<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:31:37 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Suthers to state on increased sales tax for roads: Thanks but no thanks]]> http://gazette.com/suthers-to-state-on-increased-sales-tax-for-roads-thanks-but-no-thanks/article/1599897?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/suthers-to-state-on-increased-sales-tax-for-roads-thanks-but-no-thanks/article/1599897?custom_click=rss

A handful of mayors concerned with a transportation funding bill in the legislature argue that maintenance of local roads should be the responsibility of individual jurisdictions.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, a Republican, has gone as far as to say that the city does not want the state to share additional revenue with the city beyond what is already prescribed by existing funding requirements.

"The local taxpayers need to decide what they want to do with their local situations, and the state taxpayers need to decide what they want to do with the state situation," Suthers told ColoradoPolitics. "If we're all in this together, they (state taxpayers) would have been paying for our roads, too, and they're not, and nobody



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 19:05:47 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs council unanimously OKs Bancroft Park restoration funds]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-unanimously-oks-bancroft-park-restoration-funds/article/1599895?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-council-unanimously-oks-bancroft-park-restoration-funds/article/1599895?custom_click=rss

A slew of west side residents and business leaders won a rare unanimous City Council vote Tuesday to appropriate $250,000 to renovate Bancroft Park.

The bandshell in the historic park was torched Jan. 27, and Councilman Keith King has been chiding the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services staff to move quickly to repair the damage.

Now, though, the park is expected to get more than a new bandshell roof. New restrooms accessible to people with disabilities likely will be built, too, and the city has a survey and planned public hearing for west-side residents to share their ideas.



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:17:42 -0600
<![CDATA[District attorney won't file charges in Colorado Springs council campaign complaint]]> http://gazette.com/district-attorney-wont-file-charges-in-colorado-springs-council-campaign-complaint/article/1599894?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/district-attorney-wont-file-charges-in-colorado-springs-council-campaign-complaint/article/1599894?custom_click=rss

District Attorney Dan May will not charge City Council candidate Lynette Crow-Iverson in a complaint filed Friday by her Colorado Springs election opponent, his office announced Tuesday.

Council President Pro Tem Jill Gaebler filed the complaint after fliers by Crow-Iverson's campaign inaccurately accused her of voting against a bill with other members of the Colorado Municipal League.

Gaebler was not at that CML meeting when the board voted.

Crow-Iverson is challenging Gaebler in the April 4 election to represent District 5 on the council.

Colorado law bars anyone from "knowingly or recklessly" circulating false information about an opponent, but May's office said the "knowingly or recklessly" factor couldn't be



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:14:18 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado reacts to Trump's rollback of climate change regulations]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-reacts-to-trumps-rollback-of-climate-change-regulations/article/1599884?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-reacts-to-trumps-rollback-of-climate-change-regulations/article/1599884?custom_click=rss

As President Trump on Tuesday rolled back much of his predecessor's climate-change policies, mixed reactions highlighted a new fight on the horizon.

"President Trump shows an incredible level of disregard for our clean air, the scientific consensus around climate change, and our nation's health and security," said Pete Maysmith, executive director of Conservation Colorado.

Trump signed an executive order to kickstart the process of withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan, a legacy of President Obama's administration.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year delayed implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency mandate. As intended, Colorado would be required to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 28 percent by 2030.



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:11:35 -0600
<![CDATA[Head of Trump-Russia probe under fire, won't step down]]> http://gazette.com/head-of-trump-russia-probe-under-fire-wont-step-down/article/1599855?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/head-of-trump-russia-probe-under-fire-wont-step-down/article/1599855?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes rebuffed calls to step aside from the Russia investigation Tuesday as demands grew for him to recuse himself as head of that probe.

"Why would I?" Nunes said. The calls for him to resign came after revelations about his meeting with a secret source on White House grounds raised questions about his and the panel's independence.

Nunes, R-Calif., said the pressure for him to resign was typical politics.

