Guest Columns

MARES: BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR OUR POLICIES

Mental health issues at the state capitol: we’re working together to improve lives

Contributing Columnist

Two years ago this summer, our public policy team here at Mental Health America of Colorado sent out surveys to about 130 candidates for the state legislature. We asked them 10 questions about reducing the stigma associated with mental health, insurance coverage, the criminal justice system, and improving social determinants of mental health.

SALAZAR: AGRO-TERRORISM IS A REASONABLE THREAT

Livestock security is of highest concern

GUEST COLUMNIST

When people go shopping for food on their dinner table, they may consider its nutritious value and its cost, but many don’t consider the farmer and rancher behind every piece of food on their plate. For every bite you take, the agricultural community strives to provide a healthy, abundant food supply. But, let’s dig even deeper and on a global security level.

Each morning on the news, there are typically stories of terrorism across the globe. In a world that can sometimes seem unstable and hostile, it has become even more critical that we look at areas that could be exposed to

WASDEN: WASHINGTON HAS FAILED TO LEAD ON THIS ISSUE

Enforcement of current laws is the centerpiece to any immigration reform

GUEST COLUMNIST

America is a nation built of immigrants and governed by the rule of law. But currently, our broken immigration system is completely failing at enforcing our existing laws, at securing our nation’s borders, and at providing a usable guest worker program that meets the needs of American businesses. Reform is long overdue! We need to enact an immigration solution that will strengthen our borders and national security, while getting the skilled and necessary workforce to the very companies that want to grow their businesses and stay competitive in a growing global economy.

WOODARD & UPDIKE: A CONSISTENT DEFINITION OF ‘DRUG ENDANGERED CHILD’ BENEFITS KIDS

Protect all of us from dangers of child abuse

Contributing Columnists

There are numerous stories of drug endangered children available in the media today – children involved in sex trafficking rings being traded for drugs, parents drinking too much alcohol or taking too much medication and accidentally suffocating their children while co-sleeping, children eating their parent’s marijuana edibles and being taken to the emergency rooms, hash oil labs exploding, and on and on. The stories are numerous and tragic.

SOVINE-MILLER: WELL-INTENTIONED REFORMS DE-STABILIZE MARKET

Let’s give the private health insurance marketplace a chance — ACA isn’t the answer

GUEST COLUMNIST

Since the rollout of the Federal Health Insurance Exchange, failed technology, glitches and uncertainty have plagued the Obama administration. In Congress, both sides of the aisle are engaging in political theatrics around the Affordable Care Act. Currently the administration has authorized 19 delays, amendments and repeals to the law. There are a number of state and congressional measures moving forward right now that would have wide-reaching ramifications in the marketplace.

HOYT: STUDENT SUCCESS IS A BIPARTISAN PRIORITY

HB 1292 ensures financial transparency along with financial investments

GUEST COLUMNIST

As the state’s economy rebounds, Colorado’s lawmakers have the opportunity to devote more money to education this year — a welcome change after years of cuts. With this infusion of new money comes an intense debate about how the additional resources can best serve Colorado’s students.

Some groups want the new money allocated to school districts via the current funding system and without strings. Other groups want to see these resources targeted to fund specific improvements — things that can be measured and have demonstrated a positive impact on student achievement.

DELGROSSO: COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTERS SERVE THE STATE

Legislature’s commitment to expand crisis intervention services will hopefully proceed

GUEST COLUMNIST

As the experts in providing integrated behavioral health services to the people of Colorado, the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC) has advocated for many years to expand funding for much-needed mental health and substance abuse care and treatment. The 28 independent private organizations which are our members know first-hand the importance of these services and the consequences of funding gaps and shortages.

FOWLER: ALL ABOARD!

Let’s get back on the track with the Southwest Chief and economic development

GUEST COLUMNIST

AMTRAK has operated two trains through Colorado since Congress excused the national railroads from hauling people and assigned the job to that ongressionally chartered corporation. Most Denver folks are aware of the famous California Zephyr, making two stops a day at the soon to be re-opened Union Station on the way to San Francisco from Chicago.

HOTLINE STEERING COMMITTEE: KEEPING KIDS SAFE

Child abuse reporting system will ensure that no child’s cries for help go unheard

GUEST COLUMNISTS

Over the last two years Colorado’s child welfare system has undergone a swift transformation under Gov. John Hickenlooper’s child welfare plan “Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy.” There is improved training for caseworkers, new prevention programs throughout the state and implementation of best practices to more effectively respond to family needs. But every tragic child death because of abuse or neglect magnifies the necessity of creating a statewide hotline to report child maltreatment.

VANDE KROL: BRIDGES OVER LEGALLY TROUBLED WATERS

TABOR Foundation files appeal in Colorado Bridge Enterprise lawsuit

GUEST COLUMNIST

There have been violations of basic common sense and principles of good government,” said TABOR Foundation Chairman Penn Pfiffner. “The concept and construct of this dishonest and devious scheme must not stand.”

A Colorado organization has filed an appeal to overturn a Denver District Court finding about the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). The TABOR Foundation, whose mission includes protecting the constitutional amendment that was initiated by the people, believes the trial court erred in finding that the State of Colorado’s Bridge Enterprise conforms to TABOR.