Happenings

Republicans have a plan to avoid a government shutdown — here's what's in it

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

(Business Insider) - House Republicans released their plan to fund the government for a short time and avoid a shutdown at the end of the week.

The plan will extend the deadline for a shutdown until February 16 from the current January 19 dropoff using a continuing resolution (CR). The CR will extend the current level of funding for most federal programs for nearly a month.

In addition to the funding extension, the plan tacks on a series of healthcare, tax, and military funding changes. Some of those extras reportedly include: READ MORE HERE...

 

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The 2018 campaigns for Colorado governor start today. And the candidates want your signature.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

(Denver Post) - The 2018 election in Colorado begins in earnest Tuesday as statewide campaigns deploy to shopping malls, street corners and parking lots to gather the 10,500 voter signatures needed to get their candidates on the ballot.

Much of the attention will focus on the governor’s race, where new campaign rules and a crowded field of Democratic and Republican candidates will make it difficult to secure a spot on the June 26 primary ballot.

For Republicans, the petition push is the first since forged signatures and lawsuits stained the 2016 primary for U.S. Senate and derailed once-promising candidates. For Democrats, it’s the first major statewide primary since 2010. And for all candidates, the decision about how to navigate the difficult path to the ballot represents the first test of strength as to whether they can win the primary and the all-important general election in November. READ MORE HERE...

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UGA early childhood education degree ranked No. 1

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The University of Georgia topped College Choice's list of 25 best bachelors in early childhood education.  

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House Republicans committee assignments

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Colorado House Republicans announced its committee assignments Friday. As the minority party in the chamber, the caucus controls no committee chairmanships or majorities. Here are the assignments:

House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee

  • Jon Becker, ranking member
  • Perry Buck
  • Marc Catlin
  • Kimmi Lewis
  • Hugh McKean
  • Lori Saine

House Appropriations Committee

  • Bob Rankin, ranking member
  • Jon Becker
  • Susan Beckman
  • Justin Everett
  • Patrick Neville

House Business Affairs and Labor Committee

  • Lang Sias, ranking member
  • Larry Liston
  • Shane Sandridge
  • Dan Thurlow
  • Kevin Van Winkle
  • Dave Williams

House Education Committee

  • Jim Wilson, ranking member
  • Justin Everett
  • Tim Leonard
  • Paul Lundeen
  • Judy Reyher
  • Lang Sias

House Finance Committee

  • Kevin Van Winkle, ranking member
  • Susan Beckman
  • Phil Covarrubias
  • Polly Lawrence
  • Shane Sandridge
  • Dan Thurlow

House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee

  • Susan Beckman, ranking member
  • Phil Covarrubias
  • Stephen Humphrey
  • Lois Landgraf
  • Kim Ransom
  • Jim Wilson

House Judiciary Committee

  • Yeulin Willett, ranking member
  • Terri Carver
  • Paul Lundeen
  • Cole Wist

House Local Government Committee

  • Kim Ransom, ranking member
  • Larry Liston
  • Hugh McKean
  • Judy Reyher
  • Dan Thurlow
  • Jim Wilson

House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee

  • Lois Landgraf, ranking member
  • Susan Beckman
  • Marc Catlin
  • Justin Everett
  • Hugh McKean
  • Kim Ransom

House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee

  • Stephen Humphrey, ranking member
  • Tim Leonard
  • Dave Williams

House Transportation and Energy Committee

  • Polly Lawrence, ranking member
  • Jon Becker
  • Perry Buck
  • Terri Carver
  • Kimmi Lewis

Legislative Audit Committee

  • Lori Saine
  • Tim Leonard
 

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Deed restriction may prohibit child care as potential use for soon-to-be vacated Senior Center

Friday, January 12, 2018

  

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El Pueblo History Museum To Begin New Early Childhood Program

Friday, January 12, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - From El Pueblo History Museum: El Pueblo History Museum is pleased to announce the introduction of Beyond Story Time, a new early childhood educational program in partnership with Pueblo EPIC. The program will be held at 10 am on Monday mornings, starting on January 22, 2018.

Coordinated by museum education professionals, Beyond Story Time will be a half-hour program designed to promote reading, cultural literacy, and healthy development for children ages 0-4. Children throughout the community are invited, whether in the care of parents, guardians, grandparents, or childcare providers. Kids will learn about learn about the people, places, animals, landscapes and cultures that make Pueblo and Colorado so special. The program will feature stories, songs, crafts and activities to enrich young lives and build connections to the community. Additionally, Pueblo EPIC will be providing periodic parent education sessions at El Pueblo History Museum.

"We recognize that literacy extends beyond words on a page. This program is designed to build literacy, cultural competence, and historic connection in some of Pueblo's youngest residents. We want to start early in giving Pueblo's children access to our community's rich cultural resources." said El Pueblo History Museum's Dawn DiPrince.

"Beyond Story Time fits perfectly with EPIC's core mission of school readiness. We want every child to
have an equal opportunity at educational success, and success in life. This project will help to
build foundational behaviors and skills vital to that success," said Pueblo EPIC's Burnie Zercher.
Pueblo EPIC – Executives Partnering to Invest in Children – is comprised of Pueblo business leaders committed to elevating the importance of early childhood in all sectors and working to create sustainable change through their networks.

El Pueblo History Museum is located at 301 N. Union Avenue in historic downtown Pueblo and is open daily, Monday – Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission to the museum is $5 for adults; $4 for students, seniors (65+), and children (up to 18); and children under 6 are free. The museum currently has one free exhibit, The Bell Rings: Pueblo's Historic High School Rivalry, on the Bell Game. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ElPuebloHistoryMuseum.