"It's the same thing as always around this place — a lot of politics, people get heated, but I'm not going to involve myself with that," he said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan continued to express confidence in Nunes Tuesday, saying there is no need for



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 16:31:15 -0600
<![CDATA[Proposed sales tax for transportation would only partially fund I-25 widening]]> http://gazette.com/proposed-sales-tax-for-transportation-would-only-partially-fund-i-25-widening/article/1599864?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/proposed-sales-tax-for-transportation-would-only-partially-fund-i-25-widening/article/1599864?custom_click=rss

The conversation about asking voters to fund billions in Colorado transportation shifted lanes Monday. The House Finance Committee discussed how to structure the highway department's share of a proposed sales tax and what kind of priority list voters could be asked to decide on in November.

The discussion sets up the biggest debate of the current legislative session on the House floor in the coming days, once House Bill 1242 clears the Appropriations Committee, a likely formality. The bill passed the House Finance Committee 10-3 Monday afternoon.

The legislation would refer a measure to the November ballot asking voters to pass a 0.62 percent statewide sales tax to fund transportation, including a $3.



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:57:43 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs wins almost $16,000 grant for historic preservation plan]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-wins-almost-16000-grant-for-historic-preservation-plan/article/1599872?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-wins-almost-16000-grant-for-historic-preservation-plan/article/1599872?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs city officials got a nice financial boost Tuesday toward their efforts to identify and preserve the city's historic sites.

The History Colorado Center in Denver awarded $138,523 in grants to areas across the state, including $15,750 to Colorado Springs to help with the city's development of a new historic preservation plan.

The original plan, created in 1993, has seen "moderate" changes to its language and historic preservation techniques, said Daniel Sexton, senior planner for the city's Planning and Community Development Department.

"Historic preservation is a concept that involves the active protection of a community's physical heritage," reads the plan's opening statement.



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:22:27 -0600
<![CDATA[State lawmakers scramble to convert hospital fee in order to help rural Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/state-lawmakers-scramble-to-convert-hospital-fee-in-order-to-help-rural-colorado/article/1599870?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/state-lawmakers-scramble-to-convert-hospital-fee-in-order-to-help-rural-colorado/article/1599870?custom_click=rss

An expected bipartisan bill aimed at restructuring the Hospital Provider Fee to free money for spending in rural Colorado landed Monday night in the legislature with an uncertain future ahead of it.

Senate President Pro Tem Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, and Senate Democratic Leader Lucia Guzman of Denver are sponsoring the bill, which would shift the hospital fee to an enterprise fund, while also lowering the overall base of state tax revenue to protect taxpayer rebates.

The 57-page Senate Bill 267 also would require a 2 percent mostly across-the-board cut to state executive departments, which is likely to see resistance from Democrats and the governor's office.



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:40:00 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Senate kills bill on transgender birth certificates]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-kills-bill-on-transgender-birth-certificates/article/1599865?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-kills-bill-on-transgender-birth-certificates/article/1599865?custom_click=rss

The LGBTQ agenda in the Colorado statehouse is officially retired for the rest of the session, as a Senate committee killed a bill to make it easier for transgender people to amend their birth certificate.

House Bill 1122 died on a 3-2 party-line vote in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Monday for a third year in a row.

The same committee last week killed legislation to ban gay conversion therapy by licensed mental health professionals.

Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, vowed to introduce the bill again next year.

"I will every year until it becomes state law," he told the committee.



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:59:02 -0600
<![CDATA[Gathering of city leaders vows to defy White House threat on "sanctuary" policies]]> http://gazette.com/gathering-of-city-leaders-vows-to-defy-white-house-threat-on-sanctuary-policies/article/1599850?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gathering-of-city-leaders-vows-to-defy-white-house-threat-on-sanctuary-policies/article/1599850?custom_click=rss

NEW YORK — Ignoring fresh threats from the White House, city leaders across the U.S. are vowing to intensify their fight against President Donald Trump's promised crackdown on so-called "sanctuary cities" despite the financial risks.

"We are going to become this administration's worst nightmare," New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said Monday during a gathering of municipal officials from urban centers such as San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago and Philadelphia.

As is the case in several sanctuary cities, they promised to continue blocking cooperation between city police departments and federal immigration authorities.



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:16:02 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs City Council to vote on funding Bancroft Park restoration]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-city-council-to-vote-on-funding-bancroft-park-restoration/article/1599815?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-city-council-to-vote-on-funding-bancroft-park-restoration/article/1599815?custom_click=rss

As the Colorado Springs parks staff struggles to maintain trails, parks and open space without enough money, one lucky little park appears poised to cash in big-time.

