Headlines November 19, 2021
Initiative To Reduce Income Tax Makes It Onto Next Year’s Ballot
A proposed measure to reduce the state’s income tax rate has gained enough signatures to be a part of the November 2022 ballot. The Colorado Secretary of State announced the qualification yesterday. Colorado Newsline reports, conservatives Jon Caldara, and Jerry Sonnenberg are backing the measure, known as Initiative 31, which aims to lower the income tax rate.
According to Colorado Newsline, Caldara and Sonnenberg backed the income tax reduction that Colorado voters approved last year. That reduction brought the tax rate down from 4.63% to 4.55%. This most recent measure would lower it further to 4.4%.
Supporters gathered 148,000 valid signatures, which exceeded the number they needed to qualify. A fiscal impact statement released in July by non-partisan state staff estimates the measure will save an individual taxpayer about $95 a year.
DOD Medical Team Deployed To UCHealth Fort Collins
The UCHealth System announced yesterday that a Department of Defense medical team will arrive next week at the Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins to ease capacity and staffing challenges as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state.
The DOD will deploy roughly 20 reinforcements at the hospital for about a month, including nurses, respiratory therapists, administrators and other providers.
The team results from a state request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which already has assigned federal reinforcements to Pueblo’s Parkview Health System.
Former Colorado House Speaker KC Becker Will Lead Region 8 EPA Office
The White House announced yesterday that Boulder Democrat and former speaker of the Colorado House, KC Becker, will serve as the Region 8 administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a position based in Denver.
Along with Colorado, Region 8 covers five other states in the mountain west as well as 28 tribal nations.
During her tenure at the state legislature, Becker was a prime sponsor of the controversial Senate Bill 181, a 2019 measure that rewrote Colorado’s oil and gas regulations. According to the Colorado Sun, Becker and other supporters touted the legislation as protecting the environment and public safety by putting badly needed safeguards in place and giving more regulatory controls to local governments.
The Colorado Sun reports that prior to Becker entering politics, she worked for the Interior Department, where she practiced administrative and natural resources law.
3-mile Anemone Loop Trail Opens Today
The Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department will open the new 3-mile Anemone Loop Trail today. The trail is located west of downtown Boulder.
Because construction work is still occurring along the trail, city officials will open the trail each day after 5 PM, Monday through Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Trail closure will begin at 5 AM Monday through Friday.
The Open Space and Mountain Parks Department expects to complete construction of the trail in early 2022, weather permitting.
Firefighters Contain Kruger Rock Fire to 60%
Forest Service officials announced yesterday afternoon the Kruger Rock Fire remains at 146 acres with containment at 60%. Yesterday’s fire activity was minimal and required no aircraft support. The Denver Gazette reports over 200 firefighters worked to contain the blaze as of yesterday morning.