<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Tue, 07 Jul 2015 22:32:25 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Report: Army will cut 40,000 troops; no word on Fort Carson]]> http://gazette.com/report-army-will-cut-40000-troops-no-word-on-fort-carson/article/1555180?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/report-army-will-cut-40000-troops-no-word-on-fort-carson/article/1555180?custom_click=rss

With proposed Army troop reductions imminent, officials are awaiting how many - if any - cuts may come to Fort Carson.

USA Today reported Tuesday that the Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers - from 490,000 to 450,000 - over the next two years across domestic and foreign posts, with an additional 17,000 civilian employees laid off.

"I have not heard anything specific to us," said Andy Merritt, who handles military affairs for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.

A Fort Carson spokeswoman said Tuesday night that officials at the post are not aware of cuts and are waiting for the official word.

An announcement of the proposed reductions is expected this week.

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]]> With proposed Army troop reductions imminent, officials are awaiting how many - if any - cuts may come to Fort Carson.

USA Today reported Tuesday that the Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers - from 490,000 to 450,000 - over the next two years across domestic and foreign posts, with an additional 17,000 civilian employees laid off.

"I have not heard anything specific to us," said Andy Merritt, who handles military affairs for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.

A Fort Carson spokeswoman said Tuesday night that officials at the post are not aware of cuts and are waiting for the official word.

An announcement of the proposed reductions is expected this week.]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 21:32:55 -0600 <![CDATA[El Paso County commissioners vote to end Black Forest code exceptions]]> http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-commissioners-vote-to-end-black-forest-code-exceptions/article/1555168?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-commissioners-vote-to-end-black-forest-code-exceptions/article/1555168?custom_click=rss

The Board of El Paso County Commissioners voted 4-0 on Tuesday to expire exceptions to land use codes in Black Forest, a decision that will force residents who have been living in RVs and trailers to move out and move on.

Following the Black Forest fire in 2013, the commissioners lifted land use codes that prevented property owners from living in temporary housing on their properties, allowing many displaced homeowners to move into RVs on their land. The code suspension also lifted the requirements that homeowners clear debris and rubbish off their land.

Although the exceptions expire immediately, no time frame was given for Black Forest homeowners to comply, according to county spokesman Dave Rose.



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The Board of El Paso County Commissioners voted 4-0 on Tuesday to expire exceptions to land use codes in Black Forest, a decision that will force residents who have been living in RVs and trailers to move out and move on.

Following the Black Forest fire in 2013, the commissioners lifted land use codes that prevented property owners from living in temporary housing on their properties, allowing many displaced homeowners to move into RVs on their land. The code suspension also lifted the requirements that homeowners clear debris and rubbish off their land.

Although the exceptions expire immediately, no time frame was given for Black Forest homeowners to comply, according to county spokesman Dave Rose.

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Tue, 07 Jul 2015 20:18:24 -0600
<![CDATA[This week: Calendar of events in the Colorado Springs area]]> http://gazette.com/this-week-calendar-of-events-in-the-colorado-springs-area/article/1555056?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/this-week-calendar-of-events-in-the-colorado-springs-area/article/1555056?custom_click=rss Here are some of the top events happening this week around Colorado Springs:

- Colorado Springs Fresh Perspective will have a launch party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave. The group aims to identify and support young candidates for local boards, commissions and elected office. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/cosfp.

- The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance and City Council will meet from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Pikes Peak Conference Room at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.

- The Peak Dems hold their annual block party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at Cascade Avenue and Rio Grande Street with burgers, brats, beer, wine, other drinks,



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Here are some of the top events happening this week around Colorado Springs:

- Colorado Springs Fresh Perspective will have a launch party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave. The group aims to identify and support young candidates for local boards, commissions and elected office. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/cosfp.

- The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance and City Council will meet from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Pikes Peak Conference Room at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.