The 1.26-acre Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City could get $250,000 when the City Council votes Tuesday, and it could get that same amount again later.

Someone set the park's historic band shell ablaze Jan. 27, and the city's insurer estimates $106,379 will be needed to restore it.

"It was not minor damage," Parks Operations Manager Kurt Schroeder has advised.

The council now is being asked to provide $100,000 from the general fund and $150,000 from the Conservation Trust Fund.

But the genesis of that funding request caused quite the



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:15:52 -0600
<![CDATA[Taxpayers may wonder how booming economy leads to budget cuts at Colorado Capitol]]> http://gazette.com/taxpayers-may-wonder-how-booming-economy-leads-to-budget-cuts-at-colorado-capitol/article/1599825?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/taxpayers-may-wonder-how-booming-economy-leads-to-budget-cuts-at-colorado-capitol/article/1599825?custom_click=rss

Colorado lawmakers are set to begin work this week on a tight $26.8 billion budget proposal that will have taxpayers wondering why programs are seeing reductions during a booming economy.

Republicans have been hesitant to call nearly $700 million in budget-balancing maneuvers "cuts" to critical programs, pointing out that the proposed budget reflects a nearly 7 percent increase in discretionary spending over the current fiscal year. Budget writers carved out $10.6 billion for the General Fund.

As introduced, the total budget price tag is $28.3 billion. But funds are closer to $26.8 billion when considering double-counted cash because federal funds are re-appropriated. The total budget would reflect a more than 4 percent



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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:12:36 -0600
<![CDATA[Bears Ear National Monument: Could its designation be overturned?]]> http://gazette.com/bears-ear-national-monument-could-its-designation-be-overturned/article/1599793?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/bears-ear-national-monument-could-its-designation-be-overturned/article/1599793?custom_click=rss

As the crow flies, the newly designated Bears Ears Monument is about 50 miles west of the Four Corners region. Concern for it and the precedent undoing its designation would set, however, strikes at the heart of the political left's passion for public lands.

The Washington Post explained it in January:

"Former president Barack Obama designated the 1.35 million-acre area, which includes artifacts and rock drawings from ancestral Pueblos, as a national monument in late December. But (Utah U.S. Sen. Orrin) Hatch and several other key Utah Republicans, including House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, have argued for months that Obama should not have invoked his authority under the 1906



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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:33:18 -0600
<![CDATA[Marijuana businesses form coalition to defend against federal intervention]]> http://gazette.com/marijuana-businesses-form-coalition-to-defend-against-federal-intervention/article/1599788?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/marijuana-businesses-form-coalition-to-defend-against-federal-intervention/article/1599788?custom_click=rss

A new national coalition of businesses in the legal marijuana trade plans to fight federal efforts to intervene in states' regulation of cannabis.

The chairman of the New Federalism Fund is Neal Levine of Boulder, senior vice president of government affairs for LivWell Enlightened Health, a Colorado company with 14 locations.

They're not messing around. The fund's lobbying firm? Powerhouse Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck of Denver, which earned $25 million last year lobbying for everybody from McDonald's and Comcast to the Navajo Nation and University of Utah.

That's muscle.

"As the president stated in his recent address to Congress, every problem facing our nation can be solved by working together," Levine said



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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:04:29 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado DHS pushes background checks for those working with at-risk adults]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-dhs-pushes-background-checks-for-those-working-with-at-risk-adults/article/1599787?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-dhs-pushes-background-checks-for-those-working-with-at-risk-adults/article/1599787?custom_click=rss The Colorado Department of Human Services is pushing for background checks on those who work directly with at-risk adults.

Called the At-Risk Adult Protection Act, House Bill 1284 would require employers to check the state Adult Protective Services database for past offenses by job candidates who want to work with at-risk adults.

Under current law, remarkably, there is no way for an employer to see if a job candidate has had a substantiated case of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

"This bill is about keeping vulnerable people safe," said DHS executive director Reggie Bicha. "Without background checks, someone who has been fired for mistreating an adult in one facility could end up getting hired at a facility down the



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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:53:53 -0600