“Sine Die” sounds a lot more foreboding than it should. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► The race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Colorado continues to get weirder. On Tuesday, Marshall Zelinger of Denver7 broke the news in a series of reports that Jon Keyser appears to have qualified for the June 28th Primary ballot despite apparent widespread fraud on his signature petitions. Keyser’s name will likely remain on the ballot, but he has much bigger problems right now.
► The 2016 Colorado legislative session comes to an end today, as Joey Bunch reports for the Denver Post, without much movement on some of the key issues that first faced legislators in January:
Now, at the end of the legislative session, lawmakers are back where they started.
The General Assembly saved the 2016 term’s top priorities for the final days and struggled Tuesday to reach deals on most of them.
The Republican-led Senate rejected separate measures to reclassify how the state collects fees paid by hospitals and create a primary for the 2020 presidential election. And the Democratic-controlled House jettisoned a $3.5 billion bond package for transportation and a proposal to study how construction-defects laws are hurting the condominium market.
The biggest issue of the session — reclassifying the so-called “Hospital Provider Fee” to provide more money for key infrastructure needs — finally met its end in a Senate committee after Senate President Bill Cadman basically ran out the clock on making a decision. As the Colorado Springs Independent reports, there was wide support for the HPF issue…but it couldn’t overcome Cadman’s allegiance to the Koch Brothers-funded “Americans for Prosperity.”
The legislature also failed to come to an agreement on a bill that would get rid of Colorado’s Presidential caucus system in favor of a Primary vote.
► Voters in West Virginia and Nebraska got to pull some levers in the Presidential Primary on Tuesday. Democrat Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in West Virginia, though the result doesn’t put much of a dent in Clinton’s delegate lead. On the Republican side, Donald Trump was victorious in both West Virginia and Nebraska, which wasn’t a huge surprise since he’s the only GOP candidate still standing.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) was in Fort Collins recently to help drum up support from Congress for additional funding to combat the Zika virus.
► Budweiser is trying to rebrand its beer as “America” for the duration of the 2016 election cycle. Donald Trump is taking credit for this, somehow.
► Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal explains how last-minute discussions about full-strength alcohol sales in Colorado may or may not affect the November ballot:
A compromise bill to allow limited sales of alcohol in grocery stores continued its path through the Colorado Legislature Tuesday — despite representatives from Safeway and King Soopers confirming that they have no plans to pull their more expansive ballot initiative, even if Senate Bill 197 is signed into law.
SB 197 would allow grocers who now can get only one full alcohol-sales license per chain to acquire 19 more over the next 20 years, after which time they can get as many licenses as they want. To acquire the extra licenses, they must buy out the licenses of two liquor stores near them — or all of the liquor licenses within a 1,500-square-foot radius if there are more than two in that area…
…But while liquor stores, convenience stores , craft brewers, distillers, WalMart and Target all agreed to back SB 197 and abandon their various ballot initiatives, Safeway and King Soopers ended several days of speculation and told members of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee Tuesday that they would not. King Soopers government-relations director Kelli McGannon and Safeway public-affairs director Kris Staaf explained that they oppose several aspects of SB 197 — from the 1,500-foot radius clause to the limited number of licenses they can get to the requirement to buy out competition. The two said that no compromise could represent the free-market approach that voters want them to undertake.
► Republicans in the state senate had no problem approving legislation to pay out some $115 million in tax refunds to the oil and gas industry. The Senate also helped the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission in re-appointing several members to its board despite concerns from Democrats that the members are too close to the oil and gas industry to be effective.
► The State Senate also killed legislation intended to help cover costs to taxpayers when businesses don’t pay employees a livable wage or offer health insurance.
► House Democrats killed a proposal to put a $3.5 billion transportation bond measure on the November ballot.
► The Colorado Republican Party announced that it has filed a federal lawsuit against an unknown person seeking unspecified damages relating to the #NeverTrump Tweet that the State GOP continues to pretend did not come from an official source. Apparently, there is a way for you to sue…nobody.
► The city of Colorado Springs lost a lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of former residents who were apparently jailed for being unable to pay fines on “nonjailable offenses.” In other words, debtor’s prison.
► Republican Ryan Frazier has filed a lawsuit as part of his bid to keep his name on the June 28th Primary ballot for U.S. Senate. In a guest column published by the Aurora Sentinel, Frazier declares that he is fighting the good fight against an evil bureaucracy, or something. Frazier also discussed his ballot adventures on conservative radio.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Donald Trump has a plan to rewrite his ridiculous tax plan that has been shelled by critics for weeks.
► You want more Trump news? Okay, here’s some: This Associated Press interview did NOT go well for His Hairness. Also not going well for Trump are stories about his refusal to disclose his tax returns.
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