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Colorado Daily News Digest: Feb 21


ProgressNow Daily News

Colorado, Oregon attorneys general strike opposite positions toward gay marriage suits

http://www.coloradoindependent.com/146117/colorado-oregon-attorneys-general-strike-opposite-positions-toward-gay-marriage-suits [1]

Colorado Republican Attorney General John Suthers said he was committed to defending the state’s ban on gay marriage in the face of a lawsuit filed yesterday challenging its constitutionality. Today comes news that Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has joined with an increasing number of attorneys general across the country and taken the opposite tack: She announced Thursday that she will not defend the state’s ban on gay marriage in a suit already well underway there. “The State “will not defend the Oregon ban on same-sex marriage in this litigation,” she wrote in a brief submitted to the U.S. district court. “Rather, they will take the position in their summary judgment briefing that the ban cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review.”

Young avoid coverage in Colorado, posing problem for health care law

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25195975/young-avoid-coverage-colorado-posing-problem-health-care [2]

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 40 percent of people ages 18 to 34 need to sign up for health insurance to defray the costs of coverage for older, sicker people, but so far those figures in Colorado and nationally are half that number. Obamacare proponents say they have several years to meet that goal. Both sides agree that if young people do not start signing up in greater numbers, premiums will increase for every insured person. However, it’s unclear how large the increases would be.

Lamborn touted military record during Business Alliance luncheon Thursday

http://gazette.com/lamborn-touted-military-record-during-business-alliance-luncheon-thursday/article/1515085 [3]

Congressman Doug Lamborn touted his work to spare the defense budget from sequestration cuts during a luncheon where he told constituents about the state of the 5th Congressional District. “It is critical that the military does not turn into a budgetary punching bag,” Lamborn said.

GOP convention chief: May pick two finalists to compete for 2016 slot

http://www.denverpost.com/newsheadlines/ci_25192908/gop-convention-chief-may-pick-two-finalists-compete [4]

Sen. Michael Bennet gets letter from 4th grader on smoking, pays her a visit

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2014/02/20/sen-michael-bennet-gets-letter-4th-grader-smoking-pays-visit/106170/ [5]

‘Viva Tancredo’ campaign hitting early snags

http://www.coloradoindependent.com/146108/viva-tancredo-campaign-hitting-early-snags [6]

At this point, the single photograph might have gained as much attention as has the entire “Viva Tancredo” campaign.

GOP candidates for guv attack Hick and absent front-runners

http://coloradostatesman.com/content/994654-gop-candidates-guv-attack-hick-and-absent-front-runners [7]

Four of Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial hopefuls took turns attacking Democratic incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday at a debate in Denver but also heaped criticism on the two GOP front-runners, who have so far declined to participate in debates they say will only sow division among Republicans.

Feud between Colorado secretary of state and JBC erupts over letters

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25191074/feud-between-colorado-secretary-state-and-jbc-erupts [8]

A simmering feud between Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler and the Joint Budget Committee erupted again this week over letters from Gessler accusing lawmakers of “political posturing.” But two members of the JBC — Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, and Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen — said the Republican secretary of state is the one playing political games. “I’m disgusted, totally disgusted by the tone, the rudeness, calling us liars,” Gerou said Thursday. “He doesn’t sound like a governor.”

RELATED: Colorado’s statehouse staredown: Business fees are at the root of Gessler-Legislature battle

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/capitol_business/2014/02/business-fees-at-root-of.html [9]

Bipartisan effort seeks to address Colorado’s K-12 budget challenges

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25190326/bipartisan-effort-seeks-address-colorados-k-12-budget [10]

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has proposed an infusion of more than $300 million into K-12 education that would boost several programs that lost out with the defeat of Amendment 66, while also partially restoring budget cuts from the recession. The draft bill, expected to be introduced in the House on Monday, would take advantage of improving revenue forecasts, an education surplus and about $40 million from recreational pot taxes to address needs from kindergarten and charter school facilities to struggling early readers to English language learners.

RELATED: Lawmakers propose $263M in new education spending

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25192944/lawmakers-propose-263m-new-education-spending [11]

RELATED: Bill would give more funding to state schools

http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/bill-would-give8232more-funding-8232to-state-schoo [12]

RELATED: Democrats and Republicans offer education spending proposal

http://kdvr.com/2014/02/20/democrats-and-republicans-offer-education-spending-proposal/ [13]

Left, right in agreement on state testing

http://coloradostatesman.com/content/994657-left-right-agreement-state-testing [14]

Education policy can lead to strange bedfellows. Several school policy debates playing out at the legislature this year have brought an alignment between the left and the right, offering hope that there is a middle road when it comes to education reform. The most recent example occurred Monday in the House Education Committee when Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, brought a bill that would allow certain districts to opt out of mandated tests for all but third, eighth and 10th grades, and the ACT tests in 11th grade.

