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May 07, 2024 11:39 AM UTC

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 7)

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  • by: Colorado Pols

Some of you might end up in Kansas if these winds keep up. Let’s Get More Smarter! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

FIRST UP…

The Colorado legislature must wrap up the 2024 session tomorrow, and there are still a lot of boxes that need to be checked. Perhaps the biggest story is the intrigue surrounding a theoretical deal on property tax relief. As Nick Coltrain explains for The Denver Post:

Ping-ponging property tax rates could reach long-term stability if a proposal introduced in the Colorado legislature on Monday beats the clock for when the body must finish its work this week.

But the proposal, while rallying support inside the State Capitol, did not appear likely to stop ballot initiatives backed by powerful, deep-pocketed interests on the outside that are looking for steeper cuts. The truce sought by lawmakers, so far, has proved elusive.

Ahead of the formal unveiling of the new bipartisan property tax package Monday morning, Gov. Jared Polis joked about “white smoke” emerging over the Capitol — a sign that an impasse that hung over the building for weeks had finally ended. By mid-afternoon, however, old battle lines had deepened, again throwing uncertainty over the future of state property tax policy.

Governor Jared Polis and lawmakers believed they had a deal with SB24-233 that would avert costly ballot measures in the fall, but business groups and right-wing interests apparently don’t agree:

Proponents of the new bill said Colorado Concern, a powerful nonprofit alliance of business executives, had agreed to back down from its threats to run ballot Initiative 108, which would lower assessment rates across the state — and cost state government an estimated $2.25 billion to make schools and local governments whole. The group also is supporting Initiative 50, a measure backed by conservative policy institute Advance Colorado that would create a hard cap on the growth of property tax collections.

Colorado Concern, however, denied ever reaching an agreement to back down.

That was despite negotiating through the weekend; the group’s president and CEO, Dave Davia, was seen leaving the building Saturday in a tux and on his way to a “Mission: Impossible”-themed gala.

“Colorado Concern and its leadership have worked in good faith with the legislature for months toward meaningful and long-term property tax relief,” Davia said in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately, SB 24-233 does not represent material tax relief for Colorado homeowners and small business owners. A deal has not been reached at this time.

“We are committed to continuing to work toward a legislative solution in the final days of the session but have not removed our support for Initiatives 50 and 108.”

If the conservative ballot measures proceed and end up passing in November, it would mean devastating cuts to K-12 school funding.

 

Here’s a quick look at other top legislative items still rushing their way to the finish line (or not):

There is somewhere in the neighborhood of 230 bills that are not going to make it this legislative session.

 

 One of the dumbest annual legislative items — “Construction Defects Reform” — failed to get anywhere in the 2024 legislative session. As The Colorado Sun reports:

An effort to encourage condominium construction in Colorado by reducing the chance of lawsuits over building errors failed in a state House committee Friday evening, a sign of how complicated and politically fraught the issue is.

Senate Bill 106, the so-called construction defects bill, was unanimously rejected by the House Transportation, Housing and Local Government Committee at the request of one of the legislation’s main sponsors, Rep. Shannon Bird, a Westminster Democrat. Bird said the bill didn’t have enough votes to pass the House, the legislature’s more liberal chamber, and there was no path to compromise with such little time left in Colorado’s legislative session, which ends Wednesday.

“We have run out of time,” Bird said, vowing to bring the issue back to the Capitol in 2025.

Construction companies and homebuilders always claim that they aren’t able to build more condos or townhomes because of laws that allow buyers to sue them for shoddy work, which is a completely ridiculous argument to make for anyone who possesses working eyeballs. If you drive around anywhere in the Denver Metro area, good luck finding a sizable plot of land that is NOT already being developed.

The solution here is pretty simple: Don’t do shoddy work.

 

►Right-wing Republican nutballs in the legislature are still complaining about marriage equality. You can always count on State Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms (R-Colorado Springs) to speak for the most ridiculous among us.

 

► For more on the last week of the legislative session and other interesting items, check out the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast:

 

Click below to keep learning things…

 

 

Check Out All This Other Stuff To Know…

 

Denver7 explains the idea behind “lane filtering” for motorcyclists, which will become legal in August. 

 

Outgoing Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) endorsed Jeff Crank as his successor instead of State Party Chairman Dave Williams.

 

 Colorado Newsline reports on a continued push to prevent the nation’s governors from losing some control over National Guard units:

Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation led a bipartisan letter opposing a U.S. Air Force proposal that would shift authority over space units of the Air National Guard from the governor to the federal government.

The proposal would assign authority over the units to Space Force. It would be included as part of the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress approves every year to fund the military. The members of Congress said in a letter to House and Senate Committee on Armed Services leadership that the proposal would undermine the National Guard system and disrupt guard members’ intentions to serve both their country and their states and urged the committees to reject the proposal’s inclusion in the NDAA.

The letter was led by U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, a Centennial Democrat, U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, both Colorado Democrats, and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican. It has a total of 56 representatives and 29 senators signed on, including Democrats and Republicans. Other members of Congress from Colorado who signed the letter include Reps. Yadira Caraveo, a Thornton Democrat; Brittany Pettersen, a Lakewood Democrat; Joe Neguse, a Lafayette Democrat; and Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat.

