High Plains Public Radio

Colorado Legislature

Colorado Independent

During the 2015-16 session of the Colorado House of Representatives, Democrats held a 3-seat advantage over Republicans.

That could change tonight. Here are some Colorado house elections you should be keeping an eye on tonight, according to The Colorado Independent.

In Broomfield’s District 33, Democratic Rep. Dianne Primavera has reached her term limit. The seat has flipped between Democrats and Republicans three times in the past four elections.

Joey Bunch / Denver Post

A women’s organization in Colorado has drawn the attention of The Denver Post for giving its highest marks to Democrats. On a recent scorecard of Colorado legislators, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado gave almost every Democrat a score of 100.

David Zalubowski / AP photo

The Colorado legislative session ended last week, and it was a period of missed opportunities, says Colorado Public Radio. The two parties agreed on what the problems facing Coloradans were. The trouble is, they couldn’t agree on the solutions. The result: the state’s residents still face many issues going forward.

National Conference of State Legislatures / fivethirtyeight

Are higher-paid legislators better at running their states? There are two schools of thought. Many experts believe when it comes to state government, you get what you pay for. Conversely, states where lawmakers bring in higher salaries have often been linked with corruption. Even so, states like Texas with a very low legislative income are certainly not free from corruption. And low pay can limit state representation to the wealthy.

Tanya Spillane / Flickr Creative Commons

A raft of new laws went into effect in Colorado last week, reports Fox 31 Denver.

One major law will mean money in the pockets of the state’s lowest-paid workers. The minimum wage jumped eight cents, to $8.31. The minimum for tipped workers is now up from $5.21 to $5.29. However, this is a small raise compared to the $15 wage some workers had asked for. The new rate is merely part of a state mandate that the minimum wage be adjusted for inflation each year.

In Integrity Rankings, Every State Scores Poorly

Nov 16, 2015
Center for Public Integrity

The Center for Public Integrity has released its 2015 State Integrity Investigation, reports The Rural Blog. The rankings are based on various measures of legislative integrity, transparency, and accountability. And the news isn’t good. No state scored higher than a C overall.

denverpost.com

The Denver Post reported the Colorado Legislature will open the legislative session facing these issues:

  • Education.  How to finance education with the failure of Amendment 66.  With significant reserves in the state education fund, lawmakers could use this pot of money to initiate some of the bill's more popular elements, such as a rolling student count system rather than a single count day for purposes of school funding. A financial transparency website that tracks money to the individual school level also proved popular.
  • Flood recovery.  September's floods impacted 24 counties and killed 10 people. To date, millions of dollars in state and federal money have gone toward the disaster recovery.
  • Gun Battles.  Republicans will attempt to "reform, rescind or revise" some of the gun bills.