Bente Birkeland

November election ballots are being mailed to voters across Colorado this week. There’s no statewide ballot question this year.

Colorado’s Senators are weighing in on the possibility that President Trump will decertify the Iran nuclear deal this week in favor of a tougher policy.

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Lawmakers examining state water issues are wrapping up their work ahead of next year’s legislative session.

State lawmakers met on Friday to discuss how to promote and help young farmers.

 

Legislators are trying to consolidate all the information on loans, state and federal resources, and other help into one single location to make it easier. Nathan Weathers owns Weathers Family Farms in Yuma. He said the biggest thing Colorado could do is improve amenities that young farmers want.  

Four years ago state lawmakers – and the governor – created a law to help undocumented children follow their American dreams. They allowed them to pay the significantly cheaper in-state tuition to go to state colleges instead of higher out-of-state prices. The requirements: They must graduate from a Colorado high school that they’ve attended for three years and promise to pursue citizenship.

“This is an issue that has been a challenge in our state and our country for many years,” said Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, one of the main sponsors of Senate Bill 33.

Elise Thatcher

New figures from the non-partisan Colorado Health Institute say close to 95 percent of Coloradans have health insurance. But getting to 100 percent will be difficult.

Colorado’s annual legislative session may be in recess, but interim committees are still meeting and wrapping up their work. One group studied county prison overcrowding and the cost of housing inmates.

Colorado is joining a lawsuit trying to block President Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

Bente Birkeland/ Capitol Coverage

Coal mining has been a mainstay in many parts of western Colorado. But the jobs are going away. The recent closure of a mine – and a soon to be closed power plant in Montrose County – could cut tax revenue as much as 70 percent. Both local and state groups are laboring to find a replacement economy in a region that’s not used to rapid change.

Bente Birkeland/ Capitol Coverage

 Rural communities on Colorado’s Western Slope are struggling to thrive. On Monday morning, we told you how the loss of coal jobs in the towns of Nucla and Naturita in Montrose County are forcing many there to make tough choices. Should they stay and pursue new careers – or pack up and move away? Today, Bente Birkeland visits another county that’s beginning to turn the corner after its recent coal downturn.

Colorado’s Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne has formally kicked off her campaign to run for Governor. She joins a crowded Democratic primary race.

Colorado is a resilient state. The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation and the population along the Front Range is booming. It’s easy to see the impact of a strong economy in Denver. Construction cranes are up all over the city and it’s harder than ever to find affordable housing.

But it’s a different story in many parts of western Colorado.

Governor John Hickenlooper is denying that he and Ohio Governor and former GOP presidential candidate John Kasich are exploring a possible unity party presidential bid in 2020.  The speculation comes from national media sources, including CNN, which say Hickenlooper would run as Vice President. 

Gov. John Hickenlooper has unveiled new recommendations related to oil and gas drilling in the wake of a fatal home explosion that killed two men. However, the measures aren’t enough for some.

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It is no longer illegal to break into a hot vehicle to rescue a child or dog. A new law went into effect earlier this month that waives liability for a good Samaritan.

An effort to better track drugged driving arrests in Colorado is now in effect. The measure requires law enforcement to document what substances are contributing to DUI’s beyond alcohol.

Bente Birkeland

The head of the Democratic National Committee joined Colorado leaders – including Gov.John Hickenlooper – in calling for universal health care and putting forward a united front on health care reform. It’s part of a national bus tour called Drive for Our Lives. The bus is stopping in states where members of Congress, for instance, Sen. Cory Gardner, voted to repeal Obamacare. 

Colorado lawmakers want to improve how public schools integrate digital learning in and outside of the classroom. A report released Monday highlights priorities and says combining technology with traditional teaching improves test scores and engages students.

After President Trump tweeted that the U.S. military would no longer “allow or accept” transgender people to serve, troops on the ground were left with uncertainty. Military leaders say the policy won’t change until top Pentagon officials figure out how to implement it.

Emma Shinn is a 41-year-old Coloradan and veteran. She served in the Marine Corps for 20 years before retiring in 2014. When she served there was a ban on transgender people. Last year, she transitioned.  

The state of Colorado collected $180 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in the 2016 fiscal year.

But could the well run dry?

As of July 1, 2017, Nevada is the eighth state to sell recreational marijuana -- and it won’t be the last. California, the sixth largest economy in the world, will start selling pot Jan. 1, 2018.

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