July Legislative Update

Arts for Colorado played a very active role at the capitol this year alongside lobbyist Brandeberry-McKenna. The current level of funding for the Colorado Creative Industries division was successfully maintained at its current level for the 2017-2018 year as there were no public discussions of any cuts to the budget. As the budget climate tightens due to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), Arts for Colorado will actively be involved in the budget process for next year. TABOR is a constitutional amendment designed to restrain growth in government. TABOR places limits on how much revenue the state can keep and spend, sometimes forcing lawmakers to make budget cuts. To find more information on TABOR, please visit here.

Brandeberry-McKenna, on behalf of Arts for Colorado, actively engaged with and supported three pieces of legislation this session.

SB17-107 (Reward Access To Arts Education In Public Schools) was sponsored by Senator Michael Merrifield and Representative Barbara McLachlan. This bill would have created an additional performance indicator that measured the degree to which more »

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Message from Arts for Colorado President – Save the NEA

On March 16th, the Trump administration released a proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year where President Trump recommends the elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts.

Arts for Colorado is diligently working with Americans for the Arts (AFTA), Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), and the Arts Action Fund. Now is the time to stand with Arts for Colorado. Your membership is needed more than ever to assist in this endeavor. To learn more about how you can help save the NEA, please view the list below (click on the sections to be directed to more information).

Sincerely, Dr. Jay Seller President, Arts for Colorado


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December Legislative Update

The election has come to a close with leadership for the Colorado General Assembly finalized and ready to begin work in January 2017. The General Assembly is the bicameral state legislature of the State of Colorado composed of the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado Senate.

All 65 seats in the Colorado House and half of the Colorado Senate seats were up for re-election this upcoming year. Democrats had controlled the Colorado House with a 34-31 majority the last two years. Republicans had controlled the Senate with an 18-17 majority. Now, Democrats still hold the majority of the House by 37-28 and the Colorado Senate remains in Republican control with a makeup of 18 Republicans and 17 Democrats.

Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) will lead the House Democrats as Speaker of the House and Representative KC Becker (D-Boulder) as Majority Leader. Senator Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) will lead the Senate Republicans as President with Majority Leader Chris Holbert (R-Parker). Senator Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) will continue serving as Senate Minority Leader with Senator Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) as Assistant Minority Leader. more »

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September Legislative Update

The election season is in full swing in Colorado. Arts for Colorado encourages all advocates to stay informed with the latest Colorado ballot measures and legislation. The following are the approved Colorado ballot measures for 2016:

Colorado Creation of ColoradoCare System, Amendment 69 Statewide Healthcare System: Seeks to create a new single-payer health care financing system called ColoradoCare that operates as a political subdivision of the state. Colorado “End of Life Options Act,” Proposition 106 Proposition 106 would legalize “Medical Aid in Dying” (MAID) in the state of Colorado for competent adults whose death is likely to occur in the next 6 months from a terminal illness. Colorado $12 Minimum Wage, Amendment 70 Amendment 70 would raise the State Minimum Wage to $9.30 per hour with a $.90 an hour increases every January 20th thereafter until it hits $12 per hour. After that the minimum wage would increase annually along with the cost-of-living. Colorado Imposition of Distribution and Supermajority Requirements for Citizen-Initiated Constitutional Amendments, Amendment 71  Amendment 71 would make it more difficult to amend the state constitution by requiring more »

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AFC Legislative Update – Summer 2014

Legislative Updates

The 2014 Legislative Session was characterized by substantive conversations on a variety of topics important to Colorado citizens. Compared to 2013, this session was less divisive though there were still several long floor debates.

Despite press coverage to the contrary, many bills pass each year with bipartisan support. In 2014, there were several areas of consensus among legislators including: helping communities impacted by the Fall 2013 floods, updating Colorado’s telecommunications laws and creation of a statewide Medina alert which establishes a statewide hit and run system similar to the Amber alert.

Of course, there was also controversy under the Golden Dome. One of the biggest fights of the year was on SB125. The bill, which passed, created regulations to allow Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate in Colorado. Additionally, there were dueling efforts to bolster mandatory prison sentences for sexual predators of children. In the education world, there was disagreement about the appropriate balance between additional money for schools and additional requirements designed to improve educational attainment.

In the wake of Colorado voter approval more »

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Lobbyist Jennifer Mello Gives Insight into Legislative Successes of 2012

Arts for Colorado lobbyist Jennifer Mello wants to relay the message that, in order for funding for the arts to increase in Colorado, people have to take a gamble – literally.

With a large portion of funding given to the Colorado Creative Industries Division (CCI) coming from Limited Gaming Funds, Mello stated that the major reason funding is down is because revenue from gaming has been decreasing, due in large part to the nationwide recession.

“In a recession people do not have as much disposable income, so they do not gamble as much, so the tax receipts go down,” she says. “We started the 2012 session facing a cut not because anyone was after us or was trying to take our money, it’s just that revenue was down. When you do not have as much revenue you do not get as much money.”

Despite the fact that people are not visiting casinos as much as in years past, Mello insists that the funds awarded at this year’s Colorado General Assembly (CGA) were much higher than anticipated.

“The fight we fought more »

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