Enjoy the sunshine today before the rain arrives. It’s time to 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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Colorado lawmakers appear to have finally reached consensus on so-called “construction defects reform” legislation, which could bring an end to a long-running argument — five years, in fact — regarding legal liabilities for homebuilders. The House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee is expected to make amendments that will advance HB17-1279 this afternoon.
Elsewhere, state legislators are still battling over the state budget, which is the only bill that they are Constitutionally-mandated to pass each session. Governor John Hickenlooper is expressing confidence that there will be no need for a “special session” later this summer.
► Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief after an upstart Democrat just fell short of the 50% required to win outright a Congressional seat that had been represented by Republican Rep. Tom Price (now President Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services). Democrat Jon Ossoff will now face Republican Karen Handel in a June runoff election for a seat that has historically been reliably-Republican. Democrats, meanwhile, are feeling good about what the Georgia Congressional race could portend for 2018.
► The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing a 90-day stay on the enforcement of new methane emissions rules. Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, informed the oil and gas industry of the move in a letter Wednesday to the American Petroleum Institute.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018. The high-profile Republican says that he is stepping away from politics to return “to the private sector,” but isn’t ruling out a future run for higher office.
► State Rep. Justin “Sleepytime” Everett (R-Littleton) announced on Tax Day that he will seek the Republican nomination for State Treasurer in 2018. As Peter Marcus writes for the Colorado Springs Gazette:
He has gained a reputation in the legislature as a lawmaker who is more likely to vote “no” than “yes.” At least one fellow lawmaker nicknamed Everett, “Dr. No,” a play on the James Bond villain, as reported this week by Colorado Public Radio’s Vic Vela.
“It’s not just a straight, ‘no,’” Everett explained when asked by Colorado Politics. “I come up with ideas and solutions.
“Saying ‘no’ in some cases and having the political will to do that I think is going to be necessary … Somebody has got to be the adult.”
How is it that just always voting ‘NO’ is some sort of medal of honor?
► Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman reports on legislative efforts to attempt to lower the minimum age for running for legislative office in Colorado:
A bipartisan group of legislators wants to ask voters whether to lower the minimum age to serve in Colorado’s General Assembly from 25 to 21.
A decade after voters shot down an identical proposal at the polls, lawmakers are back with legislation to refer a constitutional amendment to the 2018 ballot, and they say the arguments haven’t aged.
“We ask 21-year-olds to pay taxes, yet they can’t be involved in the legislation determining how the state spends its money. I think it’s only fair,” state Sen. Michael Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs, one of the prime sponsors of Senate Concurrent Resolution 17-001, told The Colorado Statesman.
Colorado is one of only three states — the others are Utah and Arizona — that set the minimum age at 25 for all of its lawmakers, sponsors of the proposal argue, while nearly every other state allows 21-year-olds or even 18-year-olds to run for the legislature. (A few states set higher requirements for the state Senate but allow 21-year-olds to run for the House.)
► Fox News windbag Bill O’Reilly is apparently getting booted off the network in the wake of news that Fox has had to settle multiple sexual harassment claims directed at the highest-rated cable talk show host in America.
► As the Denver Post reports, Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is the target of a new round of television ads intended to convince Tipton to get on board with another potential Obamacare repeal effort:
The 30-second spot, paid for by the Trump-aligned group America First Policies, urges viewers to call Tipton and thank him for “his courage and for standing with President Trump to repeal Obamacare now.”
The oddity comes from the fact that Tipton, R-Cortez, was the only House Republican from Colorado to publicly declare that he would have voted against the GOP health-care plan that collapsed last month — telling The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction afterward that he was opposed to the legislation. Before the vote, Tipton had been noncommittal.
The White House wants to try again, however, and America First Policies is spending $3 million to encourage a dozen House Republicans to get on board.
► The Colorado Springs Independent takes a look at the Christian tradition of providing “sanctuary” to church members.
► Colorado residents are pushing Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) to stand up for a Bureau of Land Management rule intended to prevent oil and gas companies from venting or flaring natural gas wells on federal and tribal land.
► Congresswoman Diana DeGette held a town-hall meeting in Denver on Tuesday evening that attracted hundreds of constituents.
► Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign a bill that seeks to explore passenger-rail service along I-25. The Grand Junction Sentinel has a rundown of several bill that were signed by Hickenlooper on Tuesday.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► There will be plenty of rallies and events to attend for “Earth Day” on Saturday.
► Republicans in the State Senate once again failed to advance legislation that would make it easier for businesses to discriminate against customers. Give it up already.