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Dear Friends,

Hard to believe but this year’s session has only a few weeks left. Some of the bills gaining attention concerns testing in public schools; I recommend you read the guest commentary that appeared in The Denver Post.

The State Budget was also passed by the House last week. This year the state’s general fund increased by 6.3% and with the additional funds we were able to increase transportation funding for much needed repairs to our roads and bridges. Additionally, we were able to increase funding for high education to help keep college tuition affordable. While the budget does address some necessary concerns for all Coloradoans, there is still work to do. We need to work on controlling Medicaid spending; it increased by $153 million dollars which is not a sustainable pace.

Town Hall Meeting April 25
Starbucks
530 E. Bromley Lane
Brighton, CO
10:00am – 12:00pm

Below is a quick update on some of the bills I have been working on

• HB1215 Would grant resident tuition classification to a dependent of an active duty member of the armed forces. To qualify, a dependent must enroll in an institution within five years of graduating from high school, and have previously completed six years of school in Colorado in any grades one through twelve. Military families move frequently and these moves can add unique challenges for their children seeking higher education opportunities. The bill passed the House and will now be heard by the Senate. Continue reading

Nine Candidates Apply to Fill Vacancy on Adams 12 School Board

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Nine candidates have applied to fill a vacancy on the five-member Adams 12 Five Star school board.

They are: Merylee Appel, Amira Assad-Lucas, Brian Batz, Andrew Been, Jessy Hamilton, Joseph Holt, Nicholas Jonson, James Joy and incumbent Rico Figueroa.

The board has until May 1 to fill the vacancy. If the remaining four members do not reach a majority consensus, the board president will appoint someone.

The story behind the vacancy is a long and complicatedone. As we’ve previously reported, it all started in 2013. Candidate Amy Speers was running against Figueroa to represent District 4, which includes parts of Northglenn and Thornton. Shortly before the election, Adams 12 officials discovered that due to recent redistricting, Speers no longer lived in District 4. But she refused to drop out of the race. Speers kept campaigning and encouraged people to vote for her to send the message that they supported non-conservative candidates.

It worked, and Speers won the election.

But she couldn’t take office. Figueroa believed that since Speers was ineligible, he should be considered the winner. He contested the election, but Broomfield District Court Judge Chris Melonakis disagreed with Figueroa’s argument. Instead, Melonakis ruled that the District 4 seat should be declared vacant. “Figueroa was defeated by a nearly two-to-one margin,” Melonakis wrote in his ruling. “The voters in his district expressed a clear intent not to elect him.” Continue reading

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Citizen Action for Safe Energy’s monthly meeting will focus on the successes and outcomes of the Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force. Kathleen Staks, Assistant Director for Energy with the Department of Natural Resources, will be our speaker.

****Lunch is on us, so please RSVP to Rachel George at 303-549-2522 or rachel@rbgcommunications.com if you are able to attend.

DATE: Monday April 27th
TIME: Noon – 1pm
LOCATION: Cinzetti’s Restaurant
281 W 104th Avenue
Northglenn, CO 80234

Speaker Bio: Kathleen Staks, Assistant Director for Energy

As Assistant Director for Energy, Kathleen works to develop and implement policy regarding energy development across the state. She advises and coordinates with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety and the Governor’s office.

Prior to joining DNR, Kathleen worked at Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) as the Program Director for Open Space and Parks and Wildlife. In that position, she oversaw land conservation grant programs and managed the relationship between GOCO and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Before working at GOCO, Kathleen worked on land conservation policy with the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts. Kathleen has a law degree from the University of Denver and a journalism degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

About Us Continue reading

How a little-known man in the front office of Macy’s invented tax withholding and gave rise to the modern welfare state.

If you’re looking for a name to attach to the huge tax bite that was taken out of your last paycheck, try this one on for size: Beardsley Ruml.

Ruml was treasurer at R.H. Macy & Company during World War II. He was also an academic and chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s board of directors, a polymath so glittering that he stood out even in that era of big talkers. Ruml was so well known for his dinner party expositions that Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman made him a model for a character in The Man Who Came to Dinner.

But it is Ruml’s role as New Deal spinmeister that keeps him in our thoughts today. He devised the legislation that gave us withholding as we know it. Today Americans give up more money in federal taxes than at any time except when the country was at war: 20.7 percent of the economy. Without withholding, it would be difficult to envision this scale of taxation persisting in a land born of a tax revolt. Indeed, without withholding the outsized government we have today would be hard to imagine.

Birth of the Mass Tax Continue reading

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If you plan to run for a seat on your local School Board of Directors, this is for you:

http://americanmajority.org/resources/colorado-school-board-manual/

American Majority School Board Manual

If you want to run for a City Council seat this November, here’s something to help you out:

http://americanmajority.org/resources/colorado-city-council-manual/

American Majority City Council manual

The next meeting of the Adams 12 Interest Based Strategies team is April 14th, meeting from 4-8 pm in the ESC building at 1500 E. 128th Ave in Thornton. This is the certified employee negotiations and contract discussion for the open meeting law (Proposition 104).

Congressman Mike Coffman’s stunning success in reaching out to a much more diverse district has him being held up by the national Republican Party as a way the GOP must engage if they wanted to pull Latino voters to their side.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, left, and Democrat Andrew Romanoff smile at the start of a their first debate in the 2014 election cycle. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press)

At the annual U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce summit in Washington D.C. last month, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus singled out Coffman, according to Fox News Latino.

“He took intensive Spanish courses, and in the last election, he even participated in a Spanish language debate on Univision. And he’s still continuing his classes,” the chairman said.

Coffman did adapt — and how, reaching out to the Asian, African and Latino communities after his district changed.

No one saw that one coming when the Aurora Republican was first elected in a very conservative, very white district in 2008. But after 2010 the boundaries were redrawn to make it nearly equally divided among GOP, Democratic and unaffiliated voters, which meant a much more ethnically diverse district. Coffman nearly lost in 2012 to state lawmaker Joe Miklosi, a Democrat who was underfunded and virtually unknown.

That’s when he began his outreach program.

Coffman last year beat former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff by 9 percentage points in a race that had been expected to the closest House battle in the country. Romanoff, who worked overseas, is fluent in Spanish.

Coffman still studies several times a week with his Columbian-born tutor. Fox News Latino said Coffman at times answered questions asked in English in Spanish.

The Denver Post

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2015/04/10/rnc-hails-mike-coffmans-success-in-reaching-out-to-immigrants/118799/