Headlines May 18, 2021

Headlines May 18, 2021

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News from the Colorado Capitol

Gov. Jared Polis signed a $34 billion budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year Monday, restoring coronavirus cuts from last year and reserving a historic amount for future economic downturns. Also yesterday, the Colorado Senate approved a $5.3 billion transportation bill, sending it on to the House. It’s the biggest-ever attempt at a comprehensive measure to address roads, transit, electric vehicles and climate change. One sponsor said the bill would enable significant fixes to roads and bridges across the state while making the transportation system more resilient. New fees won’t take effect until mid-2022, but are expected to raise nearly $4 billion over the next decade, hitting consumers at the gas pump, when they order items for delivery — including from Amazon and other online retailers — and when they take Uber or Lyft rides. 

Colorado to Receive Nearly 4 Billion for Pandemic Recovery Efforts

The money comes from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion package the president signed into law in March. The Denver Post reported Monday that nearly $974 million is for state and local governments nationwide, directed to cities, counties and towns that can be spent in several ways.

The money comes in two installments, with half arriving this month and the other half in May of 2022. Funding can be spent on things to improve public health, address the economic downturn, replace lost tax revenue, increase pay for essential workers or invest in broadband, water and sewer infrastructure.

Gene Sperling, the White House’s American Rescue Plan coordinator, said that 1.3 million state and local jobs have been lost since the onset of COVID, and that the majority are local government jobs.

Colorado’s state government alone will receive $265 million. The City of Boulder is to receive $20 million and Boulder County $63 million. And nearly $974 million will go to the Denver metro area.


BVSD Reschedules Title IX Meeting

A virtual Boulder Valley School Board meeting scheduled to launch its Title IX Advisory Council has been rescheduled for May 27th. The district said it moved the original meeting after it was “Google bombed” by “outside people with loud music, profanities, nudity and weapons.”

Weld County Attracting More Families

Early results from last year’s U.S. Census show all four counties in the Northern Front Range grew between the summers of 2019 and 2020. But only Weld County continued its growth trajectory while Larimer and Boulder counties felt the lack of foreign migration during the pandemic. The Census is expected to release individual city estimates next month but the bottom line is families in Weld County are having more children. Larimer County remained the most populous of the four counties followed by Boulder, Weld and Broomfield. Both Larimer and Boulder counties saw deep cuts in the number of international migrants moving within their borders – likely related to former President Donald Trump’s stricter immigration policies. A state demographer told the Boulder Daily Camera that Weld County is becoming a younger county due to more families being started or expanded there, while Boulder and Larimer Counties are aging at a faster rate.

Boulder’s RMPJC Charges City Leaders With Obstruction

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center says it has obtained documents through the Colorado Open Records Act that show Boulder government leaders worked together to avoid a public debate and fund access to trails at the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons site. A spokesperson said local leaders ignored public concerns and shut out input from area residents in order to rush the Rocky Mountain Greenway trail forward. The Peace and Justice Center said the documents obtained suggest coordinated actions by Boulder City staff and Council members. A lawsuit filed in Colorado state court last week is challenging the legality of Boulder City Council’s process for approving Greenway funding.

Colorado Man Charged in U.S. Capitol Riot in Trouble at Home

A Colorado man charged with participating in the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol has violated the conditions of his release by and will likely be placed on 24/7 house arrest for killing a mountain lion. Patrick Montgomery, a hunting guide from Littleton shot the mountain lion during a hunt in Douglas County on March 31, even though he was ordered not to possess any guns while the federal charges against him are pending.