Headlines September 6, 2021
Polis Announces Extension of Some Protections for Tenants
On Saturday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that he has extended his order that provides some housing tenants protection from eviction. The governor’s office said in a release that tenants who have a pending application for emergency assistance have 30 days to make past-due rental payment instead of just 10 days. Polis’s order also rescinds all remaining provisions on unemployment insurance and returns funds over $16 million that was allocated to to the Disaster Emergency Fund at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The governor’s order comes after last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the federal eviction moratorium. Polis said he was considering extending emergency protection in Colorado beyond September, if rental assistance applications are backlogged. Saturday’s order is scheduled to expire in about 30 days unless extended further.
Rally at Colorado Capitol Protesting Texas Abortion Law
Protesters gathered at the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday to express their opposition to the new anti-abortion law in Texas. The Texas law bans abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy, and allows anyone to sue someone who helps provide an abortion. Katherine Riley with the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights told the Denver Channel that there is growing interest from Texas women to have abortions elsewhere. Should there be any attempt at a similar anti-abortion measure in Colorado, state Senator Julie Gonzales, a Democrat from Denver, said that we are strong and united, and it won’t likely will not go far. The Colorado Sun reports that abortion providers in the state say they’ve begun to see an uptick in calls from Texans, and some believe they could become overwhelmed in the coming months especially if other states like Florida and South Dakota pass laws similar to that in Texas.
Redistricting Committee Releases New Congressional Maps
The state’s redistricting committee released a revised congressional map on Friday evening using the 2020 Census data. Among the most notable changes are the redrawing of the 2nd Congressional District, now held by Joe Neguse, Democrat from Lafayette. The district would extend from Boulder and Larimer counties on the east to Moffat and Garfield Counties on the west. The new district, if it becomes final, would potentially pit Neguse against Republican Lauren Boebert of Rifle. And the state’s newest district, the 8th, would include the north Denver metro area starting in Adams County and then extend northward along the eastern side of I-25. The area would lose bluer parts of the state and gain redder areas that, Colorado Public Radio reports, could lead to the state’s most competitive seat. The 8th District has the highest percentage (38%) of Hispanic residents among all proposed districts. The congressional redistricting map must be approved by the Colorado Supreme Court by December 15.
Boulder – CU South Annexation Agreement Released
After reviewing several proposals, the city of Boulder and the University of Colorado released a final draft of the CU South annexation agreement on Friday. The Daily Camera reports that the document includes new provisions based upon feedback from the community and officials from both the city and the county. The proposed agreement provides that in exchange for the city annexing over 300 acres of university-owned land near U.S. 36 and Table Mesa Drive, CU will transfer property to be used for flood mitigation of South Boulder Creek. Among new provisions in Friday’s release is a limit on nighttime events and measures to prevent people from using the property as a bypass to Colorado Highway 93 and Foothills Parkway. The city and the university say the agreement is 99 percent done. The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and a second reading on the agreement a week from tomorrow with a vote set for Sept. 21.
Preliminary Hearing for Alleged King Soopers Shooter Delayed
A hearing in the case against the alleged Boulder King Soopers mass shooting defendant that was scheduled to occur this week, has been delayed to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial. The Daily Camera reports that late last week, Judge Ingrid Bakke ruled that the preliminary hearing in the case against Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa’s, that was to begin tomorrow, will instead be an advisement proceeding at which she will order a psychological evaluation. The alleged shooter has been charged with 10 counts of first degree murder and numerous other crimes after the killings in March at the King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive.
District Attorney Michael Dougherty tried to persuade the judge that Alissa’s mental state is not a barrier to the preliminary hearing which is focused on whether there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial. Dougherty also raised concerns about the public defender’s brining the issue to the court’s attention at this time. The D.A. said that families of the victims in the case had made travel arrangements for tomorrow’s preliminary hearing. Attorneys for the defendant said they believe he “suffers from a mental disability” and is unable to rationally understand court proceedings.