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Joel Judd
Joel Judd, a recovering legislator, chaired the Finance Committee while representing central Denver (HD 5) in the Colorado House. A Colorado native and product of the Denver Public Schools, he's lived in West Denver for thirty years. A graduate of New College and the University of Denver Law School, he's now rebuilding his law practice. Joel occasionally hikes with his dog Wagg'n.

Entries by Joel Judd

Frack Tax

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 10:27 AM

Can deplorable be a complement?

When I was in the legislature the Denver Public Schools graduated less than half its students on time -- on time means 9th graders graduate in four years. Now DPS graduates almost 60 percent on time -- deplorable, but a striking improvement over...

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Tax Gas, Not Diapers

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 4:46 PM

To timely finish expansion of its rail and bus rapid transit system, the metro area may want to raise additional revenue. Some have proposed increasing our RTD sales tax. This is a bad idea.

Taxes on baby diapers and water heaters should not subsidize roads and rails. Gas taxes are...

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Dodging Drunks

(4) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 1:36 PM

Drunk drivers kill over ten thousand people a year. We can reduce that to just about nothing -- good for those of us not killed and the tens of thousands of us not crippled and maimed. And we don't have to jail anyone to do it.

Auto manufacturers...

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Two Taxes for the Price of One

(2) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 4:06 PM

Denver's Mayor has proposed a four-year suspension of the business personal property tax for new facilities. What the heck does that mean?

Let's suppose one of Denver's telecommunications providers -- Sprint, Comcast, whoever -- finds increased traffic warrants a new switching center. That means computers to do the...

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Gaylord v. the Kids

(4) Comments | Posted April 28, 2012 | 12:05 PM

Aurora wants to give the Gaylord hotel company a big subsidy to build a hotel next to Denver International Airport. On Monday, the State had a hearing to talk about it. This is how I used my five minutes.

I will address two points:

1. High Point development does not...

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If You Build it, They Won't Come

(5) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 7:00 PM

We can discuss the fate of CSP II -- Colorado's newest high-tech, state-of-the-art, solitary confinement (administrative segregation) prison. It cost several hundred million dollars. We've used a small part for one year and are about to mothball it. It will likely never again be used for...

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Gay Rights - Straight Benefits

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 2:12 PM

The Colorado legislature will again consider a civil union bill this year.

In 1913 W.E.B. Du Bois editorialized against anti-miscegenation laws. He had no interest in marrying a white woman. The problem was with white men. A white man could seduce a black woman with no fear he could be...

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Gaylord Subsidy

(2) Comments | Posted October 3, 2011 | 11:58 AM

There's a hole in the bucket.

You probably know a Colorado kid. You may even be one. In Colorado we have around 800,000 in the public schools. We'll spend about $5.2b this year to teach these kids reading, writing, arithmetic and some of the tools they'll need to operate the...

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(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2011 | 12:56 PM

A friend asked me for a concrete example of what I've done to create jobs. My answer:

Government doesn't create jobs. The best it can do is fertilize the field and get out of the way. Entrepreneurial risk takers create new industries no one's ever thought about -- Andrew Carnegie...

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School Vouchers in Colorado

(6) Comments | Posted March 9, 2011 | 1:09 PM

School voucher bills are a hardy perennial at the legislature. The last few years they've appeared in the guise of income tax credits. Perhaps proponents have high incomes.

The income tax twist tends to route these bills thought the Finance Committee. I was moved to comment on fresh-scrubbed home school...

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Prematurely Tying Performance to Teacher Retention Hurts Kids

(1) Comments | Posted May 18, 2010 | 1:58 PM

Many have asked my thoughts on SB 191 tying teacher retention and pay to the performance of their students on standardized tests. The goal is to improve our children's education. I embrace both that goal and the many paths that lead to it. I won't substitute a slogan for a...

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Fair Taxes/Fair Share

(2) Comments | Posted November 5, 2009 | 5:23 PM

Fundamentally, taxes must be fair.

No one should be paying less than their fair share. Even if you have lots of money for lobbyists and political consultants you ought to pay your fair share. I have written about this before, and am doing so again for the simple...

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Moving Forward on Tax Reform

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2009 | 7:22 PM

I have a philosophy of a government that works.

If a program works keep it.

If, a program doesn't work scrap it. Kind of naive, as even the most worthless of governmental ideas has passionate supporters. Passionate enough to hire a phalanx of articulate...

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Lessons From Federico Peña

(2) Comments | Posted September 30, 2009 | 3:33 PM

In October 2008 I was asked if I had ever seen the kind of excitement Barack Obama was generating.

Yes, I had; Federico Peña in 1983.

A progressive legal aid lawyer and the minority leader in the State House, Federico Peña had Denver energized as no politician before or...

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Corporate Tax Loopholes Cost Colorado Billions -- Let's Close Them

(5) Comments | Posted September 22, 2009 | 6:12 PM

Colorado has billions of dollars in corporate tax loopholes that we must close. They are welfare for corporations that cannot stand up to even the most cursory review:

  • They produce few if any jobs
  • They reward companies that are anti-union and do not provide decent benefits
  • They don't work

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