Colorado

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...

Medicaid Cuts Threaten Obamacare Replacement Bill | 05-19-2017

States would face demanding fiscal challenges, especially with Medicaid, if the pending Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becomes law. Proposed heavy cutbacks in Medicaid could potentially doom the American Health Care Act (AHCA...

Soda Tax Fizzles In Santa Fe | 05-12-2017

For the past couple of years, taxes on sodas and other sugary drinks have been on a roll. In November 2014 Berkeley, California became the first city to pass such a tax. And that levy’s dual benefit of raising new revenue while reducing the consumption...

Environment - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Colorado Approves HB 1339 The COLORADO House approves HB 1339 , which would use public bonds to help ease the way to decommissioning aging coal plants. The measure, which would also use some of the bond sale revenue to help displaced workers from shuttered...

Governors In Brief - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Hickenlooper Orders Oil & Gas Inspections In the aftermath of an explosion caused by a gas leak, COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) ordered oil and gas companies statewide to inspect and pressure-test oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of...

USPS Upsets AK Marijuana Tax Payment System | 05-04-2017

When one of the owners of Rainforest Farms in Juneau, Alaska tried to mail a box of cash to Anchorage last month to make a regular tax payment, the U.S. Postal Service refused to deliver it. Not because of insufficient postage or missing address information...

Budgets In Brief - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

ND LAWMAKERS ROLL BACK SPENDING NORTH DAKOTA’s Republican-led Legislative Assembly passed a budget for the 2017-19 biennium last month that reduces general fund spending to 2011-13 budget levels. The $4.3 billion in general fund spending included...

Crime & Punishment - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Crime In Colorado The United States Supreme Court rules that people freed from prison when their convictions are reversed deserve a refund of what they paid in fees, court costs and restitution. The ruling also orders COLORADO to refund several thousand...

Governors In Brief - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

AK Lawmakers Dodge Walker Call for Action On Appointments Saying it was “time to bring [them] to a close,” ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker (I) issued a proclamation last week calling for a joint session of the Last Frontier Legislature to force...

Sanctuary Cities Split Country | 04-28-2017

To anyone who has watched the national political culture split into two poles over the last decade or so, it should be little surprise that the country is moving in opposite directions on so-called sanctuary cities, those which bar local officials from...

States Resort To Rural Job ‘Schemes’ | 04-07-2017

The same distress over the disappearance of jobs in rural communities that helped drive the successful presidential campaign of Donald Trump is leading some states to turn to a complex economic development approach that hasn’t lived up to its advocates’...

CO Considers Far-Reaching Rural Aid Bill | 04-07-2017

A bill ( SB 267 ) introduced in Colorado last month would allocate $300 million for road projects in rural counties, $400 million for rural school districts and millions of dollars for rural hospitals that serve large numbers of Medicaid participants...

Opioid Overdose Rates Up and Rising in States | 03-31-2017

Between 2014 and 2015 death rates due to opioid overdose rose by over 25 percent - more than twice the national average (11 percent) - in five states and the District of Columbia. The five states with the highest opioid death rates in 2015 were West Virginia...

States Delaying Payment of Income Tax Refunds | 03-31-2017

A lot of taxpayers are going to be waiting longer than usual for their state tax refunds this year. At least 21 states, including Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin, say refunds could be delayed...

Dams With ‘High Hazard Potential’ Scattered Across U.S. | 03-17-2017

As of 2015, 1,235 of North Carolina’s dams were classified as “high hazard potential” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest number in the nation. Texas had 1,212 dams with that same hazard potential, meaning that a...

Business - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

New Hampshire Approves HB 436 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves HB 436 , which would exempt companies converting or transmitting virtual currency like Bitcoin from state banking laws that regulate money transmitters. It moves to the Senate (NEW HAMPSHIRE...

Crime & Punishment - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

US Supreme Court Rules Overturn Colorado Supreme Court Ruling The United States Supreme Court rules that reports of racist comments by jurors may require setting aside a verdict and holding a new trial. The ruling overturns a COLORADO Supreme Court...

Social Policy - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

Supreme Court Returns Virgina Case The Supreme Court of the United States returns to a lower court the case of a transgender VIRGINIA boy who was refused the right to use the boys’ restroom at his high school. The SCOTUS returned the case to...

Business - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

Indiana Approves HB 1133 The INDIANA House approves HB 1133 , which bars local governments from banning Airbnb and similar short-term rental services. The bill moves to the Senate (INDIANAPOLIS STAR). New Jersey Signs AB 3695 NEW JERSEY Gov....

