Colorado

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...

State Legislative Chambers Vulnerable to Democratic Wave Election | 06-15-2018

In a normal wave election - which is typical of the first midterm election of a new president - the party out of power picks up six to eight state legislative chambers. A normal wave in November could give Democrats control of both chambers in Arizona...

Governors in Brief - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

CARNEY MAKES FIRST DE SPORTS BET : DELAWARE Gov. Jon Carney (D) kicked off his state’s entry into legal sports wagering by making its first legal sports bet since the Supreme Court legalized the practice last month. Carney placed a $10 wager...

Business - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

CA Department of Insurance Approves The CALIFORNIA Department of Insurance approves the state’s first-ever insurance coverage for legal cannabis businesses. The new policies will cover both property and liability coverage (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT...

Education - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

MI Senate Approves Seven-Bill Package The MICHIGAN Senate approves a seven-bill package that would, among several things, require all school districts to develop an emergency operations plan and consult with law enforcement before the construction...

Health & Science - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

MA Senate Approves HB 4539 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves HB 4539 , so-called “red flag” legislation that would allow the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others. The measure returns to the...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Budgets in Brief - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA GOV PROPOSES LAST STATE BUDGET: CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) unveiled the final budget of his tenure, a plan calling for $199.3 billion in total spending and projecting an $8.8 billion surplus, $7.6 billion of which would be deposited into two...

The Local Front - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA Federal Judge Strikes Down A federal judge in CALIFORNIA strikes down a ban on shipping coal through the Port of OAKLAND . U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the City Council did not have enough evidence that the coal operations would pose...

Reinsurance Programs Catching On in States | 05-11-2018

Since 2016 at least 19 states have introduced and 9 have enacted legislation creating a state reinsurance program and/or authorizing the state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to obtain federal funding...

State Pot Revenues Surging But Still Relatively Insignificant | 05-11-2018

Between 2014 and 2017, tax revenues from the sale of marijuana shot up about 400 percent in Washington. In Colorado they surged about 900 percent. But the $314 million and $223 million in marijuana tax revenues, respectively, in the two states that were...

Budgets in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CA ECONOMY NOW WORLD’S 5TH LARGEST CALIFORNIA’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth-largest, according to data released this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce. California’s 2017...

Business - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

VT Senate Approves HB 196 The VERMONT Senate approves HB 196 , which would grant workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year. The bill, which would ensure employees are paid 70 percent of their wages for a maximum of 12 weeks of combined parental leave...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

The Local Front - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CO City Council Endorses The DENVER City Council unanimously endorses new rules that, among several things, require so-called “slot homes” – town homes that face sideways, allowing developers to fit more units on the property –...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Politics in Brief - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

REDISTRICTING REFORM BOUND FOR OH BALLOT OHIO voters will consider a single statewide question on their May 8 ballots, asking their approval to establish rules for congressional redistricting. No such rules exist currently, making the process inherently...

The Local Front - May 7 2018 | 05-04-2018

CA Board Announces Plan LOCAL FRONT : The LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA County Board of Supervisors announces a plan to install showers and bathrooms for the homeless to use in or near some of the city’s 93 metro train stations. A final plan is expected...

Politics in Brief - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

FBI NABS AL LAWMAKER IN CORRUPTION STING : FBI agents arrested longtime ALABAMA Rep. Jack Williams, former state GOP Chairman Marty Connors and Trina Healthcare CEO Ford Gilbert last Monday on corruption charges. Gilbert is accused of devising a scheme...

Budgets in Brief - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

HICKENLOOPER SIGNS CO BROADBAND TAX BILLS : Seeking to bolster broadband buildout in the Centennial State, COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed SB 2 , which allocates $115 million in state funds toward extending high-speed broadband service to...

Many States Considering Bans on Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ | 03-30-2018

As of March 22, at least 27 states had introduced bills this year prohibiting pharmaceutical benefit manager (PBM) or health insurer contracts that prevent pharmacists from informing customers about alternatives to medications they’ve been prescribed...

Governors in Brief - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

INSLEE SIGNS QUARTET OF WA #METOO BILLS : Saying “We must do better to make sure employers understand there is no place for these behaviors in the workplace,” WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed four bills last month that address sexual...

Energy - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

CO Governor Signs SB 9 COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signs SB 9 , which allows Centennial State residents to store energy gleaned from renewable sources like solar power without discrimination in rates or excessive barriers in connecting to the...

The Rewards and Perils of Redistricting | 03-16-2018

In democracies, voters are supposed to choose their legislative representatives. Increasingly, however, U.S. courts have found that representatives choose their voters through partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. With...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

Budgets in Brief - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

POT LEGALIZATION HAS POSITIVE IMPACT ON CO COUNTY: A study by researchers at COLORADO State University-Pueblo found that the marijuana industry had a net positive impact of over $35 million on Pueblo County in 2016, despite increasing costs for law...

