HD43 Highlights

News from the legislative session, plus other key insights for HD43 residents.

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I held a town hall update in September. I like to host regular town halls to update the constituents on how I am working for you. I have been busy during the interim attending various events and connecting with diverse constituents, as well as researching and stakeholding for the bills I plan to run next session. If you missed the town hall, not to worry. I will be hosting two more town hall discussions before the start of the next session on November 28 and December 14 at the Highlands Ranch Library. That would make nine solo Town Halls within a year after being elected, which I believe is not matched by any other legislator in the state. And certainly not matched by any legislator in Douglas County.

Related News

Highlands Ranch Rep. Robert Marshall talks first year, upcoming session in latest town hall

RESOLVED: Colorado General Assembly COML Complaint

My colleague Representative Elisabeth Epps and I resolved the Colorado Sunshine Law complaint with Colorado State House leadership. The Speaker, Democratic Majority Leader and Republican Minority Leader all agreed to a consent decree to cease many of the most egregious practices that had been ongoing for decades in the Capitol. I applaud our leadership for confronting the issue and accepting that past decades old practices they inherited violated the spirit, intent and letter of the Sunshine Laws Colorado voters imposed on the Legislature in 1972. They worked diligently to resolve the issue and committed to modernizing Colorado’s Sunshine Laws in light of modern business practices and communications instead of denying there was an issue and trying to litigate it to the death in court.

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Colorado legislators request settlement in illegal meetings lawsuit

Rubber Chicken Luncheon Lawsuit Resolved

Settlement reached in lawsuit alleging “pervasive” violations of open meetings laws in Colorado House

No more secret meetings or vanishing texts: State lawmakers settle alleged transparency violations at Capitol

Report recommends CO ban public officials’ use of encrypted, disappearing messaging apps for official business

Colorado House reaches deal to settle open-meetings lawsuit filed by two Democratic lawmakers

FINALLY: Douglas County School District COML Lawsuit

By contrast to how the Colorado State House leadership resolved the Sunshine Law complaint filed in court in a diligent and professional manner to spare taxpayers the minimum amount of expense, the Douglas County School District finally resolved to pay all my attorney fees and admitted wrongdoing in an open court hearing for their egregious violation of Colorado’s Open Meeting Law (COML) which I filed against them on February 4, 2022. There was never any need to fight the action for so long and run legal costs up to such a large extent as they did. But they refused to accept wrongdoing and refused to accept responsibility. Unfortunately, the only method to hold government officials accountable for violating Colorado’s transparency laws is to bring a legal action in court.

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Douglas County School District agrees to pay Robert Marshall’s legal fees in open meetings lawsuit. Costs total more than $250K for Sunshine law violations

Douglas County School Board to pay $103,000 as part of ruling that it broke open meetings laws

DougCo school board will pay Bob Marshall’s attorney fees nearing $100K

DougCo school board votes to pay Bob Marshall’s attorney fees nearing $100K

Picket Line with SEIU Local 105

I joined the picket line with our local healthcare workers. SEIU supported the HD43 campaign when no one thought we could win. They had faith in me and I have faith in them to secure better working conditions conducive to patient care. The Union has some serious patient care concerns with increasing workloads being placed on a smaller group of health-care specialists. Profits may go up with more “production” (i.e., quantity of work) from each worker. But at what cost to quality control?

Legislative Oversight Tax Committee

From August to October 31st, I participated as a member of the interim committee on tax oversight. This committee meets during the interim to receive reports from auditors regarding the various tax expenditures and policies in the state for possible recommendations to repeal, replace, or modify certain tax provisions. The committee can also consider new tax policy/expenditures. The committee can authorize ten bills to be drafted for consideration. And then may vote on up to five bills to forward to legislative leadership to consider introducing during the session.

