Headlines December 3, 2020

Headlines December 2, 2020

Listen here:

(Download Audio)

Special State Legislative Session Wraps Up

The Colorado legislature wrapped up their special session Wednesday with final approval of over $300 million in pandemic relief programs.  There was bipartisan support for ten different bills.   One of those provides $57 million to small businesses and arts organizations.  But it conditions payments on counties following COIVD-19 restrictions.  If a small business is in a county that is defying public health orders, they may not get the aid.

Other bills approved include assistance for child care centers and food pantries as well as an expansion of internet access for remote learning.

There’s also close to $60 million set aside for housing and utility assistance.   The state estimates that hundreds of thousands of Coloradoans are vulnerable to eviction or foreclosure.  Previous housing relief money expires this month.

Governor Jared Polis is expected to sign the bills as early as today.  He says the state is doing the best it can to help with limited funds but, as the pandemic drags on, more federal help is needed.

The legislature also approved $100 million for a disaster relief fund that will help with public health spending.  The Denver Post reports that the state is expecting that money to be reimbursed by the feds.

Boulder County could receive vaccine in 10 days as a death and 209 new cases reported Wednesday 

Boulder County Public Health spokesperson Chana Goussetis said that Boulder County hospitals may receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine by December 12th. The Daily Camera reports that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the vaccines are for hospital staff and they weren’t sure yet how many doses the county will first receive.

Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas and Larimer counties are also prepared to receive the vaccine between Dec. 11 and 14.

Goussetis also said public health is concerned about hospital staffing shortages. Data shows 40% of county hospitals are experiencing a staffing shortage or expect a shortage in the next week.

The Wednesday report of 209 new cases brings the county to 11,642 cases.

Public health warned Monday that the five-day average of new daily cases should start increasing following the Thanksgiving holiday.

 Boulder County Commissioners to vote on short-term rental regulation.

Boulder County Commissioners will vote today on changes to rules governing short-term rentals in unincorporated parts of the county.

The new rules are aimed at tightening up some of the requirements in response to complaints.   Residents who operate short-term rentals say they’re an important source of income.  But in recent years there’s been a sharp increase in the number of properties operating in this way.

County staff says there are hundreds of properties operating as short-term rentals that did not follow proper procedures in setting them up.