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DENVER -- Conservative political groups hosted a training session at the on Tuesday night for citizens looking to testify on legislation at the Capitol this year.
The Colorado Senate killed a bill that would have established a legal limit in Colorado to the amount of THC drivers can have in their system. Lawmakers on the right and left who voted against the bill felt they were attempting to make policy without adequate information. House Bill 1261, sponsored in the Senate by Grand Junction Republican Steve King, died 20 nays to 15 ayes.
A bill to create health insurance exchanges in Colorado passed out of the Senate today, becoming one of the few bills to make it through the fires of Tea Party and other conservative groups this year. While Republicans largely voted against the bill, it passed with no discussion in the Democratically controlled Senate and is now on its way to the governor's desk.
Conservative state Senator Shawn Mitchell voted against the same-sex civil unions bill introduced this legislative session in Colorado, and there was nothing surprising about that. He did surprise, however, with his silence on the chamber floor during debate and with his absence in the media coverage around the bill. Turns out Mitchell, a high-profile opponent of gay rights in the past but also a strong libertarian and no prude, was waffling.
In the heated race for Colorado Republican Party chair last month, GOP legal counsel Ryan Call won in an unexpectedly lopsided first-round vote. High-profile party figures like Attorney General John Suthers and state Senator Shawn Mitchell said they endorsed Call because he was the kind of down-the-middle conservative the party needed to attract moderate and independent voters. On Wednesday, Call hosted his first major Party function, no middle-of-the-road affair.
Former Colorado Springs Senator Dave Schultheis is no longer holding forth on bills on the Senate floor in Denver, but he has continued to exert influence this year as the powerful force behind the conservative Republican Study Committee of Colorado. Now that influence may be waning. This week, a third of the RSCC flock quit the committee, rejecting the would-be radical-right revival.
Senate Republicans delivered Pat Steadman's same-sex civil unions bill to the Republican-controlled House Thursday with momentum and a message. Although the twelve Republican men in the Senate voted against it, the three Republican women in the Senate voted in favor of the bill, making the case to leaders of the Republican-controlled House to take up the bill with good faith and allow it to move beyond committees and onto the floor of the House for a vote.
Protests erupted Tuesday as Tea Party and free market activists clashed with union members, politicians and union supporters who had gathered on the steps of the State Capitol to rally against Wisconsin legislation to eliminate collective bargaining for many of that state’s workforce.
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.
Renewable energy backers today were buoyed by the defeat of three bills floated by Colorado Republicans aimed at rolling back clean energy policies passed largely by Democrats last legislative session.