- The Peak Dems hold their annual block party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at Cascade Avenue and Rio Grande Street with burgers, brats, beer, wine, other drinks,

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Mon, 06 Jul 2015 07:06:07 -0600
<![CDATA[Top 5 stories you may have missed over the holiday weekend around Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/top-5-stories-you-may-have-missed-over-the-holiday-weekend-around-colorado-springs/article/1555030?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/top-5-stories-you-may-have-missed-over-the-holiday-weekend-around-colorado-springs/article/1555030?custom_click=rss

Here's a look at the top five stories you may have missed from gazette.



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Here's a look at the top five stories you may have missed from gazette.

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Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:45:59 -0600
<![CDATA[Young? A minority? Just-informed Colorado Springs Fresh Perspective wants you on city boards, council]]> http://gazette.com/young-a-minority-just-informed-colorado-springs-fresh-perspective-wants-you-on-city-boards-council/article/1555012?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/young-a-minority-just-informed-colorado-springs-fresh-perspective-wants-you-on-city-boards-council/article/1555012?custom_click=rss

A half-dozen politically astute young locals are launching Colorado Springs Fresh Perspective to bring diversity to city government.

The mission is to get young people, minorities and women onto city boards and commissions - and to help them win election to the City Council in two years.

The nonpartisan group isn't looking "for particular points of view," said Tony Gioia, president of the board for Fresh Perspective. "Candidates' stances on issues won't affect whether we support them. We want people we disagree with."

If that sounds idealistic, consider this: Gioia is a conservative Republican, and board Vice President Courtney Stone says she's "the hippie liberal."

"And we get along great," Stone said. "I want



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A half-dozen politically astute young locals are launching Colorado Springs Fresh Perspective to bring diversity to city government.

The mission is to get young people, minorities and women onto city boards and commissions - and to help them win election to the City Council in two years.

The nonpartisan group isn't looking "for particular points of view," said Tony Gioia, president of the board for Fresh Perspective. "Candidates' stances on issues won't affect whether we support them. We want people we disagree with."

If that sounds idealistic, consider this: Gioia is a conservative Republican, and board Vice President Courtney Stone says she's "the hippie liberal."

"And we get along great," Stone said. "I want

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Sun, 05 Jul 2015 08:49:48 -0600
<![CDATA[Gay marriage opponents propose 2 Colorado ballot measures]]> http://gazette.com/gay-marriage-opponents-propose-2-colorado-ballot-measures/article/1554982?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gay-marriage-opponents-propose-2-colorado-ballot-measures/article/1554982?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Opponents of gay marriage have proposed two Colorado ballot measures in response to the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide.

One measure would redefine same-sex marriages in Colorado as civil unions. A second initiative would allow wedding-related businesses opposed to gay marriage to hire a contractor to serve same-sex couples.

The ballot measures were filed Thursday by Gene Straub and D'Arcy Straub, both of Littleton, The Denver Post reported (http://dpo.st/1GX8VEr ). They did not return calls from the Post for comment on the measures.

It's not clear whether the measures would meet legal muster.



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DENVER — Opponents of gay marriage have proposed two Colorado ballot measures in response to the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide.

One measure would redefine same-sex marriages in Colorado as civil unions. A second initiative would allow wedding-related businesses opposed to gay marriage to hire a contractor to serve same-sex couples.

The ballot measures were filed Thursday by Gene Straub and D'Arcy Straub, both of Littleton, The Denver Post reported (http://dpo.st/1GX8VEr ). They did not return calls from the Post for comment on the measures.

It's not clear whether the measures would meet legal muster.

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Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:42:11 -0600
<![CDATA[Recreational marijuana advocates want Denver voters to allow use in bars, clubs]]> http://gazette.com/recreational-marijuana-advocates-want-denver-voters-to-allow-use-in-bars-clubs/article/1554904?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/recreational-marijuana-advocates-want-denver-voters-to-allow-use-in-bars-clubs/article/1554904?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Authors of the constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana in Colorado want to legalize public recreational pot clubs in Denver, while Colorado Springs officials work in the opposite direction.

Denver, which does allow private pot clubs, forbids the consumption of marijuana at public venues like bars, restaurants, clubs or theaters.

Colorado Springs city ordinances are silent on the issue, opening the doors for private social clubs where people can go to consume marijuana - sometimes even "acquiring" the product there.

