Headlines March 02, 2022
Colorado Lawmakers Reject Three Gun Bills
Three firearms bills opposed by gun violence prevention groups died in committee yesterday in the state legislature. The Colorado House State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee voted against the bills after testimony from Colorado Moms Demand Action volunteers.
According to EveryTown for Gun Safety – the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country – the bills would have dismantled some of Colorado’s key gun safety laws and put communities at risk.
The defeated bills would have prevented local governments from prohibiting the concealed carry of firearms on local K-12 public school grounds, allowed businesses to use deadly physical force to prevent minor property damage, and weakened state restrictions to allow individuals to possess large capacity magazines to compete in state-sanctioned firearm shooting competitions.
Everytown’s new gun safety law rankings report identifies Colorado as being one of the top 10 states with the strongest gun laws in the country.
Bills to Prepare Students for Success Signed into Law
Governor Jared Polis yesterday signed bills into law that will increase funding for public schools, make early childhood education more affordable and accessible and study pay equity in Colorado’s public sector. These bills are part of the FY21-22 Budget Supplemental Package.
Bill HB22-1197’s goal is to assist the new Department of Early Childhood in launching a universal Pre-K that should save parents’ money and serve students statewide with comprehensive and sustainable early childhood education.
Bill HB22-1186’s goal is to improve protocol for counting at-risk students and to increase funding to districts with higher numbers of at-risk students.
HB22-1196 also aims to achieve pay parity. The bill is to direct a study to assess the pay inequities specific to gender, race and other protected classes in state departments.
Colorado’s First Black-led Community Foundation Launches to Spark Opportunites
Colorado welcomed its only Black-led community foundation with the Black Business Initiatives launch of the AYA Foundation on Monday.
The foundation aims to offer both programming and funds to entrepreneurs and organizations that support the Black community. The launch introduced programs, including a 4 week course for business beginners and a coaching and advisory service for entrepreneurs.
The term AYA is a West African symbol for endurance and resourcefulness.
Marshall Fire Recovery & Relief Fund Updates
Debris cleanup from the Marshall Fire has hit a speed bump. A non-profit corporation named Demanding Integrity in Government Spending has filed an injunction against Boulder County alleging the selection of DRC Emergency Services to lead debris clean-up violated Colorado’s open meetings law. All Boulder County judges have since recused themselves from deciding whether to block the DRC.
Governor Jared Polis signed into law two bills yesterday to move along the Marshall fire rebuilding process. One will transfer $3.7 million [dollars] to county coffers for property tax reimbursement. The other bill will create $5 million in grants to bolster local fire departments.
In related news, today is the deadline to apply for fire recovery assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Boulder County residents affected by the fire can apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by downloading the mobile FEMA app for smartphones or by visiting the Disaster Recovery Center in Lafayette. Multilingual support for the FEMA application process is available by phone at 1 800-621-3362.
Colorado Geographic Naming Board Invites Public to Submit Name Change Recommendations for 28 Geographic Features
The Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board -also known as the CGNAB- is seeking public input to consider recommendations to rename 28 geographical features in Colorado containing a derogatory term for Native American women.
The federal task force launched a 90 day Tribal consultation alongside the 60 day public comment period by the U.S Geological Survey. Both the Federal task force and the CGNAB will give preference to the replacement names submitted by Tribes, but encourages participation from the public
Recommendations must be submitted by April 4th.