Governor John Hickenlooper

Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a draft of the state's first ever water plan Wednesday. The goal of the plan - a decade in the making - is to create a comprehensive water strategy to protect rural farm economies and bring more water to millions of people along the Front Range.

"Water is too important for bickering and potential failure. It demands collaborations," said James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which drafted the proposal. "This plan sets the stage for us to take the necessary next steps."

Jake Ryan

Over the weekend, Governor John Hickenlooper visited several businesses on the Western Slope.  In Delta County he toured business that received REDI grants.  The Rural Economic Development Initiative gives out grants to rural businesses that are looking to expand. 

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flickr.com/kylemay

Colorado's economy is doing better.

Numbers released Monday show the state's unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in July. The last time it was this low was Oct. 2008. 

The national unemployment rate for June was 6.2 percent. 

In Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs increased 5,500. Private sector jobs increased 6,000 while government jobs decreased 500. The state has had 33 consecutive months of payroll job gains.

The National Governors Association held its annual summer meeting in Nashville, Tenn. this week, and the collapsing highway trust fund was the centerpiece issue.

Vaccination, SB 1288, Vaccine exemption, Colorado
U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

A bill seeking to boost vaccination rates was signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper on Wednesday.   

House Bill 1288 requires schools to standardize how they track vaccine exemption rates and make that data available to parents if they ask for it.

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock

As crews in California battle wildfires in San Diego County, it’s a reminder that the wildfire season has already started here in the West. Colorado’s 2014 fire outlook was released earlier this week. 

The outlook, presented by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control, predicts the state’s wildfire potential is normal at least for the early part of the wildfire season. 

  Newscast

  • Bill to boost Agritourism passes State Senate
  • Poll shows Hickenlooper with edge over GOP rivals
  • Conservation group sues Fish & Wildlife over failure to list prairie dog as endangered
  • Delta County way over budget to fix roof on jail
  • Hemp bill clears Senate
  • Watered-down vaccine bill passes after angry parents claim government overreach

Newscast

  • Governor John Hickenlooper weighs in on chicken farm debate in Delta County

  • State officials try to figure out what to do with marijuana tax money

  • Montrose is improving habitat for fish at its new whitewater park

  • Colorado lawmakers want to make it harder for parents to opt-out of vaccinating their kids

Headlines

  • Governor Delivers 4th "State of the State" Address
  • Citizen Groups Pushing for Tougher Air Quality Rules
  • Sounds of the High Country from KDNK - Wyoming's Abandoned Wells
  • Antler Collecting Prohibited in Gunnison Basin Until March

As the 2014 legislative session opened Wednesday, newly elected state Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) – the second woman to hold the position – urged lawmakers to problem solve and skip the shouting matches in her opening day speech.

Headlines

  • Montrose County Sheriff's Sergeant on Leave after Child Abuse Allegations
  • Ouray County Mine Cited for Nearly 100 Safety Violations
  • Hickenlooper Calls for Bipartisanship Next Year
  • San Miguel County Commissioners Approve Funding for EcoAction Partners
  • Tree Hunting in one of Colorado's National Forests
  • Western Slope Skies - The Star Cluster Pleides

Governor John Hickenlooper says he wants to focus on jobs, the economy and non-partisan issues during the next legislative session. As he outlined his agenda Thursday, his biggest hope is that politics will take a back seat.

Elise Thatcher/Aspen Public Radio

Garfield County wants Governor John Hickenlooper to intervene with the state's new health insurance rules. The county has some of the highest premiums in Colorado under new guidelines. which are part of the Affordable Care Act.

Headlines

  • Hickenlooper visits Craig & Rifle, Calls for Compromise on Greater Sage Grouse
  • DMEA Expects Hydroelectric Upgrades to Increase Efficiency, Save Money
  • Business Leaders Across State Call for Quick Immigration Reform
  • Looking at the Challenges of Sourcing Food Locally with Joel Salatin

Headlines

  • Pilot Dies in Plane Crash Near Cedaredge
  • Feds Investigating Pagosa Springs Resort for possible links to Drug Money
  • Coloradans Still Have Mixed Feelings on Hickenlooper Policies
  • Forecasters Sending Warnings about Backcountry Avalanches
  • Rifle Man Dies in Crash on I-70
  • Gun Reform Advocates Rally in Denver

Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission is moving forward to review an ethics complaint against Governor John Hickenlooper. The Governor’s office blasted the claim saying it has no merit.

Calling them ‘groundbreaking,’ Governor John Hickenlooper proposed new statewide air quality rules for oil and gas drilling Monday. The rules aim to reduce air pollution from methane emissions.

Headlines 

  • State Lawmakers Won't Hold Special Session on Flood Recovery
  • Montrose and Hotchkiss Healthcare Exchange Offices Busy for Opening Days
  • Over 600 BLM Employees Furloughed after Government Shutdown
  • Lawsuit Filed Against Petition Signatures for School Funding Tax Proposal
  • "Neighbors, Strangers and Friends" Exhibit  on Display at Creamary Arts Center through 10/4/13
Bente Birkeland/RMCR

In November, voters in several Front Range communities will consider whether to ban or delay fracking. Many of these same areas are also recovering from September's devastating flooding.

There's renewed attention on the fight over fracking thanks to Colorado's flooding. Recent figures show that 12 spills have polluted the South Platte with 37,000 gallons of oil.

Both sides of the debate were out in full force during a recent community festival for the city of Broomfield. Voters there will decide whether to pass a five-year fracking moratorium.

Headlines

  • Shell Oil Announces Plans to Close R&D Project in Rio Blanco County
  • Aspen Collects Nearly $45,000 in Fees from Plastic Bag Ban
  • Report - Glenwood Springs Brought in over $95 Million from Tourism Last Year
  • Unemployment Rate in Mesa County Drops to 7.9%
  • Hickenlooper Says Many Roads Reopened after Floods
  • Senior Meals Program in Delta County Drops to a 3-Day-Per-Week Schedule
  • Carbondale Approves All Forms of Retail Marijuana Businesses

Headlines

  • Judge Denies Motion to Rescind Cease-and-Desist Order for Hen House
  • State Officials Tracking 10 Oil Spills after Floods
  • Hickenlooper Appoints Flood Recovery Cheif
  • Officials say Millions in Aid Money Will Only Begin to Fix Flood Damage
  • Regulators Fault Williams Subsidiary for Natural Gas Leak
  • Olathe Police Cheif Put on Leave Pending Investigation
  • KVNF Sports Report
Wolfgang Staudt via Flickr (CC BY)

In May, as the drought lingered for yet another year, Governor John Hickenlooper issued an executive order to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, calling for a new Colorado Water Plan “that will support agriculture in rural Colorado and align state policy to the state’s water values.” Hickenlooper also paid tribute to Colorado’s historic water law, which claims first in time, first in right.

USFWS Mountain Prairie (CC)

A roughly billion-dollar tax increase is likely to go before voters this fall. It’s part of a larger package of education reform that state lawmakers passed last session.

Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) is helping to spearhead the latest initiative. He also took the lead two years ago on an unsuccessful education tax increase to raise several billion dollars for K through 12 schools and higher education.