Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 12:25 pm
Following a March attack in Longmont where a mother's unborn child was cut from her womb, Colorado's Senate President has introduced a fetal homicide bill. As written, Senate Bill 268 [.pdf], would define a person as an unborn human being from conception until birth for the purposes of homicide and assault cases. It's expected to draw vigorous debate at the statehouse.
"Frankly crime victims deserves justice, society demands justice," said Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs). "Currently there's a significant gap in Colorado."
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 7:50 am
Democrats in the House unexpectedly delayed a vote on an American Indian mascot bill after they realized Republicans had enough votes to stop it.
House Bill 1165 [.pdf] would set up a state commission to review American Indian mascot names associated with high school and college athletic teams. Without approval, schools would have to switch their names or face fines.
“You can’t honor people based off of words, based off of racist intentions that required extermination,” said bill sponsor Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton).
The Montrose County Board of Commissioners and the Montrose Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees are in an ongoing dispute over control of operations at the hospital. The battle has ended up in court several times.
Late last year, both parties agreed to mediation so they could avoid a lawsuit. In a few weeks, that mediation is set to begin.
Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 8:54 am
There's not a whole lot to do in prison, so inmates spend a fair amount of time playing cards.
For several years, law enforcement officials around the country have been putting that prisoners' pastime to good use. They've been putting facts and photos from unsolved crimes in front of prisoners' eyes by printing them on decks of cards, hoping to generate leads.
The annual Colorado budget is making its way through the statehouse. It cleared the Senate on a vote of 21 to 14, passing largely along party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans to support it. What are the dynamics in play?
The State Senate adopted the annual budget Thursday, approving $9.6 billion dollars for Colorado's general fund to pay for schools, parks, roads and prisons among other state programs. The budget gained unanimous support from Republicans who hold a one-seat majority in the chamber.
"I believe it has hit the proper balance," said Senate Majority Leader Mark Scheffel (R-Parker).
Passing a balanced budget is the only job lawmakers are technically required to do under the state constitution. It starts with a draft from the Governor, followed by months of meetings from the Joint Budget Committee to craft it. Following passage in the Senate, the budget moves on to the Colorado House.
More than $34 million in grants from the state will go to local communities for public improvement projects.
Forty communities across the state received grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
Hotchkiss got $1.1 million to upgrade the town’s sewer system. De Beque received $2 million to help build a new fire station. The state awarded Mesa County $1 million for road and structure improvements.
The Montrose Recreation District got $1.9 million to expand its community recreation center. And, Cedaredge received nearly $2 million.
Spring has officially started, but on the Western Slope of Colorado, people have been noticing signs of warm weather for a while. iSeeChange.org has seen a lot of postings about early arrivals in the natural world. Andrea Lecos, for example, noticed a spring time sound in the beginning of February.