State

Colorado state news and state government coverage. 

gailschwartz.com

Senator Gail Schwartz of Snowmass Village is looking back on a productive legislative session about a month after it wrapped up. The democrat introduced 35 bills. Most were successful in a democratically-controlled Statehouse. Her bills ranged from water conservation to making hemp a viable commercial product. I sat down with her to discuss these efforts. We began with House Bill 252, one of the most hotly contested measures this session. The now-law requires 18 rural electric cooperatives from Montrose to Gunnison, increase the amount of renewable sources they use.

Two days after the one year anniversary of the High Park Fire and ahead of the Waldo Canyon anniversary, Colorado’s wildfire season has started in earnest.

@millie_hamner (Twitter)

 

The latest legislative session in Denver was the first Lawmaker Millie Hamner spent representing Pitkin County. It was the democratic representative’s second term, but a redraw of legislative maps in 2011, broadened her district to include Pitkin County. A former superintendent of schools, she now chairs the education committee at the Statehouse. Her most controversial bill this session centered on funding for k-12 education. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with her about it shortly after the session ended on May 8th.


 

 

Aspen Valley Hospital

 

 A recent Aspen City Council meeting shed light on a national problem regarding health care for seniors. Earlier this month, over a discussion on the expansion to Aspen Valley Hospital, Mayor Mick Ireland raised the issue of Medicare. He wondered if private physicians renting space in the newly renovated Hospital would be required to care for Medicare patients.

 

Rose Richards/Colorado Public News

 

The number of people who commit suicide with a gun in Colorado is four times higher than the number of gun-related homicides. Public health professionals and gun manufacturers are considering measures to reduce the number of suicides -- including “smart guns” that can only be fired by the owner. Colorado Public Radio’s Rabah Kamal has more.

Colorado Rolls Out Obamacare

May 22, 2013
Roger Adams

This story has been updated at 3:00 PM 5/22/13: scroll down to the end for the latest information.

Later today (Wednesday 5/22/13) the Colorado Division of Insurance will release the list of health insurance companies that want to be part of Colorado’s health exchange.  So far 19 companies have applied to be included.  The exchange is mandated by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, that was signed into law three years ago.  The act requires that everyone have health insurance starting January first of next year.  The health insurance law survived a Supreme Court challenge and Republican efforts to repeal it. Now, it’s coming into force. Over the next several months we will be reporting on how the new law will affect you. We begin with an explanation of the health care exchange.  Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams reports.

Jesse Lujan

Colorado is one of nearly twenty states putting together a kind of cooperative health care purchasing program. It’s called an exchange, and it’s starting under the recent health care overhaul often called "Obamacare". Enrollment starts in October and it could mean big changes for Native Americans in Colorado. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher recently spoke with Ernest House Junior. He’s Executive Director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs. House started by explaining what health care options Native Americans have now.

Roger Adams / Aspen Public Radio

The nation’s immigration system is seriously broken and in need of a comprehensive overhaul.  That was the message from a forum on immigration held in Aspen yesterday.  Supporters of a comprehensive immigration bill now before the US Senate outlined how they believe the measure will solve many current immigration problems. Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams was there and filed this report.

More details are available on what happened during the April 20th deadly avalanche on Loveland Pass. It was the worst accident of its kind in more than a half a century. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center released their final report on Wednesday April 24th. In it are some painful details--like the lone survivor waiting four hours to be dug out, and the slide being powerful enough to wreck car. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with CAIC Executive Director Ethan Greene.

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