DENVER– Seizing momentum on an upbeat first day of the 2012 session of the state legislature, House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, Democrat from Denver, encouraged members to cast aside gloomy predictions of election-year partisan gridlock and work together to pass bills to bolster the Colorado economy and create jobs for citizens across the state.
Posts Tagged Mark Ferrandino
Ask any Colorado legislator what they hope to accomplish in the upcoming session and they will tell you they want to create jobs, or help businesses create jobs, or remove regulatory impediments to job creation, or improve access to capital.
If Gov. John Hickenlooper has anything to say about it–and he will–most of a potential increase in state tax collections this year and in 2012 will go to restore some of the money cut from K-12 budgets in the past few years.
Colorado House Democrats unanimously elected Denver Rep Mark Ferrandino minority leader today. In just over two terms as a lawmaker, Ferrandino has made a name for himself as an open and dynamic figure committed to the legislative process and talented at steering substantive bills through partisan minefields toward passage. He is the second out gay member of the Colorado legislature to head the Democrats in the chamber in the last decade.
Calling themselves “giant killers” the Colorado Progressive Coalition (CPC) announced a campaign of “organized chaos” against Wells Fargo Thursday morning for what the group said were the bank’s predatory practices and illegal foreclosures.
DENVER– Veterans, state lawmakers and Democratic Party officials gathered on the capitol steps here Monday to celebrate the end of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which for the last 18 years barred gay Americans from serving openly in the military. The Pentagon on Tuesday is offically lifting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell across all branches of the armed services in accordance with legislation passed last December. At a time when nearly any issue can generate incendiary political rhetoric and gridlock Congress, the end of the controversial military policy is being lauded as a rare bipartisan victory for equality and common sense and a sign of progress in service of the nation.
The grassroots political dream crashed, like so many others, on the shoals of big-bucks ballot-initiative finances. Mark Olmstead, a 19-year-old Colorado voter, was spurred earlier this year by high-profile gay rights advances and increasing popular support for gay rights to try to land an initiative on the ballot in Colorado that would repeal the state’s ban on gay marriage. Nic Garcia at Out Front Colorado reports today that Olmstead decided to withdrawal his initiative after failing to win backing for the business of gathering roughly 100,000 signatures by January.
Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall at a gay-rights event this weekend in Denver said he supports marriage equality for all Americans. Udall joins a growing list of lawmakers who have gone on record in support of ending the era where the federal Defense of Marriage Act and where constitutional bans like Colorado’s Amendment 43 blocked LGBT couples from the legal protections and advantages provided by the state through marriage. Udall is the 18th sitting U.S. Senator to state publicly that he supports efforts to make gay marriage legal.
In wake of wave-making New York marriage law, gay legal group takes aim at civil unions as inadequate
Lambda Legal, a New York-based organization committed to winning gay civil rights through the courts, announced in a press release Tuesday that it would challenge New Jersey’s 2006 same sex civil unions law for failing to bring full equality to gay residents of the state. Lambda, which is teaming with New Jersey LGBT group Garden State Equality, will refer to government studies and press investigations that document the way employers have failed to recognize couples entered into a civil union and how civil unions have been ignored or misunderstood by authorities, often in instances involving critical medical decisions.
Colorado hosted an intense proxy gay marriage debate around a same-sex civil unions bill during the state legislative session that ended two weeks ago. The bill was narrowly defeated pretty much along party lines. All Democrats voted for it, joined by a few Republicans. That’s roughly what happened in recent weeks in Minnesota, where lawmakers voted to include a referendum on voter ballots in the next election that would add a ban on gay marriage to the state constitution. Much of the Minnesota clash has been captured on YouTube. It echoes the debate last month in Colorado and foreshadows the debate sure to rise again here next year, when sponsors of the civil unions bill have vowed to bring it back.