But Denver, which has a slew of legal recreational dispensaries, whereas Colorado Springs has banned the sale of recreational pot.



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DENVER - Authors of the constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana in Colorado want to legalize public recreational pot clubs in Denver, while Colorado Springs officials work in the opposite direction.

Denver, which does allow private pot clubs, forbids the consumption of marijuana at public venues like bars, restaurants, clubs or theaters.

Colorado Springs city ordinances are silent on the issue, opening the doors for private social clubs where people can go to consume marijuana - sometimes even "acquiring" the product there.

But Denver, which has a slew of legal recreational dispensaries, whereas Colorado Springs has banned the sale of recreational pot.

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Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:21:17 -0600
<![CDATA[Audit: Colorado Springs may owe feds millions in mismanaged housing funds]]> http://gazette.com/audit-colorado-springs-may-owe-feds-millions-in-mismanaged-housing-funds/article/1554886?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/audit-colorado-springs-may-owe-feds-millions-in-mismanaged-housing-funds/article/1554886?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Springs housing division must provide documentation to show how it spent more than $9 million of federal funds or pay it back after a new audit revealed problems in how two grant programs were managed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General reports released Tuesday built on previous city and federal audits that showed oversight issues, mismanagement of funds and paperwork that was altered or poorly kept.

The recent inspector general reports say the city committed money to more than 50 projects that lacked proper documentation, spent $6 million for salary and project costs that are unaccounted for and paid out $3.1 million for projects that did not have complete



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The Colorado Springs housing division must provide documentation to show how it spent more than $9 million of federal funds or pay it back after a new audit revealed problems in how two grant programs were managed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General reports released Tuesday built on previous city and federal audits that showed oversight issues, mismanagement of funds and paperwork that was altered or poorly kept.

The recent inspector general reports say the city committed money to more than 50 projects that lacked proper documentation, spent $6 million for salary and project costs that are unaccounted for and paid out $3.1 million for projects that did not have complete

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Fri, 03 Jul 2015 07:01:45 -0600
<![CDATA[List: Fourth of July closings in the Colorado Springs area]]> http://gazette.com/list-fourth-of-july-closings-in-the-colorado-springs-area/article/1554820?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/list-fourth-of-july-closings-in-the-colorado-springs-area/article/1554820?custom_click=rss

Closings

Banks and credit unions: Most banks and credit unions closed Saturday. Some may be closed or have shortened hours Friday. Check with individual bank or credit union for hours.

Buses (Metro Transit): Buses running on Sunday schedule Saturday.

Government offices: City, county, state and federal offices closed Friday.

Libraries: All Pikes Peak District library branches closed Saturday.

Postal Service: All offices closed and no mail service Saturday

The Gazette: Office closed Friday; newspaper delivery unaffected.

Malls: The Citadel, Chapel Hills and the Promenade Shops at Briargate: Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

Major department and grocery stores: Most open regular hours Saturday.



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Closings

Banks and credit unions: Most banks and credit unions closed Saturday. Some may be closed or have shortened hours Friday. Check with individual bank or credit union for hours.

Buses (Metro Transit): Buses running on Sunday schedule Saturday.

Government offices: City, county, state and federal offices closed Friday.

Libraries: All Pikes Peak District library branches closed Saturday.

Postal Service: All offices closed and no mail service Saturday

The Gazette: Office closed Friday; newspaper delivery unaffected.

Malls: The Citadel, Chapel Hills and the Promenade Shops at Briargate: Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

Major department and grocery stores: Most open regular hours Saturday.

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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:14:47 -0600
<![CDATA[Mayor wants age limit, evaluations for Colorado Springs judges]]> http://gazette.com/mayor-wants-age-limit-evaluations-for-colorado-springs-judges/article/1554854?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/mayor-wants-age-limit-evaluations-for-colorado-springs-judges/article/1554854?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs will lose half of its dozen municipal judges over the next several years under a mandatory retirement age of 75 sought by Mayor John Suthers.

Three of those judges are 72, the age at which state and Denver County judges must retire. Three others are 70, 68 and 63.