Supreme Court Rebuffs Challenge to CO’s ‘Amazon Tax’ | 12-16-2016

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a Colorado law aimed at enabling the state to collect more of the sales taxes that go unpaid each year by Colorado residents on their out-of-state purchases, costing the state more than...

Majority of States Have Expanded Medicaid Under ACA | 12-16-2016

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but left to states discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in...

Politics in Brief - December 12 2016 | 12-09-2016

CO Ballot Measure Raises Bar for Future Initiatives Last month COLORADO voters approved Amendment 71 , raising the bar for passage of constitutional amendments from a simple majority to a vote of at least 55 percent, and requiring signatures from 2...

Governors In Brief - November 21 2016 | 11-18-2016

Hickenlooper Pondering Slower Hospital Growth in CO COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) told reporters last week he might propose requiring hospitals seeking to expand to file proof with the state to show there is a need for such growth. At least 35...

Budgets In Brief - November 21 2016 | 11-18-2016

$1.3B Budget Shortfall Expected In CT CONNECTICUT is facing an estimated budget shortfall of $1.3 billion next year, due to a surge in fixed costs, including debt and pension payments. Despite that fact Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said he is not likely...

Soda Tax Measures Start Of National Movement? | 11-11-2016

Among the more notable local ballot measures contested on Nov. 8 were proposed soda taxes in three California cities and Boulder, Colorado. Despite $40 million in spending from soda giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, Boulder’s Measure 2H, a levy...

Trump Coattails Carry Legislators But Not Ballot Measures | 11-11-2016

The white rural voters who helped propel Donald Trump to his stunning victory in the presidential race and enabled Republicans to keep their majorities in both houses of Congress on Nov. 8 may have helped some GOP candidates further down-ticket too, with...

Budgets In Brief - November 7 2016 | 11-04-2016

VW Settlement to Offset Budget Cuts in MO MISSOURI Gov. Jay Nixon (D) said the state will use the first $8.7 million share it received from Volkswagen as part of a settlement over the German carmaker’s emissions cheating scandal to offset earlier...

Beyond November: Health Care And Pensions Challenge States | 10-21-2016

As Election Day nears, Democrats seem on track to regain some of the ground they have lost to Republicans in statehouses during the Obama years. But celebrations by the victors, whether Democrats or Republicans, are likely to be muted as states confront...

Citizen Initiatives Push Ballot Measures Left This Year | 10-14-2016

In addition to state legislative elections that could flip party control of 18 chambers across the country, 157 statewide ballot measures will also be contested in 35 states on Nov. 8. The measures include an unusually high number of citizen initiatives...

Governors In Brief - September 12 2016 | 09-09-2016

DE Gov. Markell Signs Mental Health Bills Acting on reforms suggested by a task force he created, DELAWARE Gov. Jack Markell (D) has signed a pair of bills aimed at improving the state’s mental health system. One measure ( SB 245 ) would establish...

Budgets In Brief - September 5 2016 | 09-02-2016

TX DPS Wants $1B for Border Security The TEXAS Department of Public Safety is seeking an additional $320 million in the state’s next two-year budget - on top of its current funding base of $750 million - to beef up border security. (DALLAS MORNING...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

‘Buy And Dry’ Diverting Water From Farms To Cities in West | 08-12-2016

An unusual public auction was held recently at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland, Colorado. Up for bid was about 400 acres of farmland located near Denver. But the real draw was the hundreds of units of Colorado Big Thompson water - part of a...

Governors In Brief - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

Court Rejects Blago Bid U.S. District Judge James Zagel rejected a request from former ILLINOIS Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to release him from a COLORADO prison, instead reinstating his 14-year sentence on his 2011 conviction on numerous corruption charges...

States Starting To Bet On Daily Fantasy Sports | 08-05-2016

Seven states - Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia - have passed laws this year aimed specifically at legalizing daily fantasy sports (DFS) games on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. In addition, Kansas enacted...

Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Has Some Successes, Momentum | 08-05-2016

The daily fantasy sports industry had a few wins this spring in its first full year of pushing to make its games explicitly legal across the country. And while the question of whether the games are legal remains unclear in much of the nation, and their...

Politics In Brief - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

CO Voters to Consider Minimum Wage Increase A proposal to raise COLORADO’s minimum wage appears to be headed for the state’s November ballot, with backers saying this month that they expected to deliver 200,000 petition signatures to the...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...