HOYT: STUDENT SUCCESS IS A BIPARTISAN PRIORITY
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
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!
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
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
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.
SHOEMAKER: EDUCATION USED TO BE AFFORDABLE
Colorado’s state legislature has good news for in-state students in proposed Senate Bill 14-001, but it’s not good enough. If this proposal for $100 million in new higher education funding becomes law, the steep downward slide of state support will turn back upward, at least for the next year, and tuition increases will be frozen at 6 percent for two years. However, The Colorado Statesman has it right in its Jan. 31 edition: $100 million is “only a beginning.” As a candidate for the University of Colorado Board of Regents (CD-2) in the November election, I support this proposal.
CML: 2014 STATE OF OUR CITIES AND TOWNS
We walk, bike, drive, ride the bus, and sometimes skateboard on our streets, and unless there’s a pothole ahead, we don’t give it much thought. Our street structure is society’s circulatory system and it’s time we looked at its medical chart. Frostbite? Pavement decay? Internal injuries? There are always problems that need attention. Street maintenance and construction are primary services provided by Colorado’s municipalities. There are nearly 16,000 miles of city streets in Colorado — 25 percent more than just a decade ago.
MARES: TAKING CHARGE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM
The recent political strife and grandstanding around the Affordable Care Act has largely ignored the issue at the heart of the law: the health and health care of Americans. Every news story that mentions health care reform becomes a possible talking point in a political debate, but those debates rarely rise to the level of finding health policy solutions.
EWEGEN: MIKE STRANG'S LEGACY IS A LONG ONE
The Colorado Statesman
Former State and U.S. Rep. Mike Strang — a “little country boy from Princeton” who helped transform Coloradans’ attitudes toward their land and legacy — died Sunday at his home in Carbondale at the age of 84.
Strang, a Republican, introduced an unsuccessful bill in the Colorado legislature in the 1970s to legalize marijuana, according to the Associated Press. Four decades later, Colorado voters caught up with him by becoming, along with Washington state, one of just two states legalizing recreational use of the drug.
DORE: MY TAKE ON THE 2014 STATE OF THE STATE
The Colorado Statesman
On Jan. 9, Governor Hickenlooper addressed a joint session of Colorado’s General Assembly to present the State of the State. As with many speeches, filled with platitudes and praise, it was short on substance. Contrary to my experience during the 2013 legislative session, where rural issues were forgotten and Republican bills were killed, the governor spoke about a new era of bipartisanship and a renewed focus on rural Colorado. I would like to take a moment and discuss my concerns with his speech.