The local judiciary also will face formal performance evaluations under the changes initially proposed by Presiding Judge HayDen W. Kane II, administrator of the Colorado Springs Municipal Court.

"Very selfishly," Kane said, "it gets me out of some very uncomfortable (situations) . . It was really awkward in the past for the court administrator to have those discussions with judges going blind. It was bad stuff.

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]]> Colorado Springs will lose half of its dozen municipal judges over the next several years under a mandatory retirement age of 75 sought by Mayor John Suthers.

Three of those judges are 72, the age at which state and Denver County judges must retire. Three others are 70, 68 and 63.

The local judiciary also will face formal performance evaluations under the changes initially proposed by Presiding Judge HayDen W. Kane II, administrator of the Colorado Springs Municipal Court.

"Very selfishly," Kane said, "it gets me out of some very uncomfortable (situations) . . It was really awkward in the past for the court administrator to have those discussions with judges going blind. It was bad stuff.]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:05:16 -0600 <![CDATA[Second Calhan official resigns amid probe of possible water theft]]> http://gazette.com/second-calhan-official-resigns-amid-probe-of-possible-water-theft/article/1554807?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/second-calhan-official-resigns-amid-probe-of-possible-water-theft/article/1554807?custom_click=rss

Calhan's mayor resigned Wednesday amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of water theft.

Blair Bartling, who became mayor in 2006, submitted a letter of resignation around 8 a.m. Wednesday, town clerk Cindy Tompkins said.

"Please accept this letter as notification that I am resigning my position as mayor of the town of Calhan effective July 1, 2015," Bartling's letter said.

When reached for comment Wednesday, Bartling said the ongoing water investigation is "not even close to why I resigned." He declined to tell The Gazette why he resigned.

Bartling's decision follows the departure of Calhan's public works director Greg Maggard in June and comes as the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into a

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]]> Calhan's mayor resigned Wednesday amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of water theft.

Blair Bartling, who became mayor in 2006, submitted a letter of resignation around 8 a.m. Wednesday, town clerk Cindy Tompkins said.

"Please accept this letter as notification that I am resigning my position as mayor of the town of Calhan effective July 1, 2015," Bartling's letter said.

When reached for comment Wednesday, Bartling said the ongoing water investigation is "not even close to why I resigned." He declined to tell The Gazette why he resigned.

Bartling's decision follows the departure of Calhan's public works director Greg Maggard in June and comes as the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into a]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:05:14 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado senators team up to prevent major cuts to Pikes Peak region military facilities]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-senators-team-up-to-prevent-major-cuts-to-pikes-peak-region-military-facilities/article/1554746?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-senators-team-up-to-prevent-major-cuts-to-pikes-peak-region-military-facilities/article/1554746?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Colorado's senators crossed party lines last week and teamed up to ask the secretary of defense to look kindly on the state when making decisions about reducing forces at military installations.

"As you grapple with difficult force structure decisions and the confines of the current budget environment, we write to highlight the value that the state of Colorado and our local communities offer the Department of Defense," wrote Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, in a letter sent Friday to Pentagon chief Ashton Carter.

Carter is expected to unveil proposed cuts following the Fourth of July holiday, and people in Washington, D.C. - and across the country - are waiting anxiously.



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DENVER - Colorado's senators crossed party lines last week and teamed up to ask the secretary of defense to look kindly on the state when making decisions about reducing forces at military installations.

"As you grapple with difficult force structure decisions and the confines of the current budget environment, we write to highlight the value that the state of Colorado and our local communities offer the Department of Defense," wrote Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, in a letter sent Friday to Pentagon chief Ashton Carter.

Carter is expected to unveil proposed cuts following the Fourth of July holiday, and people in Washington, D.C. - and across the country - are waiting anxiously.

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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:08:12 -0600
<![CDATA[19 new laws take effect Wednesday in Colorado; homemade hash oil, cyberbullying addressed]]> http://gazette.com/19-new-laws-take-effect-wednesday-in-colorado-homemade-hash-oil-cyberbullying-addressed/article/1554785?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/19-new-laws-take-effect-wednesday-in-colorado-homemade-hash-oil-cyberbullying-addressed/article/1554785?custom_click=rss

DENVER — People who make marijuana hash oil with hazardous materials at home will face felony charges in Colorado, and online bullies will be subject to penalties for harassment under new state laws taking effect Wednesday.