Bad behavior could keep Colo. inmates behind bars longer

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25194423/bad-behavior-could-keep-colo-inmates-behind-bars [15]

A bill designed to hold inmates accountable for bad prison behavior by rescinding previously awarded earned time was passed on second reading by the Colorado House Thursday. “The bill will help keep violent offenders off the street,” said Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch. If inmates commit serious or violent offenses in prison, the proposed law would require the Department of Corrections to rescind all earned time awarded throughout their prison sentence, a penalty that could add months to a prisoner’s incarceration.

RELATED: Bill would change rules on earned time in Colorado prisons

http://www.coloradoan.com/viewart/20140220/NEWS01/302200096/Bill-would-change-rules-earned-time-Colorado-prisons [16]

Hickenlooper death-penalty decision inspires GOP bill on reprieves

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25194564/hickenlooper-death-penalty-decision-inspires-gop-bill-reprieves [17]

Gov. John Hickenlooper infuriated some Coloradans when he granted an indefinite reprieve to death row inmate Nathan Dunlap, among them an Arvada lawmaker who wants to make sure it never happens again. Republican Rep. Libby Szabo has proposed limiting reprieves in death penalty cases to 90 days and only if “administrative difficulties arise” in carrying out an execution. “I believe that the victims, the families, deserve justice,” she said.

Bill to take Denver’s Medina Alerts statewide passes committee

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25194449/bill-take-denvers-medina-alerts-statewide-passes-committee [18]

The Colorado legislature moved a step closer to making Denver’s 2-year-old Medina Alert system a statewide tool to catch hit-and-run drivers. Thursday the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that instructs the state Department of Public Safety to quickly alert the media, issue bulletins on electronic highway signs and use other means to publicize the description of fleeing vehicles that have killed or seriously injured a pedestrian or cyclist.

Side Streets: A blueprint for settling disputes in HOAs

http://gazette.com/side-streets-a-blueprint-for-settling-disputes-in-hoas/article/1515119 [19]

Colorado lawmakers should provide alternatives for residents to settle disputes with dysfunctional homeowners associations, the state HOA boss recommends.

Colorado panel votes to raise tobacco age to 21

http://www.coloradoan.com/viewart/20140220/NEWS11/302200102/Colorado-panel-votes-raise-tobacco-age-21 [20]

Colorado would raise the tobacco age to 21 under a bill that won approval in a House committee Thursday.

RELATED: Colorado legislators consider bill to raise age for buying cigarettes

http://kdvr.com/2014/02/20/colorado-legislators-consider-bill-to-raise-age-for-buying-cigarettes/ [21]

Hickenlooper would spend most of pot tax revenue on protecting youth, abuse treatment

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2014/02/20/hickenlooper-would-spend-most-of-pot.html [22]

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed spending the lion’s share of expected tax revenue from legal marijuana sales on youth-deterrence programs and substance-abuse treatment. Hickenlooper on Wednesday submitted to the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee a spending plan for sales and excise tax revenue levied under Proposition AA, a measure that state voters approved last fall.

RELATED: Marijuana social club back open in Colorado Springs after panel grants appeal

http://gazette.com/marijuana-social-club-back-open-in-colorado-springs-after-panel-grants-appeal/article/1515117 [23]

RELATED: Epilepsy agency, doctor back medical marijuana

http://gazette.com/epilepsy-agency-doctor-back-medical-marijuana/article/1515121 [24]

RELATED: Dillon schedules retail marijuana public forum

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/10285782-113/dillon-town-retail-council [25]

Last piece of U.S. 36 contract put in place Thursday

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25195790/last-piece-u-s-36-contract-put-place [26]

The final piece of an agreement that hands over the maintenance and tolling of U.S. 36 between Boulder and Denver for 50 years was quietly put in place Thursday. The state’s Transportation Commission reviewed and unanimously signed off on a compliance agreement between the Colorado Department of Transportation and Plenary Roads Denver for the U.S. 36 Managed Lanes project.

He’ll be more careful with gun, lawmaker promises

http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/hell-be-more-careful-with-gun-lawmaker-promises [27]

Rep. Jared Wright’s leaving his handgun unattended in a House committee room may have raised a few eyebrows around the Colorado Capitol, but he didn’t break any legislative rules in doing so. He may, however, have violated a major tenet that anyone who has ever worked in law enforcement shares: Maintain possession of your firearm at all times. The Fruita Republican was admonished by the Colorado State Patrol and the governor’s office for leaving his handgun — for which he has a concealed-carry permit — in his bag in a committee room Feb. 6 after the end of a hearing, coincidentally on a bill dealing with concealed-carry laws.

RELATED: Group: ‘It is inexcusable’ legislator left loaded gun at capitol

http://kdvr.com/2014/02/20/group-it-is-inexcusable-legislator-left-loaded-gun-at-capitol/ [28]

Breckenridge Republican Debra Irvine jumps into House District 61 race

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/10288707-113/irvine-hamner-amendment-million [29]

Rocky Flats workers form panel to monitor new compensation program

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25192507/rocky-flats-workers-form-panel-monitor-new-compensation [30]

Former Rocky Flats Plant workers and their survivors have formed a citizens’ advisory board to monitor the federal compensation program for employees stricken with job-related illnesses. Officials from the U.S. energy and labor departments and the National Institute of Safety and Health held public meetings in Denver Wednesday and Thursday to explain new benefits for former plant workers. To be eligible, they must have certain cancers now presumed to be caused by exposure to radiation or other toxins at Rocky Flats, where they manufactured plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons stockpiled during the Cold War era.

