Headlines – November 2, 2021

Headlines November 2, 2021


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Colorado Supreme Court Approves U.S. House District Map Drawn By Independent Commission

The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously approved an independent commission’s new Congressional map yesterday. The map’s redistricting establishes the Colorado’s eight U.S. House districts for the next decade and will also apply to next year’s election.

Latino voting groups and advocates had challenged the map saying it would dilute the power of the Latino voting bloc reports The Colorado Sun. The court disagreed.

The court also rejected claims that the commission should have drawn more competitive districts, saying the panel needed to prioritize the preservation of communities of interest and political subdivisions, over competitiveness.

Polis Releases $40 billion Budget Proposal

Governor Polis announced Monday that he wants his budget plan to go toward easing the financial burden of government fees on businesses, reducing homelessness and combating crime.

The Colorado Sun reports that the $40 billion budget proposal incorporates state tax revenue, federal COVID-19 relief funds and an 8.5% increase in discretionary spending by the state legislature. Among other items in his proposal, the budget calls for major investments in education and actions to combat climate change.

The new budget also includes money for paid family leave, a new medical leave program and funds for a 9-1-1 behavioral health crisis team.

SCOTUS Refuses To Hear Denver Case On Qualified Immunity For Police Officers 

The United States Supreme Court announced yesterday it will not review an appeals court decision that shielded five Denver police officers who attempted to delete a video showing them punching a suspect in the head and grabbing his pregnant girlfriend. The case would have argued against the officers’ “qualified immunity.”

According to The Denver Gazette, the case stems from a 2014 incident in which bystander, Levi Frasier, recorded a Denver police officer punching a suspect in the head while another officer grabbed the suspect’s pregnant girlfriend, causing her to fall. Frasier alleged that when he returned to his car, an officer pressed him about the video. He claimed a group of officers later surrounded him until he handed over his recording device for a search.

Frasier sued the officers arguing they retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights. A district court judge declined to grant qualified immunity to the officers after learning Denver police training specifically covers the right of bystanders to record police. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year asserted judicial decisions alone are what places constitutional limitations on the conduct of government employees, not training.

Boulder Best Western Closes After 52 Years

Boulder’s Best Western Plus Inn near the intersection of 28th and Baseline Road has closed. According to The Daily Camera, the last guests for the hotel’s 52 year run checked out on Sunday. The hotel was a hub for visiting CU parents, conference attendees, as well as visitors to the city’s federal labs. The Daily Camera reports developers will turn the site into a 92 unit student housing complex called Hub Boulder, making it the latest in a row of student housing along 28th Street.

Xcel Announces Net Zero Emissions For Natural Gas By 2050

Xcel Energy announced yesterday plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its natural gas business by 2050. The company did not release many details on how it will reach the 2050 goal, but said it will cut emissions by reducing methane leaks and by purchasing gas only from suppliers with certified low emissions.

Colorado Newsline reports over two-thirds of Colorado homes still use natural gas as a primary heating and cooking fuel source. Yesterday’s announcement broadens the utility’s previous 2018 commitment pledging 100% carbon-free electricity by the same date.