Download The Colorado General Assembly by John A. Straayer PDF

By John A. Straayer

The Legislature is the dominant department of presidency in Colorado. but before, there was no unmarried learn that so richly portrays this strong establishment and the character of its club. The Colorado normal meeting is predicated on years of writer John Straayer?’s first-hand observations, his overview of unique records and secondary assets, and hundred of conversations with lawmakers, lobbyists, participants of the legislative employees, govt department body of workers, and reporters. during this vigorous, informative e-book, Straayer describes the formal constitution of the Legislature, in addition to the all-important strategy in which debts turn into or don't develop into legislation, and the way the facility heart in the establishment can circulate or kill legislative projects. He additionally examines the clout of the foyer corps, which outnumbers the elected lawmakers 5 to at least one; the best way the Legislature dominates the funds method; and the style through which divisions among the 2 events, the 2 homes, and the legislative and government branches impression the behavior of the public?’s enterprise lower than Colorado?’s gold dome. The Colorado normal meeting fills a massive hole in our wisdom of nation govt. it is going to entice scholars and practitioners of politics in addition to to these with common curiosity in civic existence.

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Some are politically competitive, but most are not. Indeed, some incumbents even run unopposed. S. census numbers become available. 2. Prior to 1974, redistricting (or reapportionment, as it is called) was done by the Colorado legislature itself. Needless to say, it is a tough and very political proposition to have a representative body reapportion itself. In 1974, Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment that established a bipartisan commission outside the General Assembly to do the job.

The Republicans control both houses and have done so for most of the past two decades. But the Democrats have held the governor's position since 1974. Republicans criticize the governor, kill the bills of Democratic legislators, and give them all a rough time generally. In turn, the governor blames the Republicans for state problems and vetoes some of their legislation. Sometimes though not when an election is close at hand they talk about working together. But even when one party controls both branches, tension can occur.

The range of subjects that the legislature confronts in any given year is broad indeed. In one recent session alone, the Colorado General Assembly looked at bills on: permitting parents to keep their children out of public or licensed private schools and teach them at home; barring automatic withdrawals from bank accounts; setting heavy penalties for assault on police officers; limiting jury awards for medical malpractice judgments; making it a crime to interfere with a hunter; enacting a statewide smoking ordinance; lowering the blood alcohol level at which a driver's license is suspended; allowing the courts to order automatic child support payments; permitting out-of-state banking in Colorado; restricting the way in which automobile windows can be tinted; putting Colorado on year-round daylight saving time; creating diesel emission standards for trucks and cars; reorganizing the juvenile parole system; shortening the sentences for certain nonviolent crimes to deal with a serious problem in prison overcrowding; creating a system of lotto gambling in Colorado to raise money for new prisons; requiring the owners of sailboards to register with the State Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation; eliminating marriage as a defense against rape; requiring drug dealers to obtain a license and pay tax on their drug sale profits; letting bars stay open during elections; clamping down on child pornography; authorizing the state Health Department to gear up to test women for breast cancer; reducing the severance tax on coal; expanding the types of tire chains that are permissible in bliz- Page 9 zard conditions on Colorado highways; restructuring the way in which the state funds elementary and secondary education; and limiting the length of the legislators' sessions.

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