Sen. Greg Brophy to Air Quality commission: Don’t punish rural Colorado

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2014/02/20/greg-brophy-air-quality-commission-dont-punish-rural-colorado/106159/ [31]

Sen. Greg Brophy took swipes at the Sierra Club, managed to mention Colorado’s legalization of marijuana and recommended hugging a fracker when he testified in front of the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission Tuesday. The Wray farmer, one of six Republicans running for governor, urged the commission to reject new regulations that would hurt Colorado’s energy industry and put an unfair burden on rural communities.

RELATED: Agency: Oil, gas rules will bring ‘historic’ pollution improvements

http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/agency-oil-gas-rules-will-bring-historic-pollution [32]

RELATED: Will hearings lead to clean air… or hot air?

http://coloradostatesman.com/content/994656-will-hearings-lead-clean-air-or-hot-air [33]

RELATED: Testimony continues in final fight over oil and gas emissions rules

http://kdvr.com/2014/02/20/public-testimony-continues-over-oil-and-gas-emission-rules/ [34]

Vail withdraws marketing money from energy forum

http://www.vaildaily.com/news/10268151-113/council-vail-forum-town [35]

Greeley officials look at water conservation to avoid running out of resource in 30 years

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/10259598-113/greeley-monson-mueller-officials [36]

Greeley’s water supply will run out in about 30 years if we continue to consume water the way we do now, city officials say. By 2050, they say, half of the demand for water in Greeley will be to irrigate outdoor lawns.

Maketa says comments about missing file in office taken out of context

http://gazette.com/maketa-says-comments-about-missing-file-in-office-taken-out-of-context/article/1515120 [37]

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said Thursday that a Gazette article concerning the investigation of a missing file at his office took his comments out of context and asked that a recording of his interview with The Gazette be made public.

Unaware: Sheriffs ‘unknowingly’ assigned rogue deputy to train colleagues

http://www.coloradoindependent.com/146102/unaware-sheriffs-unknowingly-assigned-rogue-deputy-to-train-colleagues [38]

After suspending a deputy for slamming an inmate into a window and misleading investigators about the attack, the Denver Sheriff’s Department assigned him to train other officers on how to handle volatile situations and how to write official reports about use-of-force incidents. Deputy Brady Lovingier — son of longtime sheriff’s department chief Bill Lovingier — was caught on tape in 2012 attacking a fully restrained inmate in front of a judge in her courtroom, without provocation.

City Council approves limits on panhandling

http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/city-council-approves-limits-on-panhandling [39]

Some people thought having an ordinance to outlaw aggressive panhandling was overkill, targeting a group of people who are the most vulnerable.

Higher housing costs levitate Denver-Boulder inflation rate

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_25194563/higher-housing-costs-levitate-denver-boulder-inflation-rate [40]

Boulder County commissioner candidates debate

http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_25196638/boulder-county-commissioner-candidates-debate [41]

Boulder council balks at more financial disclosure

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_25196535/boulder-council-balks-at-more-disclosure [42]

April 1 election in Erie could prompt major change in town hall leadership

http://www.dailycamera.com/erie-news/ci_25195183/april-1-election-erie-could-prompt-major-change [43]

Longmont council members Santos and Finley join state, national committees

http://www.timescall.com/longmont-local-news/ci_25196384/longmont-council-members-santos-and-finley-join-state [44]

Hopefuls file for trustee seats in Carbondale, Silt

http://www.postindependent.com/news/10288729-113/town-mayor-trustee-silt [45]

Pueblo County sheriff secures millions for new radios

http://www.chieftain.com/news/pueblo/2310478-120/pueblo-county-radio-project [46]

Audit finds Denver airport concessions concentrated in hands of few

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25191303/audit-finds-denver-airport-concessions-concentrated-hands-few [47]

Summit County and Red, White & Blue fire department reach new partnership agreement

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/10285258-113/county-scas-ambulance-district [48]

CU proposes up to 4.1 percent tuition hike in Boulder for next year

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25192701/cu-proposes-up-4-1-percent-tuition-hike [49]

Cortez schools face $750,000 shortfall

http://durangoherald.com/article/20140220/NEWS01/140229956/-1/NEWS01/Cortez-schools-face-$750000-shortfall- [50]

Boulder Valley teachers join state complaints about time spent on testing

http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-schools/ci_25195643/boulder-valley-teachers-join-state-complaints-about-time [51]

Local teachers are supporting the Colorado Education Association’s campaign to reduce testing time and unfunded state mandates.

Officials address 14 threats in D60

http://www.chieftain.com/news/pueblo/2310051-120/threat-assessment-chieftain-students [52]

Prosecutor: Son of Sen. Mark Udall ‘wasn’t arrested in possession of drugs’

http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_25194333/son-sen-mark-udall-charged-trespassing-wont-face [53]