Headlines September 11, 2020

Headlines September 11, 2020

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Opponents of Amendment B Head to Court to Challenge Blue Book Language

A hearing is scheduled in a Denver court this morning over language appearing in Colorado’s Blue Book for the November ballot.

A group that is opposing a state wide ballot measure that asks voters to repeal Colorado’s Gallagher Amendment is suing the state and General Assembly over language in the guide that will go to all voters in the state.

The group Protect Our Homes Colorado is against Amendment B which will appear on November’s ballot. The group says the language in Colorado’s Blue Book fails to provide a fair and impartial analysis of Amendment B, as required by the Colorado State Constitution.

The complaint says last minute edits to the language were included in the Blue Book that do not give a clear picture of what the group says the harm that the Gallagher repeal, or Amendment B, will do to Coloradans.

The Denver Post reports that the measure was referred to the ballot by a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the end of this year’s legislative session.

The Gallagher Amendment was passed by voters in 1982 and limits residential property taxes, bringing them down to near the lowest in the country.

However, those supporting Amendment B say local authorities depend on property taxes and the Gallagher amendment limits their ability to raise and spend money, particularly on education.

Large Number of Fraudulent Unemployment Assistance Claims

More than 75% of recent claims made for unemployment assistance under a program for self-employed workers and independent contractors were fraudulent according to the Colorado Department of Labor.

The Denver Post reports that the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said that they have prevented $750 million to $1 billion dollars in improper unemployment insurance payments. But about $40 million in federal money may have slipped through to the criminals.

Jeff Fitzgerald, head of the state’s unemployment insurance program said in order to catch the fraudulent claims the state uses 18 fraud detection measures.
Some of the perpetrators are based in Colorado, some in other states, and some abroad.

Scammers use stolen identities to file a claim. They set up accounts at banks for direct deposit. It is up to state employment offices to make sure those who file are who they claim to be.

Many fraudulent claims were caught when the CDLE mailed a debit card, known as ReliaCard, to the address under which a claim was filed, even when applicants requested a direct deposit. Thousands of Colorado residents were surprised when they received the cards not knowing that their identities had been used in the scam.