KAJX

State

Colorado state news and state government coverage from our correspondents on the Front Range. 

 

    

Three people are missing including a county worker and his son after Sunday's massive landslide outside of the town of Collbran. 

More and more companies are starting to use the new Colorado logo and slogan - “it’s our nature” - to promote their products, helping the state's efforts to strengthen its brand and global competitiveness. The branding effort though has been somewhat controversial and it will take some time to determine its success.

Valley Roundup Special - Mental Health

May 23, 2014

Among medical and mental health care providers patients who repeatedly experience crisis episodes are often called "frequent flyers". 

Many of these people have untreated mental health disorders and they seek help in emergency rooms or are locked up in jails.  This untreated mental health problem costs $1,000 a year for every resident of Colorado

Health officials say it is difficult or impossible to treat these expensive frequent flyers without addressing their mental health.  Much of the problem is due to lack of resources

This month Rocky Mountain PBS’s I-News team focused on untreated mental health in Colorado.  Aspen Public Radio, in conjunction with station KUNC and Rocky Mountain PBS I-News takes a look at all of these issues.  The special is hosted by APR’s Roger Adams.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed two measures into law Wednesday, both aimed at tightening rules around marijuana edibles and concentrates. One goal is to make sure young children don’t accidentally ingest the drug.

The Colorado Senate significantly watered down a vaccine education proposal Wednesday. Many parents came to the state capitol to testify that the original bill was a government overreach.

Colorado River Water Conservation District

The public is weighing in how to solve the problem of less water in the future. People offered suggestions for Governor Hickenlooper’s Colorado Water Plan at a town hall meeting in Aspen Thursday. A growing population and climate change are straining the resource in Colorado, and an enormous water gap is projected, between how much water Colorado has and how much it needs. The Water Plan will use information collected by nine basin roundtables organized around various watersheds. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Jim Pokrandt.

State of Colorado/Department of Revenue

Lawmakers in Denver will vote on a bill Monday that would raise money for the 10th Mountain Division Foundation. The legislation would charge an extra fee for the 10th Mountain Division specialty license plate. After sailing through the House, the bill is getting a re-vote in the Senate. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Even in 2014 many parts of Colorado are still not connected to the Internet and if they are it’s not at high speeds. A package of bills to reform and update Colorado’s telecommunications industry has cleared its first committee at the state capitol.

A bill to increase the smoking age in Colorado to 21 failed in the house finance committee Wednesday. One Democrat joined with Republicans to defeat the measure.

Colorado lawmakers learned Tuesday that the state’s economy is stronger than expected. That means they’ll have more money to spend in the 2015 budget.

Colorado’s 2014 legislative session is already halfway over. So far lawmakers have tackled a whole host of issues – everything from gun law repeals to wildfire and flood related measures.

The gun debate that riveted the state capitol in 2013, once again took center stage Monday. Fewer people came to the capitol to testify on a key gun bill than the last round, but emotions were still strong.

A bipartisan committee at the statehouse has moved forward a bill to make it easier to remove people’s mug shots from commercial websites if they were never convicted of the crime for which they were arrested.

Helping prevent and fight wildfires is one of the top priorities for Colorado lawmakers in both parties this session, but so far they’re only proposing minor policy changes.

The State of Colorado

Governor Hickenlooper delivered his annual State of the State address at the Capitol in Denver Thursday. He said 2013’s wildfires and floods were devastating, but the state is recovering.

"This past year, Colorado has been scorched, Colorado has been flooded, Colorado, once again, endured senseless and inexplicable violence. Yet, despite all of it, we did not let that define us. That is not our story."

Marci Krivonen

Across the state, more than three dozen retail marijuana stores opened for business  on January 1st, marking a historic milestone for pot advocates. News reports showed lines outside of some Denver-area stores. And, people from around the country traveled to the state to purchase pot. In the Roaring Fork Valley, retail marijuana shops are expected to open later this year.

Despite White House and state efforts to promote the Affordable Care Act, some people still don't have health insurance, or any idea how to sign up for it.

Take Corryn Young, a 32-year-old dental hygienist in Fort Collins, Colo. She knows she needs to get health insurance but is a little vague on the details.

"What my income would qualify me for, when I need to be signed up, what type of deductibles they have to offer — that kind of stuff overwhelms me," Young says.

There’s good news for Colorado’s economy going into 2014, the latest economic forecast is projecting solid growth. The state’s employment rate also continues to grow faster than the nation’s.

Update Friday, December 20: According to the Watch newspaper, MSHA says the 97 citations handed out to Star Mine Operations in the first week of December were issued during so-called "spot" inspections, and weren't issued as violations that contributed to the deaths of two men at the Revenue-Virginius mine in late November. 

Governor John Hickenlooper says he wants to focus on jobs, the economy and non-partisan issues during the next legislative session. As he outlined his agenda Thursday, his biggest hope is that politics will take a back seat.

Pages