Secretary Williams talks dollars and sense to JBC

Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks with lawmakers and members of the Joint Budget Committee Tuesday before a hearing on the department’s budget. Left to right: Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction; Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley; Secretary Williams; Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud; and JBC Chairwoman Millie Hamner, D-Dillon. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams highlighted the office’s achievements and challenges when he presented his budget requests to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday.

“We work very hard to make sure we provide the services that Colorado expects and deserves and our paying for with their fees,” he said. “I’m proud that we are able to do that with business fees that are among the lowest in the nation.

Secretary Wayne Williams, the SOS’ budget director, Brad Lang, and Rep. Susan Beckman, R-Littleton, at Tuesday’s Joint Budget Committee hearing. (SOS photo)

“As the state grows, as our processes change, we need to keep pace with that. We need not to be caught napping and waiting and our budget anticipates that.”

He noted the office is working on an information campaign to educate voters about Colorado’s first open primary next June, when unaffiliated voters will receive a ballot and must decide whether to vote the Democratic or Republican ticket.

Voters last year approved that measure with the passage of Proposition 108 and Williams has been on a speaking tour, explaining it to Colorado voters. He will address the League of Women Voters in Durango on Saturday.

He told the JBC that Colorado has just completed the first ever in the nation risk limiting audit, which is an audit of the state’s elections based on mathematical algorithms.

“That provides us with a statistically significant probability that the state’s elections systems correctly tabulated Coloradans ballots,” Williams said.

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Brittany & Ian: “In sickness and in health, in wins and in losses”

Ian Silverii and Brittany Petterson’s wedding announcement picture in front of the Governor’s Mansion.

I love the story of how Ian Silverii and Brittany Pettersen met.

On a cold December day at the corner of 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, right in front of Denver’s version of Portlandia, City O’ City, and just a block from the state Capitol, Ian was headed to a meeting and Brittany was standing in the freezing cold with a clipboard.

Brittany Pettersen and Ian Silverii laugh as friends and family tell stories about them at their wedding.

“Do you have a minute to save the children?” she asked.

“No,” Ian replied, “but I have about 30 minutes to flirt with you.”

I burst out laughing when I read about that encounter on the couple’s wedding website. I met Ian when he had the good sense to introduce himself to me at Hamburger Mary’s and say he was a huge fan of my reporting. His line to Brittany in 2009 was so him: fast and funny.

Their wedding Saturday at the Governor’s Mansion was such a Demapalooza that Sen. Lois Court joked enough lawmakers were present to go into an emergency special session and vote to fund the energy office.

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Colorado County Clerks Association honors four lawmakers

State Rep. Dominick Morena, Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and lobbyist Mike Beasley at the Colorado County Clerks Association meeting Monday. Crane is president of the group, which honored four lawmakers, including Moreno. (SOS photo)
State Rep. Dominick Moreno, Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane and lobbyist Mike Beasley at the Colorado County Clerks Association conference Monday. Crane is president of the group, which honored four lawmakers, including Moreno. (SOS photo)

The Colorado County Clerks Association today recognized three lawmakers who sponsored a bill to make it easier for clerks to maintain or upgrade equipment used to record documents.

The effort to pass the bill actually began two to three years ago, CCCA director Pam Anderson told clerks at their summer conference, which began Monday.

A lot of people put a lot of effort into getting Senate Bill 115 passed, she said, including the sponsors. The bill was sponsored by two Republicans, Rep. Kathleen Conti of Littleton and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik of Thornton, and Rep. Dominick Moreno, a Commerce City Democrat.

“With perseverance you can get things done at the Capitol,” Humenik told the clerks. “Sometimes it just takes several years.”

The clerks association also honored outgoing Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, a Boulder Democrat who is only the second woman to lead the House. She carried House Bill 1303 in 2013, which made major changes in Colorado’s election laws.

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So long, 2016 legislative session — and certain lawmakers

Senate President Bill Cadman, Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on the final day of the 2016 legislative session Wednesday. (SOS photo)
Senate President Bill Cadman, Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on the final day of the 2016 legislative session Wednesday. (SOS photo)

Another legislative session is in the history books and another crop of term-limited lawmakers is on its way out,  including Republican Bill Cadman and Democrat Mary Hodge, who each served 16 years under the Gold Dome.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited with lawmakers in the House and Senate on their final day of the session on Wednesday.

“Thank you for your service,” he said to Cadman, the Senate president, and Mark Scheffel of Parker, the Senate majority leader, who also is term limited.

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Secretary Wayne Williams backs return to a presidential primary

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks about his support for a presidential primary at a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday. Behind him to the left are two lawmakers that support the idea, Reps. Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, and Tim Dore, an Elizabeth Republican. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks about his support for a presidential primary at a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday. Behind him to the left are two lawmakers who support the idea, Reps. Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, and Tim Dore, an Elizabeth Republican. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams outlined the reasons he backs a return to the presidential primary during a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday.

Williams said he still supports the caucus system because of the personal contact candidates have with voters. That chemistry isn’t the same, he said, with presidential candidates.

“To the best of my knowledge, neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz nor Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders personally knocked on doors in Colorado to say, ‘Let me talk to you about why I think I should be president,'” Williams said of the Republican and Democratic frontrunners.

Standing behind Williams were two Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City and Alec Garnett of Denver, and two fellow Republicans, Reps. Tim Dore of Elizabeth and J. Paul Brown of Ignacio, who support lawmakers this year voting to restore the presidential primary.

Coloradans in 1990 overwhelmingly voted to create a presidential primary. The measure was referred to the ballot by lawmakers and it changed election laws, not the state constitution. That flexibility allowed lawmakers 13 years later to cancel the primary, mostly because of budget problems.

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