Governor John Hickenlooper

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On Tuesday, Colorado became the latest state — and the first in the Rocky Mountain region — to commit to fighting climate change.

A last-ditch effort to save Colorado’s Energy Office takes place Tuesday. During the legislative session, state lawmakers cut state funding for the office that oversees weatherization and other energy saving programs for residents. 

The list of Democrats wanting to be Colorado’s next governor is growing. Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder said he’ll run against his colleague Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter, along with other high profile opponents.

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Colorado is ramping up efforts to try and prevent marijuana from being diverted to the black market. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bi-partisan bills into law Thursday.

One of the most significant pieces of legislation to come out of this year’s legislative session was signed into law Tuesday. Senate Bill 267 avoided deep cuts to hospitals and put about 2 billion dollars into road funding. 

 

Colorado’s budget handily passed the state Senate on March 29. It has bipartisan support and increased four percent compared to the previous year. In many ways the debate was a microcosm of the entire legislative session. It showed lawmakers working together, complex policy issues,  partisan fights and political statements. It is balanced, as required by the state constitution, but reflects how Colorado lacks enough money to fully fund schools, health care and roads.

Many lawmakers are not happy with how the bill turned out.

Self-driving vehicles could soon be tested in Colorado under a bill that passed in the state senate Wednesday. The measure would also make it illegal for local communities to ban the vehicles. 

One of the first contenders for the 2018 gubernatorial race in Colorado has announced his candidacy.

 

Improving roads, easing traffic congestion and making broadband available to all parts of Colorado are some of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s top priorities for the upcoming legislative session that begins Wednesday.

A new state website will allow residents to track how state government is performing in five key areas – including education, the economy, energy and the environment.

Governor John Hickenlooper presented his $29 billion budget proposal to lawmakers on the joint budget committee Monday. He said some cuts are necessary to close a shortfall. 

Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

 The McCloskey Speaker Series on Aug. 12 was titled Democratic Governors Panel: Leading from the State Level. Democratic governors discussed how to lead a nation by facing the challenges of energy, education and citizens’ rights among other priorities at the state level. It featured Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut,  in conversation with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington were unable to make it at the last minute.

Roaring Fork Mountain Association, or RFMBA, Executive Director Mike Pritchard shares the organization's trail projects and how they benefit more than just mountain bikers in the Roaring Fork Valley. RFMBA Board Vice President, Todd Fugate, also contributes.

Visit www.RFMBA.org to learn more about the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and past, current , and future trail building projects.

Colorado has a new head of the state's Department of Natural Resources. Appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, Bob Randall now gets the official nod as head of the organization that oversees everything from state parks and wildlife, to oil and gas drilling, mining and water conservation.

Colorado's next lieutenant governor is poised to be a top executive from Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Gov. John Hickenlooper nominated Donna Lynne, an executive vice president at Kaiser, saying she would be very capable filling his shoes if he doesn't end up finishing his second term. Hickenlooper has long been rumored as a possible cabinet pick for a Democratic President.

"If I were offered something in Washington I would certainly look at it, but especially right now, I could not be happier to be the governor of Colorado," Hickenlooper said.

This week on Cross Currents, Kent Reed on the Hudson Reed Ensemble's 10th anniversary event.

Elise Thatcher

Governor John Hickenlooper will be a part of the Aspen High School commencement ceremonies on Saturday afternoon. The governor, a Democrat, will deliver the keynote address at the Benedict Music tent for the Class of 2015.

Two former governors, Roy Romer and Bill Owens, joined current Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state capitol to urge lawmakers not to go too far in reducing the numbers of standardized assessments school children take. This comes as legislators are debating several bills to lower the number of exams.

Republican Bill Owens said it's important to have standards and test against those standards to see if students are learning what they should, and to evaluate schools and teachers.

"Our friends from the left and the right for differing reasons, don't want to test, don't want to measure, don't want to have accountability," said Owens. "This is stunning to me."

We're just past the halfway mark for the annual 120-day legislative session. As lawmakers (and the reporters that cover them) enter the home stretch, what's the scuttlebutt under the gold dome? Which bills are being delayed? How is the Governor handling split legislative control?

For insights we picked the brains of reporters who work the halls on daily basis at the capitol.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

The City of Aspen just got the results of an audit of a multi-year parking scam. Elected officials wonder if they should look at other departments as closely.

After three months of analyzing and negotiating, the Roaring Fork School District finally inked contracts with its superintendent and assistant superintendent.

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