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Democratic state Rep. Sal Pace's bill (pdf) seeking to rein in Pinnacol Assurance executive spending passed unanimously through the Republican-controlled House State Affairs committee last week. If that vote is any measure, the bill will pass into law in the next couple of months with little resistance. Indeed Pace's legislation will very likely gain more steam in April when a task force reviewing Pinnacol spending on travel for the last two years reports its findings. If what the public already knows about tax-exempt Pinnacol's executive travel habits is any measure, get ready for more bombshells from a Colorado battle-line in the lopsided contemporary American class war.
House Minority Leader Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, and Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, announced a bill Tuesday designed to limit Pinnacol Assurance's travel expenditures after it was revealed that Pinnacol had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on everything from spas to pink golf balls for top producers of the company.
After suing KMGH Channel 7 to block a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) inquiry into expenses related to an "extravagant" golf trip to Pebble...
Quasi-government entity Pinnacol Assurance company responded to an audit review yesterday in which it was disclosed that the worker's compensation firm "of last resort's" board of directors had approved "Golden Parachutes" for it executive officers in the case that it is released into the private sector. Some state lawmaker's expressed shock at the revelation, while advocacy group Colorado Ethic's Watch decried the action as one more in a string of concerns muddying the companies transparency that provided the perception of a board in bed with the company it is charged to oversee. Toro called for new rules peventing gifts between Pinnacol and its board.
Denver Republican state Rep. Joe Miklosi has introduced legislation that seeks to change the make-up of the governing board of tax-exempt Pinnacol Assurance, the state's largest workers compensation insurer. The bill seeks to diversify the perspective of the quasi-governmental business to include injured workers and open the board's proceedings to greater public scrutiny. Miklosi is getting significant pushback from Pinnacol, which is most strongly opposed to the provision in the bill encouraging public comment on board deliberations.
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.
Senate lawmakers on the left and right came together Thursday to fund more schools in Denver, passing Senate Bill 256. It was a remarkable feat but it may be overshadowed by the big-time poker game the Joint Budget Committee began dealing out Wednesday, which could cost already strapped higher education in the state roughly $400 million. The committee threatened to cut $300 million in state funds, which would automatically disqualify Colorado for $100 million more in federal stimulus cash.