Colorado Legislature

Creative Commons/Flickr/Vox Efx

In November the Republican party in Colorado is aiming for control of the State Senate and one key race is in the 5th Senate District. It includes Pitkin and Eagle Counties. The seat is up for grabs because Senator Gail Schwartz of Snowmass Village is term-limited. Three candidates, each new to state politics, are urging voters to turn out to the polls and, so-called “dark money” is flowing into the race. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

There’s often a divide between Colorado’s rural lawmakers and those representing larger communities along the urban Front Range. That dynamic was apparent during the 2014 legislative session with Republicans routinely blaming Democrats for waging what they said is a "war on rural Colorado."

People living in many parts of rural Colorado still don’t have access to high speed Internet. It’s a problem for schools and businesses, and in eastern Colorado it is making it harder for farmers to take full advantage of the latest technology even as state lawmakers passed legislation to try and even the playing field.

A neighboring county is grappling with a huge mudslide, west of the Roaring Fork Valley.

It’s so dangerous a search for three missing residents has been called off and another slide could come down.

Construction begins in Carbondale for a decorative new roundabout on highway 133.

We’ll hear different opinions about a federal plan to beef up environmental protection for certain bodies of water.

Some Colorado companies are starting to use the state’s new logo but there have been hiccups for the branding effort.

Finally, we’ll hear from a state representative whose district covers Pitkin County about her busy time at the Statehouse.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition – right now.

State of Colorado/Department of Revenue

Lawmakers in Denver will vote on a bill Monday that would raise money for the 10th Mountain Division Foundation. The legislation would charge an extra fee for the 10th Mountain Division specialty license plate. After sailing through the House, the bill is getting a re-vote in the Senate. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

www.gailschwartz.org

With about five weeks left in Colorado’s legislative session, lawmakers are going over the budget, looking into fighting wildfires and voting on internet access for rural areas. State Senator Gail Schwartz is involved with these efforts. She’s a democrat from Snowmass Village and Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen sat down with her on Sunday. Here is their entire conversation.

A bipartisan committee at the statehouse has moved forward a bill to make it easier to remove people’s mug shots from commercial websites if they were never convicted of the crime for which they were arrested.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Muffet

Ballots for the November election are being mailed to voters across the state on Tuesday. Some county clerks say this election will be more convenient for voters than past elections, thanks to a new state law. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Gabrielle Petron / Cooperative Institute for Research In Environmental Sciences

Some of Colorado’s top oil and gas promoters are worried that lawmakers... and residents... don’t understand the industry. In the coming months, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association plans to talk with both about the effects--and benefits--of drilling. The group hopes to, in their words, change the conversation about the industry... especially in Colorado’s legislature. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher recently spoke with Doug Flanders. He’s the Director of Policy & External Affairs for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. She asked Flanders why. 

gailschwartz.com

Senator Gail Schwartz of Snowmass Village is looking back on a productive legislative session about a month after it wrapped up. The democrat introduced 35 bills. Most were successful in a democratically-controlled Statehouse. Her bills ranged from water conservation to making hemp a viable commercial product. I sat down with her to discuss these efforts. We began with House Bill 252, one of the most hotly contested measures this session. The now-law requires 18 rural electric cooperatives from Montrose to Gunnison, increase the amount of renewable sources they use.