Budgets in Brief - February 19 2018 | 02-16-2018

POT SALES SET ANOTHER RECORD IN CO: Marijuana sales reached a record $1.5 billion in COLORADO in 2017, topping the previous record of $1.3 billion set in 2016. About $1.09 billion came from sales of the drug for recreational use and the rest came from...

Business - February 12 2018 | 02-09-2018

Happening In CO The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City conditionally grants a master account to The Fourth Corner Credit Union, a COLORADO credit union created to exclusively serve the legal marijuana industry. The approval lists a number of conditions...

Blockchain Bills Under Consideration in 14 states | 02-09-2018

At least 18 bills dealing with blockchain or distributed ledger technology have been introduced in 11 states so far this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system. Another five blockchain-related measures that were introduced...

State Charitable Giving Programs Model for SALT Cap Workaround | 01-12-2018

In response to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) included in the federal tax overhaul, lawmakers in high-tax states like California are considering allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions to state funds...

Budgets In Brief - January 15 2018 | 01-12-2018

STATES TURNING TO TOLLS At least a half-dozen states, including COLORADO and FLORIDA, are imposing tolls on roads that used to be toll-free or building new toll-only lanes this year, and more are expected to do the same next year. With transportation...

Govs Seek Bipartisan CHIP Solution | 12-15-2017

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) led a bipartisan group of governors last week in urging Congress to work together to quickly reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for low income families before...

Mileage-Based Car Fee Test Goes Well in CO | 12-15-2017

The initial feedback from a four-month pilot program by the Colorado Department of Transportation exploring the prospect of charging drivers by-the-mile instead of by-the-gallon to provide funding for transportation was mostly positive. Over 90 percent...

2018: A Year of Living Dangerously | 12-15-2017

The shadow of President Donald Trump and the Republican tax bill will hover over state governing bodies in 2018, a year of midterm elections that Tim Storey, political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says will be “a referendum...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

More Familiar Issues Likely to Draw State Lawmakers’ Attention in 2018 | 12-08-2017

As SNCJ ’s Rich Ehisen reported last week, some of the issues likely to receive the most attention from state lawmakers next year are those that are already familiar, such as health care, the opioid epidemic and sexual harassment. Here are several...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

Pension Problems Worsen in Most States | 11-17-2017

As of 2016, the last year for which complete data is available, states had only 71.1 percent of the assets they needed to cover future pension payments to retirees, down from 74.5 percent in 2015. New Jersey was in the worst shape, with a pension funding...

Governors In Brief - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

SNYDER SIGNS MI POLICE MICONDUCT LAW Looking to prevent police agencies from hiding misconduct that leads to terminations, MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation last week that requires law enforcement agencies to keep records of the circumstances...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Budgets In Brief - July 24 2017 | 07-21-2017

AK REACHES OIL TAX DEAL The ALASKA House and Senate reached agreement on a deal ( HB 111 ) to stop giving cash payments to oil companies covering 35 percent of losses incurred developing new Last Frontier oil fields. The policy was originally adopted...

States Address Cybersecurity, Election Reform And Other Issues | 07-07-2017

Despite the unusual amount of uncertainty heading into this year’s state legislative sessions, a few of the issues we predicted last December might receive particular attention from lawmakers, such as cybersecurity and transportation funding, have...

Crime & Punishment - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Nevada Gov Vetoes AB303 & AB259 Citing his belief that the bill infringed upon executive branch authority, NEVADA Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoes AB 303 , which would have barred the Silver State from utilizing private prisons (LAS VEGAS SUN...

Crime & Punishment - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Colorado Signs HB 1035 COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signs HB 1035 , which allows sexual assault and stalking victims to break a residential lease to better elude their tormentors (DENVER POST).

Health & Science - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Nevada Approves AB 374 The NEVADA Senate approves AB 374 , which would make the Silver State the first to allow anyone to buy into Medicaid, the public program that covers low-income Americans. It is now with Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) for consideration...

Potpourri - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Rhode Island Approves SB 555 The RHODE ISLAND Senate approves SB 555 , which would require parents to take an online driving course ahead of their children obtaining a driver’s license. It moves to the House, which passed a similar bill last...

More Govs Join Climate Alliance | 06-09-2017

Nine more states last week joined the newly-created U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition to uphold the tenets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, an international coalition aimed at combatting the impacts of global climate change. The coalition was formed...

Governors In Brief - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Greitens Calls MO Abortion Special Session MISSOURI Gov. Eric Greitens (R) said he will call a special session this week to consider new abortion regulations, in part to counter a St. Louis city ordinance he said made it an “abortion sanctuary...

States Not Sweating Federal Tax Reform This Year | 06-02-2017

Talk of tax reform in the nation’s capital at the start of the year had state lawmakers and governors scrambling to prepare for it. But the panic has subsided, evidently because state officials no longer think it will happen before the end of the...

Budgets In Brief - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

Tax Swap In Works In LA The LOUISIANA House passed a pair of bills last week ( HB 359 and HB 360 ) that would establish flat tax rates for individuals of 3.95 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, while eliminating the state deduction for federal...