CBA Weekly Media Summary

Each Friday, the CBA brings you our weekly media summary of what is happening in the Colorado Legislature. Questions, comments, concerns? Email us at socialmedia@cobar.org.

Week of July 9-13

The most widely reported local and national Colorado story of the week involved education and firearms. Reporters exploring Colorado’s 30 school districts and charter schools where teachers have been given the okay to bring firearms into classroom.

 

A bipartisan committee of the Colorado Legislature began work Monday on policies that could change how sexual harassment complaints are handled at the state Capitol. We’ll take a closer look at the coverage surrounding the ongoing Legislative Workplace Interim Study Committee.

 

Election politics played a role in media coverage this week that will affect the upcoming legislative session. In addition to a former Colorado lawmaker being tapped to be the running mate of the republican candidate for governor, supporters of more funding for Colorado schools turned in more than 170,000 signatures to place a $1.6 billion tax measure on the November ballot. We’ll go more in-depth below.

 

While the Colorado legislature maybe in recess, the following are several of the topics that made news this week includes:

 

·         Cheaper Cannabis Leads to Falling Revenue in Marijuana Sales

·         Colorado Teachers Can Carry Guns: So Why Aren't They Being Trained?

·         Sexual harassment committee starts work at Colorado Capitol

·         Drill limits race to ballot

·         Colorado could be first in nation with female-majority state legislature

·         Colorado designates interstate as pollinator highway

·         Steep tuition hike for grad students

 

While sports betting legalization is apparently not going to happen in 2018, it looks as though lawmakers will start making serious moves sometime next year. Both sides of the isle have been pushing for legalization.

 

Republican Minority Leader Rep. Cole Wist and Democratic Rep. Alec Garnett have both advocated sports betting while on Colorado Public Radio. We’ll share more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firearms in Classrooms

 

Colorado’s 30 school districts and charter schools where teachers have been given the okay to bring firearms into classroom made national news and drew questions about state law, school district policy and insurance coverage.

 

Colorado law allows school boards to designate teachers and staff as school security officers that are allowed to carry concealed in the classroom without training. However, to be insured those districts and teachers need to meet some requirements. According to the Denver Post, this includes:

 

·         24 hours of firearm training over the past year

·         Four hours of classroom instruction on firearms safety

·         14 hours of live fire range training exercises

·         6 hours of school active shooter training

·         Shooting range test police officers

 

Other media this week focusing on firearm ownership and laws includes:

 

·         Teachers can carry guns without statewide training standards

·         Colorado schools allow teachers to carry guns

·         Colorado Teachers Can Carry Guns: So Why  Aren't They Being Trained?

·         Colorado schools are arming teachers with no state oversight

·         This Colorado School Is Taking a Different Approach to Gun Safety

·         Colorado Students to Join Parkland Activists to Demand End to Gun Violence

·         Parkland survivors come to Colorado to register young voters

 

 

 

Sexual Harassment

 

A bipartisan committee of the Colorado Legislature began work Monday on policies that could change how sexual harassment complaints are handled at the state Capitol.

 

The committee will meet four more times before making recommendations to legislative leaders, who could adopt new policies or recommend legislation for the next session beginning in January, according to the reporting of the Gazette.

 

The Legislative Workplace Interim Study Committee is to address due process for the accused, retaliation against accusers and confidentiality while an investigation is underway.

 

Other media this week focusing on sexual harassment at the state capitol includes:

 

·         Lawmakers reconsider Gold Dome’s sexual harassment policy

·         Sexual harassment committee starts work at Colorado Capitol

·         How Colorado educators fail to report sex abuse and get away with it

·         Sergeant alleges backlash for reporting sexual harassment

·         Colorado FX: Weinstein pleads not guilty, released on bail

 

 

 

Legalized Sports Betting

 

Prior to the recent decision of the US Supreme Court to legalize sports betting, states have been weighing their options for potential legalization. According to media reports, the process of regulating a potential sports betting field in Colorado could prove to be longer compared to the rest of the states working on such.

 

Colorado lawmakers were apparently in no rush to introduce sports betting, according to Casino Gaming Pro. To do so – according to the industry publication - is probably for the best since rushed decisions could end up crippling the field and making it undesirable for gambling operators in general.

 

Other media this week focusing on legalized sports betting includes:

 

·         Even Money Says Colorado Will Take It Slow With Sports Betting

·         Lawmakers Start Eyeing Legal Colorado Sports Betting For Next Year

·         Will Colorado Legalize Sports Betting Anytime Soon?

·         Is Colorado Prepared to Work towards Embracing Sports Betting?

·         Colorado Sports Betting Likely Years Away From Legalization

 

 

 

Marijuana

 

·         Cheaper Cannabis Leads to Falling Revenue in Colorado

·         Marijuana Enforcement Division considers new regulations

·         Governor Hickenlooper names Director of Marijuana Coordination

·         Colorado Cannabis Industry Participates in State Rulemaking Process

·         Single Biggest Reason Why U.S. Marijuana Sales Likely Will Skyrocket

·         Why President Trump Is Positioned To Be Marijuana's Great Savior

·         What Michigan needs to learn from Colorado's legalized marijuana

·         Marijuana politics evolving in red states

 

 

 

Transportation

 

