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Wednesday Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler said that enough valid signatures had been collected to place Initiative 25 on the ballot November 1. The initiative would raise Colorado income and sales taxes for the next five years, raising approximately $536 million in the first year.
The absence of a progressive income tax structure in Initiative 25 has stopped some progressive organizations from getting on board with State Sen. Rollie Heath's attempt to stem what has become a yearly bleeding of dollars from public education. While Heath and others agree a graduated tax structure would have been the preferred path, they said the initiative remains education's best tourniquet while long-term solutions are worked on.
Last year government watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch asked the state's Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel to investigate charges that Colorado-licensed attorney and former Congressman Scott McInnis violated professional ethics when he reportedly plagiarized articles he was contracted to write for the Hasan Family Foundation. The plagiarism charges tanked McInnis's 2010 campaign for governor, but the Regulation Counsel found McInnis not guilty of either plagiarizing or misrepresenting his work to the foundation. The Counsel's report on the investigation released Friday fingers the Denver Post, which broke the plagiarism story, as the guilty party in the scandal, saying the paper's reporting was riddled with errors.
The Colorado Senate just voted to pass its own version of the annual rules bill and reject the House version sent over this morning with the "payday payback" amendment attached. The vote was cast on party lines except for Durango Republican Senator Ellen Roberts, who voted with the Democrats against the measure, reportedly because she agreed with lawmakers who have said the rules bill is no place to rehash controversial payday loan industry regulations.
After months of intense talks and partisan attempts to rearrange the congressional districts by Republicans and Democrats, the Colorado General Assembly's redistricting attempt failed to produce a map. The Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee killed an amended Republican map, moving the battle out of the Legislature--at least for now.
A bill to increase fees on payday loans died Thursday, leaving consumer advocates happy and payday lenders less so.
Democrats and Republicans held hearings on dueling redistricting maps at the Capitol Thursday while party leadership negotiated with the governor to find a solution to partisan gridlock.
The battle of the maps continues under the Capitol dome as Democrats released a new redistricting map today that they said is a compromise that is still open to change as the deadline quickly approaches for the General Assembly to provide the state with new lines of congressional representation.
House Republicans introduced their version of what could be the map of the political battlefield Tuesday. While Republicans called the map an olive branch extended to their Democratic colleagues,they actually carved out four of the seven districts to favor themselves.