 

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s final State of the State speech

Friday, January 12, 2018

  

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Majority House Dems unleash their first five bills…

Thursday, January 11, 2018

  

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Talk of compromise under the Gold Dome as session begins

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Republicans will introduce a bill to lock $300 million a year into the state budget, and then refer a ballot measure to Colorado voters in November to allow the state to borrow money against it for transportation, Senate President Kevin Grantham said on the opening day of the legislative session Wednesday.

That would get the state rolling on expanding two clogged sections of Interstate 25 — from Castle Rock to Monument and north of Denver — as well as addressing the I-70 mountain corridor.

Securing money in the state budget for transportation is at the top of the GOP agenda, but Democrats hope to steer more money budget money into schools, affordable housing and other needs, as well as to share the expected revenue surplus next year on roads and bridges.

House Speaker Crisanta Duran talked about what lawmakers did last year for transportation. Senate Bill 267, a compromise to save rural hospitals, also will put $100 million in transportation that could be leveraged for $1.9 billion. The Colorado Department of Transportation said the state needs $20 billion over the next two decades.

“From Johnstown to the Four Corners, from Rifle to Pueblo, you will see investments in transportation infrastructure from this important bill,” she said. “Some of the most significant improvements will be felt on our interstate highways.”

Last year Duran and Grantham co-sponsored a failed bill to ask voters to pass a sales tax to pay back bonds to speed up a long list of transportation ideas, including transit and giving money to local government.

Republicans, including House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, stood firm on a plan to use existing state revenues, and no sales tax request, to fund transportation.

In his speech, Neville also acknowledged the challenging political times.

“House sessions during election years are always more politically charged than off-year sessions,” he said, a nod to the November election when all 65 chamber seats are on the ballots in their districts. “It’s especially true this year given the high-profile statewide elections and the many candidates for those offices here today. I know several of you in this room are vying for positions that will influence the direction of our state as a whole. That said, and knowing how strongly I feel about serving Colorado, I think this is the best time to announce that …. I too am throwing my name in for … more road funding and government efficiency.”

Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, a Democrat from Denver who is also a pastor, challenged fellow senators to take their responsibility to others seriously.

“As electeds, we are dared to heed the call to risk the unknown for the promise of greatness,” she said, “not for the greatness of ourselves but for the greatness of our state, the greatness of our people and the greatness of our society.”

The atmosphere at the Capitol Wednesday was much like the first day back at college, awash in handshakes and ebullient greetings, as 100 lawmakers and a legion of lobbyists and wonks gathered in the Gold Dome in Denver to kick off the second session of the 71st General Assembly.

The morning included some good-natured elbows between the chambers, the governor’s office and the parties.

Except for a small protest on sexual harassment, the mood was light for the 120-session, as lawmakers face plenty of issues that will divide the chambers and the parties in this election year.

Grantham, who is serving his last opening day in the Senate because of term limits, asked lawmakers to rise above Washington, D.C., politics. He called for a different political tone, after a moment of silence to honor Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish, who died in the line of duty when four deputies and a Castle Rock police officer were fired upon on Dec. 31.

“Fellow senators, citizens of our nation view a darkened horizon, a horizon where divisiveness and partisanship have become the norm, where even our political party can be a label of shame,” Grantham said. “Many find difficulty with seeing a brighter tomorrow for America and for Colorado. The heart of our nation, civil discourse is under continual attack. The feelings of community, neighborliness, that was once the backbone of our communities is quickly becoming a distant memory, and our willingness to engage one another has diminished.”

He added later in his speech, “Let’s not fall to the temptation of blaming the other side for incomplete work.”

Duran said in her speech Wednesday, “There’s still more that binds us together than will ever divide us.”

The fire in her speech came when Duran began to address the sexual harassment allegations that dog the General Assembly in its opening day: ”We must confront these issues head on and successfully reform the culture of the Capitol.”

One lawmaker was noticeably in his seat: Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat who is the focal point of harassment complaints that have embroiled four lawmakers, two Republicans, two Democrats, two in the Senate, two in the House.

Duran got the first of several standing ovations for those remarks, and that included House Republicans as well as her fellow Democrats.

Duran’s priorities this session also include affordable housing, criminal sentencing reform and a package of bills addressing the opioid epidemic. For her, the latter is personal. A 40-year old cousin, just three years older than Duran, died in November after facing a lifelong struggle with substance abuse, both alcohol and opioids. Duran’s voice broke while she told his story.

“He was smart and thoughtful and loved to laugh and joke around,” she said. Every member of the House stood as she spoke of his struggles.

The morning got off on a jovial, if not taunting note. Each chamber must dispatch a committee to the other to report their respective chamber “organized and ready for business.” As the Senate was sending over its committee — Republicans Bob Gardner and Owen Hill of Colorado Springs, with Leroy Garcia of Pueblo — the House committee was already in the Senate.

Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton, delivered a message from Duran, “We are not going to wait for you.”

Senators didn’t take that without firing back.

When he returned, Gardner said he told the Senate was ready, which was met with “dubious chuckles.”

Garcia didn’t let it go at that. “I saw a different picture. Instead, I saw total chaos. Members couldn’t find their seats. The House being true to the style the House is. Colleagues, Mr. President, I think we’re in for a long year.”

Grantham sent Republican Sens. Don Coram of Montrose and Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud, with Democrat Andy Kerr of Lakewood to inform the governor.

“We reported to the governor, and she thanked us, because the governor isn’t down there. Seriously,” Lundberg said, referring to Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne. Hickenlooper is in New York City for a Bloomberg Philanthropies Education to Employment event. “… I trust the … guy who sits down in that office will show up tomorrow, because I understand he has a report to give to us.”

Coram said if Hickenlooper doesn’t show, “I will initiate a photo on a milk carton saying that he is missing.”

 

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10 things to watch in the 2018 Colorado legislature

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

(ColoradoPolitics.Com) -  

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