Welcome back to The Spot, where The Denver Post’s politics team captures what’s happening this week — from the Colorado legislature to Denver city hall, with a stop through the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.
State lawmakers used up every minute (almost literally) of the 2018 legislative session, delving deep into the eleventh hour Wednesday night to pass some of their most controversial and important bills this year — from a PERA fix to rules on where people can buy and drink beer and the future of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
But, hey, at least we’re done for a few months, right?! I’m just trying not to fall asleep at my desk…
We took deep dives in the past week into the question of whether Democrats can finally use gun control to dislodge U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s vise grip on his 6th Congressional District seat, slot homes in Denver and whether opioid legislation passed at the Capitol will really make a difference.
Fresh news: Colorado lawmakers vote to rescue PERA from the fiscal brink — and reach deals on beer and civil rights — as 2018 legislative session closes.
COLORADO: THE STATEHOUSE & BEYOND
- The package of bills to address the opioid crisis in Colorado passed. But will they make a difference?
- The highly contentious beer bill came down to the legislative session’s final day.
- State Sen. Randy Baumgardner was stripped of several committee positions at the legislature in the wake of a new report on an investigation into harassment allegations against him.
- Facilitating a vote trade will be illegal in Colorado under a bill seeking to address a trend that’s been around at least since the 2000 presidential election.
- After all the hoopla, state lawmakers have passed a transportation funding bill.
- Here’s how the road funding compromise came about.
- Phil Weiser is still winning the fundraising fight against Rep. Joe Salazar in the Democratic primary for the Colorado attorney general’s race. The cash-on-hand margin? More than $800,000.
- (Here’s who is running to become Colorado’s next attorney general.)
- Children’s autopsy reports would no longer be available for public view under the Colorado Open Records Act if Gov. John Hickenlooper signs this bill on his desk.
- Members of the Colorado board that decides how the state’s sex offenders are managed no longer will be able to profit from multimillion-dollar state contracts
- Colorado lawmakers approved — and then rejected — a bill to distinguish blockchain tokens from securities.
- Colorado’s shuttered solitary confinement prison will remain closed for the foreseeable future, the AP reports.
- Certain mom-and-pop sweepstakes arcades would be outlawed under a bill that passed the legislature.
- Licensed marijuana “tasting rooms” could be operating in Colorado by this time next year.
— Jesse Aaron Paul (@JesseAPaul) May 10, 2018
DENVER & THE SUBURBS
- Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan has entered home hospice care. He announced in March that he was diagnosed with cancer.
- A land use battle has been brewing in Parker over the last year that culminated in a decision by town leaders to annex land expressly to stop a trash transfer and recycling facility from locating on its border.
- Don’t think the fate of 59 acres of federally owned land in Lakewood has been decided. Last week, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless sued — for the second time — to stop the feds from selling the land at auction.
- Are you one of those who believes that once a tax or fee is put in place it never goes away? Think again. Residents in several Denver-area counties will be able to keep a few extra bucks.
- Denver Mayor Michael Hancock apologized this week for his 22-year-old son’s treatment of an Aurora police officer during a traffic stop.
- The Colorado Symphony has worked hard to shore up longstanding financial problems in the last few years. Now the city of Denver is helping the symphony stay in the black.
- A year after Colorado’s “most expensive insured catastrophe” — in the form of a hail storm centered largely on Jefferson County — Colorado Mills mall is still recovering.
- Park Hill residents have fought Denver’s parks department for more than a year to stop a land swap with a developer that will affect a planned pocket park. On Wednesday, the city dug in on the idea.
- Slot homes are no longer an option for developers in Denver after the City Council outlawed the current form from the zoning code this week.
- But for some neighborhoods, the city’s action comes too late.
D.C. POLITICS FROM A COLORADO PERSPECTIVE
- Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette questioned drug distributors on Tuesday over their role in fueling the opioid crisis, including those with a footprint in Colorado.
- Colorado’s congressional delegation was split in their reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to ditch the Iran nuclear deal.
- California is moving to require solar panels on all homes.
- Legalizing and taxing marijuana boosts government revenue – a little, a new report says.
- A Colorado woman is among five military wives who were threatened by Russian hackers who posed as Islamic State militants.
- Will growing calls for gun control lead to Mike Coffman’s ouster in 2018? Democrats have been unable to use the issue to win in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District before, but this year they think it will help them unseat the five-term GOP congressman.
- Speaking of Mike Coffman, he is again trying to force a vote on DACA legislation that would aid immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
- Colorado’s governor’s race is one of the many across the country forcing Emily’s List to pick favorites among women who are running. — The New York Times
- The dark side of Colorado’s Safe2Tell program — and what lawmakers are doing about it. — CBS4
- Pueblo, a steel town that voted for Trump, banks on renewable energy. — E&E News
- Denver police are giving homeless people more trespassing tickets as the city tries to crack down on urban camping. — Denverite
- Target has set an opening date for its small-format store on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. — 9News
- Could his ties to Donald Trump haunt the lone GOP candidate for New Mexico governor? — The Associated Press
- Eagle, Summit county businesses are pressuring U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner to back a wilderness bill. — The Vail Daily
- The article that led to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s resignation. — The New Yorker
- A county in southern Colorado finally has some public land. Here’s how. — Colorado Public Radio
- Larimer County’s only public landfill is almost full — and there’s no replacement yet. — KUNC
- Will the EPA drop its Clean Water Act lawsuit against Colorado Springs? — The Colorado Springs Independent
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— Jesse Aaron Paul (@JesseAPaul) May 9, 2018
Staff writers John Frank, Jon Murray, Mark K. Matthews and John Aguilar contributed to this newsletter.
This article was originally featured on The Denver Post.