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Ferrandino weighs taking on payday loan industry in Colorado

The payday loan industry gouges Coloradans like it does Americans across the country, targeting mostly low-income single women, including military spouses. Denver Democratic state Rep. Mark Ferrandino tried and failed to introduce legislation in 2008 that would have curbed the worst of the abuses, where desperate borrowers take loans at hundreds of percent interest and enter a debt cycle they rarely are able to exit. Ferrandino may try it again this year.

Top Senate Democrats pay bonuses while state struggles with cutbacks

Outgoing Colorado Senate President Peter Groff paid eight legislative employees $30,000 in bonuses before leaving office to take a job with the Obama administration, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. His successor in the leadership post, Longmont Democrat Brandon Shaffer paid a $5,000 bonus to a single employee at the end of the legislative session, which saw lawmakers hacking hundreds of millions of dollars amid a state budget crisis that has led to plans for unpaid furloughs for other state employees.

More vacancy committees slated for off-session legislative hopefuls

Michael Johnston's win in the SD 33 vacancy committee election Monday night is just one of a handful of district party gatherings expected within the next few weeks to choose successors for state lawmakers departing for greener pastures.

Vacancy group picks Obama education advisor Johnston to replace Groff

High school principal Michael Johnston, who advised Barack Obama on education policy during his presidential campaign last year, won election at a vacancy committee meeting Monday night in northeast Denver to take the place of Democratic Senate President Peter Groff representing Senate District 33 in northeast Denver.

Obama education advisor Johnston joins race for Groff’s Senate seat

Should Michael Johnston, a white, Harvard- and Yale-educated school principal who grew up in the ski town of Vail, really have a shot at being appointed to the state Senate in one of the most ethnically diverse districts in Colorado?

Speaker Carroll notifies Facebook friends he won’t seek Groff’s seat

Laying to rest speculation he might ditch control of the Colorado House of Representatives to make a bid for a state Senate vacancy, House Speaker Terrance Carroll spelled out his intentions this weekend on his Facebook page:
Terrance Carroll says lots of folks have been asking if I will seek Peter Groff's soon to be vacant state senate seat. The answer is no. I like being Speaker of the House.

Ritter, Kennedy and surprise Republican activist applaud Groff nod

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter on Friday called the appointment of Senate President Peter Groff to a U.S. Department of Education post a "tremendous gain" for the federal government but a "big loss" for the state in a prepared statement. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Friday afternoon Groff was the Obama administration pick to head the department's Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Center. Ritter and Groff are both Democrats.

It’s official: Groff leaving state Senate for federal education appointment

Colorado Senate President Peter Groff is the Obama administration's choice to be the director of the U.S. Department of Education's Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Center, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Friday afternoon.

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.

It’s unofficial ‘Peter Groff Day’ in the Colorado Senate

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.