Licensed manufacturers of pot concentrates won't be affected by the new law, but amateur cooks will be charged if they use materials like a flammable liquid chemical or compressed gas, both of which have been linked to explosions. More than 30 butane explosions were connected to hash production in 2014.

One of the sponsors of the law, Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Delta, said that one benefit of the legislation is that it will allow law enforcement to make arrests before there's an explosion, rather



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DENVER — People who make marijuana hash oil with hazardous materials at home will face felony charges in Colorado, and online bullies will be subject to penalties for harassment under new state laws taking effect Wednesday.

Licensed manufacturers of pot concentrates won't be affected by the new law, but amateur cooks will be charged if they use materials like a flammable liquid chemical or compressed gas, both of which have been linked to explosions. More than 30 butane explosions were connected to hash production in 2014.

One of the sponsors of the law, Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Delta, said that one benefit of the legislation is that it will allow law enforcement to make arrests before there's an explosion, rather

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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:16:11 -0600
<![CDATA[Paul to Denver crowd: Government should mind its business]]> http://gazette.com/paul-to-denver-crowd-government-should-mind-its-business/article/1554781?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/paul-to-denver-crowd-government-should-mind-its-business/article/1554781?custom_click=rss

DENVER - A few hours after meeting with leaders of Colorado's marijuana industry, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul didn't talk about legalizing pot when he addressed a crowd of about 300 packed into a bar in Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood Tuesday.

The Republican presidential hopeful from Kentucky did talk about his general philosophy about the federal government's role - which can be summed up as "leave me the hell alone."

For about half an hour Paul walked through rights enumerated in the Constitution and how the federal government - particularly President Barack Obama - have overstepped its bounds, starting with the Patriot Act, which became law under former President George W. Bush.

"It wasn't being used on terrorists, it was

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]]> DENVER - A few hours after meeting with leaders of Colorado's marijuana industry, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul didn't talk about legalizing pot when he addressed a crowd of about 300 packed into a bar in Denver's Cherry Creek neighborhood Tuesday.

The Republican presidential hopeful from Kentucky did talk about his general philosophy about the federal government's role - which can be summed up as "leave me the hell alone."

For about half an hour Paul walked through rights enumerated in the Constitution and how the federal government - particularly President Barack Obama - have overstepped its bounds, starting with the Patriot Act, which became law under former President George W. Bush.

"It wasn't being used on terrorists, it was]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:10:16 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado's TABOR law will be reviewed in appeals court]]> http://gazette.com/colorados-tabor-law-will-be-reviewed-in-appeals-court/article/1554783?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorados-tabor-law-will-be-reviewed-in-appeals-court/article/1554783?custom_click=rss

DENVER - The U.S. Supreme Court didn't take up a legal challenge to Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, known as TABOR, and instead remitted the case back to the federal court of appeals for reconsideration Tuesday.

A group of 33 plaintiffs, including current and former lawmakers, filed suit against Gov. John Hickenlooper in May 2011 saying TABOR violates their U.S. constitutional mandate to manage the purse strings of government.

TABOR requires voter approval before any tax can be increased at any level of state government. Colorado voters approved TABOR in 1992 as an amendment to the state constitution.

The ruling from the U.S.

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]]> DENVER - The U.S. Supreme Court didn't take up a legal challenge to Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, known as TABOR, and instead remitted the case back to the federal court of appeals for reconsideration Tuesday.

A group of 33 plaintiffs, including current and former lawmakers, filed suit against Gov. John Hickenlooper in May 2011 saying TABOR violates their U.S. constitutional mandate to manage the purse strings of government.

TABOR requires voter approval before any tax can be increased at any level of state government. Colorado voters approved TABOR in 1992 as an amendment to the state constitution.

The ruling from the U.S.]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:10:16 -0600