Colorado’s legislative session may have ended Friday evening, but there’s still plenty to talk about. From communities already working on their own oil and gas regulation to looking ahead at whether a failed vaccine measure might return next year, this session has had a big impact on Coloradans.
IN LOCAL NEWS
The Legislative Session’s Legacy
Some of the biggest changes in the state from the legislative session have come in education, gun control, criminal justice and business. Legislators found money in the state budget for free full-day kindergarten, passed a red-flag bill allowing temporary seizure of guns from people deemed to pose serious immediate threats, and advanced bipartisan measures aimed at lowering prescription drug prices.
Vaccine Advocates Looking Ahead
A bill intended to raise Colorado’s low childhood vaccination rates failed in the eleventh hour of the just-ended legislative session, and Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition executive director Stephanie Wasserman said she isn’t sure yet whether another version of the bill will return next year. She said measles outbreaks have precipitated reforms in other states, and according to CDC data, Colorado has the nation’s lowest kindergarten vaccination rates for diseases like measles, mumps and rubella.
Communities Already Developing Own Oil and Gas Regulations
Several Colorado communities are already using their new powers to develop localized regulations on oil and gas development. Lafayette extended its moratorium on drilling by six months. Broomfield will discuss a similar temporary ban on new oil and gas wells while it looks at new rules. And Larimer County will form an Oil and Gas Regulations Task Force that will meet over the spring and summer.
A Guide to Initiative 300
Denver’s city elections are tomorrow, and Denverite has a guide to exactly what’s in the ballot measure to overturn Denver’s urban camping ban, also known as the “Right to Survive” initiative. The initiative would add an article to the city’s municipal code that addresses human rights and anti-discrimination measures. And if Initiative 300 passes, City Council could examine it after six months to propose any changes.
Truck Driver Charged for I-70 Crash
Jefferson County’s district attorney has filed 40 charges total against Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, the driver accused of causing the deadly I-70 crash last month, including four counts of vehicular homicide. The charges also include first-degree assault and attempted first-degree assault. The district attorney said the charges “reflect individual victims.”
IN NATIONAL NEWS
House Committee to Hold Contempt Vote
The House Judiciary Committee plans to vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, after the Justice Department has appeared to miss a Monday deadline to negotiate the delivery of the full Mueller report. The full House would then have to vote to hold Barr in contempt.
Religious Freedom or Religious Refusal?
In Texas, measures that opponents call “religious refusal bills” are working their way through the state house. One would allow state licensed professionals deny services based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Supporters say the bills are about religious freedom, not LGBTQ discrimination. Some business leaders oppose the bills, including an IBM executive.
Equity Partnerships in Biglaw Decrease
According to data collected as part of the Am Law 100 ranking, the percentage of equity partners has decreased over nearly 20 years, while the percentage of nonequity partners has increased steadily. An analyst at ALM Intelligence said competition to continually increase revenue per lawyer and profits per equity partner could be driving the trend.
Trump Wants Reparations for ‘Time Stolen’ by Russia Investigation
The idea of government reparations normally gets brought up in the context of compensating black Americans for the damage caused by slavery and discrimination. But President Donald Trump has latched onto an idea tweeted by Liberty University’s president that he should have two years added to his first term for “time stolen” by the investigation into collusion with Russia.
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