I am proud to report that the committee appointed me as the prime sponsor for THREE of the FIVE bills voted on to forward to leadership. Tax law can be boring. But it is important legislative work. I am glad to be known, acknowledged and trusted among my peers and colleagues as having special expertise on these issues. These bills are generally meant to:

  1. Fix the Possibility of Government Sanctioned “Equity Theft” in Colorado;
  2. A Senior Housing Tax Relief Bill (to provide seniors who rent their home some tax relief similar to those who own their own home who receive the homestead exemption);
  3. Legislative Policy Direction for the Department of Revenue/Auditors.

We also voted against a bill to “adjust” several tax provisions. I voted against an amendment to this bill that combined a bill we originally authorized for drafting to “repeal” several tax provisions with a separate one to “modify” tax provisions. The committee wanted to combine the two bills so that we could vote out an extra bill as part of our five. I thought it was procedurally improper how this was done and objected to the combination. However, I was voted down 5-1.

Of largest interest, however, was a bill we voted to forward to leadership involving Short Term Rentals (STRs, e.g. Airbnb). This bill attracted more than 70 witnesses to testify and I have received more communications regarding this issue than any bill with the only possible exceptions being the issue regarding “assault weapons ban” and the issue of the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado.

This short term rental (STR) bill would set out that when a residential property that is also not used as a primary residence is rented for 90 days or more as a STR, it ceases to be a residential property and will no longer be taxed at the preferential residential property rates. Colorado has very low residential property rates compared to its commercial property rates because Colorado voters made the choice decades ago, according to the Gallagher Amendment, that residential property should be taxed at a much lower rate than business property. So I think the concept is sound that if a residential dwelling is no longer being used as a residential property (i.e., a homeowner or tenant making it their long-term “home” or residence), but is an income generating property in a manner other than as a residential dwelling, it should no longer be taxed according to residential property rates. Where and how we may draw the line on when that happens is a good question. This bill, however, will likely experience a great deal of pushback and opposition due to the large number of people who are invested in STRs that are a primary residence which they want to rent out as a lodging facility rather than utilize as a residence.

You can find more information on this committee’s work here.

Related News

Short-term rental owners show up in force to oppose Colorado lawmakers’ plan to tax their homes at a much higher rate

Enjoying Fall

On a personal note, I took a couple weeks off in late September to fly to Monterey, California for my daughter’s graduation from Naval Postgraduate School where she earned a Masters Degree in Applied Physics. We then drove to Anaheim and spent a week at Disneyland/Universal before traveling back to Colorado. She is a nuclear submarine officer and is reporting to Department Head School in New London, Connecticut before reporting to her next boat, the USS Delaware.

I mention this as she attended public school at Northridge Elementary, Middle Ridge Middle School, and Mountain Vista High School before graduating from Arapahoe Community College and then the University of Colorado-Denver with a degree in physics (magna cum laude). She received an outstanding education and it is one I would hope we can guarantee all children to fulfill their highest potential. Public education is, and will always remain, a high priority for me.

With that thought in mind, make sure you research Proposition HH; the Douglas County school board candidates; initiatives 5A and 5B. Remember to vote and submit your ballots by 7 pm on Tuesday, November 7!


There has been a lot of angst, anger and horrendous behavior in our nation over the despicable act of terrorism Hamas inflicted upon Israeli civilians and the Israeli response. It is always good to look back to the core first principles of our nation in such times. And there is no higher source/authority for this than the acknowledged first among the Founding Fathers. So remember George Washington’s Letter to the Newport Hebrew Congregation where he emphatically set out that: America gives “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance”. Private writings show that HE MEANT IT. FOR ALL....Jews, Muslims, Christians (any sect), atheists. It is surprising how incredibly tolerant the person designated as the Father of our nation was, and how tolerant he expected us to be. True patriots are tolerant of the differences within our diverse democracy. Attacking ANY fellow Americans for their religion or beliefs is...absolutely UN-AMERICAN!

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Bob 4 Colorado

Help us work on the things that are important to Coloradans and our fellow neighbors in Highlands Ranch. Vote for Robert "Bob" Marshall for Colorado HD43.


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