·         Colorado designates interstate as pollinator highway

·         Interstate 76 gets buzzed, tapped as Colorado Pollinator Highway

·         CDOT to host telephone town hall focusing on southwest Colorado

·         Campaigns aim at curbing Colorado’s auto-pedestrian fatalities

·         RTD Moves to Cut Bus Service as 2019 Fare Hike Looms

·         Garfield County commissioners support improvements to Rifle-area highway

·         Walking in Colorado Springs: A newcomer's perspective

·         Air service grant will help Sioux City attract airline with service to Denver

 

 

 

Affordable Housing

 

·         Growth boundaries, regulation help keep housing unaffordable

·         Let’s get serious about affordable housing

·         Developer brings affordable housing to Saratoga Springs

·         Denver rent “buy-down” program receives green light from council

·         Survey Shows Concerns Over Affordable Housing

 

 

 

Education

 

·         Checking in on education legislation

·         New Colorado law allocates $1.2 million for CSU cybersecurity ed

·         Steep tuition hike for grad students

·         Lopez-Whiteskunk joins Montezuma-Cortez school board; Balfour resigns

·         Tackling safety at schools, House Select Committee meets for second time

·         Colorado principal saved a student’s life by paying attention at right time

 

 

 

Education Funding Ballot Measure

 

Supporters of more funding for Colorado schools turned in more than 170,000 signatures to place a $1.6 billion tax measure on the November ballot.

 

The measure would increase the corporate tax rate and the income tax rate on individuals earning $150,000 or more, with the additional revenue going to increase base per-student funding, to pay for full-day kindergarten and to put more money toward students with special needs.

 

According to Chalkbeat, the tax measure calls for:

 

·         Raising the corporate income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 6 percent.

·         Raising the income tax rate from a flat 4.63 percent to between 5 percent and 8.25 percent for people earning more than $150,000. The highest tax rate would be paid by people earning $500,000 or more.

·         Setting the residential property assessment rate at 7 percent for schools. That’s lower than it is now but higher than it is predicted to be in 2019 because current law has the unintended effect of gradually reducing the residential assessment rate.

·         Setting the non-residential property assessment rate at 24 percent, less than the current 29 percent.

 

Supporters of Initiative 93 stresses that it raises taxes only on businesses and higher-income earners, who represent less than 8 percent of individual income tax returns and while it encourages the legislature to adopt a new school finance formula, it ensures that every district will see an increase.

 

Other media this week focusing on education includes:

 

·         Education Funding Initiative Is One Step Closer to Making Ballot

·         A $1.6 billion tax increase for education just got a lot closer to the ballot

·         Initiative 93 Aims To Increase School Funding; Signatures Submitted

·         You could change Colorado's school funding woes in November

·         School funding initiative moves forward

·         ‘Major victory’ for grass-roots effort ‘to see Colorado schools funded’

 

 

 

Energy

 

The debate on the topic of how far should oil and gas operations be from homes and schools could get a lot more intense if a proposed ballot measure in Colorado qualifies for the ballot.

 

Currently, oil and gas operations cannot take place within 500 feet of a home or building and 1,000 feet from a school. All major energy groups – according to Grand Junction Sentinel – are  opposed to the measure, believing more than $7 billion in economic activity and thousands of jobs would be lost.

 

Other media this week focusing on Colorado’s energy sector includes:

 

·         Drill limits race to ballot

·         Colorado oil and gas says proposed ballot measure would ban fracking

·         Ballot initiative would bar drilling on swaths of non-federal land

·         Broomfield, CO, Again Votes for More Drilling Oversight

·         Why ‘Orphan’ Oil And Gas Wells Are A Growing Problem For States

·         Colorado FX: Trump dreams about a new energy boom

 

 

 

State Lawmaker Tapped for Lt. Governor

 

Republican State Rep. Lang Sias of Arvada was tapped this week to be State Treasurer Walker Stapleton’s running mate. Sias is a former Navy fighter pilot and State Representative for House District 27, covering Arvada and northern Jefferson County.

 

He was appointed to his House seat in 2015 after Libby Szabo resigned when she was appointed to fill a vacancy as a Jefferson County Commissioner, according to the reporting of 9News.

 

Other media this week focusing on Sias pick includes:

 

·         Stapleton picks Arvada’s Lang Sias as running mate

·         Stapleton chose lawmaker as running mate. Here’s what that means

·         Stapleton picks GOP state rep as running mate in governor's race

·         Stapleton taps GOP state lawmaker as running mate

·         Stapleton taps Republican state lawmaker Lang Sias as running mate

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

·         Colorado could be first in nation with female-majority state legislature

·         Outgoing Denver Democrat Crisanta Duran on the Past Eight Years

·         Meet the 3 Democrats Who Could Flip the Republican-Led State Senate

·         Democrats’ CRA would harm Colorado business, consumers

·         In GOP-Dominated Mesa County, The Immigration Debate Strikes A Chord

·         Saving Colorado's public trustee system for the public good

·         Full-Strength Beer In Parks? Denver Asks Public To Weigh In

·         CMHIP staff vent in survey on conditions

·         Licensure laws to be considered in future military basing decisions

·         Interior’s No. 2 man sees Washington from a Colorado point of view

·         Drainage district asks residents to forgo refunds

·         Rejecting the California bluer print

·         Colorado Editorial Roundup

 

 

 

Judicial

 

·         Colorado Without Roe

·         Religious Conscience Must Be Protected

·         States Aren’t Waiting for the Supreme Court to Solve Gerrymandering

·         Teenagers in Colorado school threat will be tried as adults

·         Colorado DA addresses stalking prevention