way to reliably fund education for the long term.
DENVER-- In a highly anticipated Senate debate here Friday, Republicans launched early-round attacks against a bill that aims to create a mid-level state-university tuition rate for undocumented students who have graduated from Colorado high schools. Although the bill easily weathered the GOP barbs in the Democrat-controlled chamber, passing on a 20-13 voice vote, the two-hour back-and-forth showcased the lines of argument opponents of the bill will seek to sharpen before it arrives a few weeks from now in the Republican-controlled House.
The three Republican women in the Colorado state Senate this year have voted as a bloc in support of at least two big family-protection bills that their male Republican colleagues have opposed. Weeks ago, Sens Ellen Roberts, Nancy Spence and Jean White argued passionately from the right in favor of same-sex civil unions as a way to bolster families headed by gay couples. The senators argued again passionately this week in favor of legislation that would combat school bullying, which can sink child confidence with tragic results and tear up families.
As the federal government prepares for a disastrous shutdown pinned largely to a House Republican amendment that would defund Planned Parenthood, Colorado Republican Senators attempted to mimic the legislative strategy that has led to the Capitol Hill standoff. Weeks of tense negotiations in Denver produced a budget plan tentatively embraced on both sides of the aisle. Then on Friday in stepped social conservatives in the Senate who during floor debate inserted a hot-button "defund Planned Parenthood" amendment into the budget negotiation.
Thursday, the Senate Education Committee passed SB 126, also known as Colorado ASSET. The debate showed Republican legislators conflicted on the issue and Democrats ardently in support.
Though the power of the Tea Party weighed on the minds of some Republican legislators today, it was not strong enough to stop the passage of a resolution that would make it more difficult for people to amend the constitution through the ballot amendment process.
Forty-one women were sworn into the state legislature in Denver this week, strengthening Colorado's long standing as the women-lawmaker capital of the nation. The state gained five women in the Senate and lost one in the House. There are 17 women in the 35-member Senate. There are 24 women serving in the 65-member House. That's the largest percentage of women serving at any state capitol across the country and it's also the largest number of women ever to serve at the Colorado capitol. The Colorado Legislative Women’s Caucus is proud of these facts. It's also not sure exactly what these facts mean on the ground for constituents.
DENVER-- Governor Bill Ritter signed SB 191, the controversial teacher assessment bill passed at the end of the session into law Thursday. The governor said the bill was the capstone of his administration's work on education policy and a model for education nationwide.
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