Crow’s office said more than one-third of all space-related National Guard members live in Colorado. Other states that would be affected by the change include Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, New York and Ohio. [Pols emphasis]

 

Colorado’s snowpack levels are looking pretty good for a change.

 

Porn actress Stormy Daniels is testifying today in former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York. Trump, meanwhile, seems to almost want to go to jail for repeatedly violating a gag order in the case. 

The Washington Post considers how Americans might react to a jailed Trump.

 

TikTok has filed a lawsuit in an effort to get around legislation approved by Congress that could lead to a ban of the platform in the United States.

 

As James O’Rourke reports for The Colorado Times Recorder, Republican State Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms continues to float a completely unfounded idea that Democrats are planning to attempt to lower the age of consent in Colorado:

Speaking to two Colorado Republican activists last month, state Rep. Scott Bottoms (R-Colorado Springs) said that he “really believes” that Colorado’s legislative Democrats will introduce a bill to lower Colorado’s age of consent to 12 years old during next year’s legislative session. He offered no evidence to support the assertion.

Since taking office in 2023, Bottoms, who is also a pastor at the Church at Briargate in Colorado Springs, has become notorious for making frequent inflammatory statements, including on abortion and LGBTQ people.

His rhetoric is often aimed across the aisle at his Democratic colleagues, who he has accused of promoting pedophilia, or being pedophiles themselves, on more than one occasion. In 2022, before his election, Bottoms said that the lawmakers responsible for a sex education bill are “pedophiles and they should be in jail for that.”

Earlier, in 2020, Bottoms directly promoted conspiracy theories that the Democratic National Convention was involved in sex trafficking.

Bottoms has been floating this idea for months — always without even a shred of explanation as to where he came up with the claim.

 

As POLITICO reports, President Biden is warning of a significant increase in anti-semitism:

Biden on Tuesday warned of a “ferocious” surge of antisemitism in America and around the world, in comments that both called out the violent excesses of pro-Palestinian campus protest and reaffirmed the U.S. alliance with Israel.

“On college campuses, Jewish students [have been] blocked, harassed, attacked, while walking to class,” Biden declared. “Antisemitism, antisemitic posters, slogans calling for the annihilation of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state. Too many people denying, downplaying, rationalizing, ignoring the horrors of the Holocaust and Oct. 7… It is absolutely despicable, and it must stop.”

The address by Biden, delivered in the U.S. Capitol in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, comes as he is managing a series of crises, with protests rattling college campuses and Israel appearing ready to forge ahead with a planned Rafah invasion.

The New York Times has more on Biden’s speech.

 

This is really not what the Founding Fathers had in mind for Presidential elections. From Axios:

The titanic Biden-Trump election likely will be decided by roughly 6% of voters in just six states, top strategists in both parties tell us.

Each side will spend billions to reach those voters over the next six months.

Why it matters: Roughly 244 million Americans will be eligible to vote. But 99.5% of us won’t be deciders: We won’t vote. Or we always vote the same way. Or we live in states virtually certain to be red or blue.

Zoom in: Both campaigns are obsessed with six states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

 

Denver7 checks in on efforts to curb abuse on school buses.

 

The University of Denver says it will generate 100% of its electricity from solar energy sources within just three years.

 

 

 

Say What, Now?

 

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Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

State Rep. Mike Lynch (R-Wellington), the former House Minority Leader who lost his leadership job because of an awful 2022 DUI that he failed to mention, has a curiously-named leadership PAC registered with the State of Colorado:

 

 

Things just keep getting worse for South Dakota puppy-killing Governor Kristi Noem — and all because of her own words. As Aaron Blake writes for The Washington Post:

To recap: Not only has Noem faced bipartisan backlash for her story about her young dog Cricket, but other anecdotes in the book have also been called into question in recent days. There’s the meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that seems unlikely to have happened. And there is the meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron she says she canceled, and the threatening conversation with former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley she says she recalled. (Representatives for Macron and Haley have rejected her accounts.)Through it all, Noem and her office have offered shifting accounts and, especially on the Kim story, proven bizarrely evasive.

After the South Dakota Scout last week questioned the Kim meeting — there is no record of it; Noem was a backbencher in Congress at the time; and relations between the countries were especially frosty, leading some experts to conclude there’s no way it took place — Noem and her office set about cleaning up.

Her spokesman initially cited “conflated world leaders’ names in the book” and said they would be addressed — a clear suggestion that Kim was mixed up with someone else.

But since then, Noem has declined repeated attempts to explain the situation. She won’t even say that she didn’t meet Kim.

There’s really no reason to believe much of anything Noem says anymore.

 

 

ICYMI

 

Will Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene still move forward with her threat to call another “motion to vacate” the House Speaker’s chair?

 

► Get caught up on the Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar battle and impress your kids!

 

 

 

Don’t forget to give Colorado Pols a thumbs up on Facebook and Twitter. Check out The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com

 

 

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