Colorado’s 2019 legislative session is over. The last four months of frantic lawmaking were a test for Democrats, who took complete control of the state Capitol last November. This episode, we look back at everything they were able to achieve — and why arguments over process at times got in the way of their biggest goals. And how Republicans, who lacked the votes to block legislation, found other ways to make their voices heard. The result was a session that showed passing bills isn’t as simple as just having a majority.
Colorado is known as a purple state for good reason.
Over the last two decades, the state has voted for an equal number of Republicans and Democrats for president, and voters are evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
The state’s political identity is always up for grabs. Democrats want to prove it has become more of a blue state, but Republicans could show it’s more of a red state than anyone realized. So….it’s not so much red or blue...or even purple. It’s Purpl...ish.
Hosted by CPR News Reporter Sam Brasch, this podcast dives into the ...ish. Each month during the legislative season, he'll ask a big question about Colorado’s democracy and where it might be headed next. Subscribe and learn how state government can be fun, or at least fun-ish.
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Ken Crumb passed the first fracking ban in the Colorado. In doing so, he ended up limiting local control of oil and gas.
Ken Crumb’s story likely sounds familiar. A Front Range resident sees oil and gas drilling in his community. He doesn’t like it and organizes his neighbors to pass a local drilling ban. The thing is, in Ken’s case, this all happened more than 30 years ago. And that community he rallied was Greeley -- not exactly a hotbed of anti-fracking sentiment today.
This episode, we look back at perhaps Colorado’s first fractivist. What Ken did ended up limiting local control of oil and gas development. Now, Democratic lawmakers have passed a bill to tilt the scales back in the other direction.
Colorado is on the verge of becoming the 12th state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The plan could someday commit all of Colorado’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who gets the most votes nationwide -- no matter who wins the state.
The last couple months have shown the depths of congressional dysfunction. Many think the problem isn’t so much the people who serve there. It’s a process that funnels all power to party leaders, stifling debate among the ranks. In 1988, Colorado voters recognized a similar issue in their state legislature. The remedy was something called the GAVEL Amendment -- an acronym for Give A Vote To Every Legislator.
After eight years as Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper appears to be gearing up for a presidential run. On the campaign trail, he’s almost certain to emphasize gun control laws he signed in 2013. He led a purple state as it beat back the gun lobby to pass two controversial measures. But what did he do -- or not do -- to make that happen? And what does the story of those laws say about how Hickenlooper leads?
CPR Public Affairs Reporter Bente Birkeland breaks it down. And keep an eye on this podcast feed! It’s where we’ll tell you more about the return of Purplish for the imminent legislative session.
Colorado boasts some of the highest voter turnout in the country. Seventy percent of eligible adults submitted a ballot in the 2016 election, putting the state fourth in the country for voter turnout.
But that still means 30 percent of eligible adults sat it out. Why? Many of the common barriers to voting don’t exist in Colorado. The process is easy. The elections are competitive. So we’re turning to one group that can help with some answers: nonvoters themselves.