Headlines for May 5, 2022
Colorado Attorney General Announces Refunds For Coloradans Deceived By TurboTax
State Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Wednesday that Coloradans deceived by TurboTax campaigns will receive funds from a multi-state settlement.
TurboTax is an online tax filing service. Its parent company, Intuit Incorporated, will pay over $2.5 million dollars for tricking low-income residents and military community members into buying its online tax products.
TurboTax Free File is a free service provided in partnership with the federal government for low-income earners. An investigation found the company designed its website and associated search tools to deliberately lead clients away from the free online service to Intuit’s for-sale version.
The company will pay over 80,000 payments in Colorado alone. Impacted residents will receive about $30 for each year that they were deceived into buying TurboTax’s so-called Free Edition during the 2016 to 2018 tax years.
Court Overturns Denver’s Seven-Day Notice For Homeless Encampment Sweeps
Denver law enforcement no longer has to wait seven days before sweeping homeless encampments. A three-judge court of appeal panel voted in favor of overturning a previous ban on encampment sweeps this week.
The appeal court based this decision on a case last year saying the court should have never issued the seven-day waiting period. The judge said, the plaintiffs, Denver Homeless Out Loud, who brought the case — had already been barred from bringing that constitutional claim in a past settlement with the city.
This does not mean the city can sweep without warning. A previous settlement with Denver Homeless Out Loud, found the city must still give a notice in advance, says Andy McNulty, one of the group’s attorneys.
Ana Cornelius, the executive director for social change and advocacy at Denver Homeless Out Loud, says she hopes the city will continue to follow the practices stated in the previous injunction, even though they are not legally required to do so.
Vail Town Council Blocks Resort Employee Housing Plan
Vail’s town council voted Tuesday to condemn land earmarked for resort employee housing.
Vail Resorts had planned to spend $17 million dollars to develop affordable housing on the 23-acre parcel.
The council approved a resolution that gives the town of Vail the ability to seize ownership of the land to protect a bighorn sheep herd that winters in the area.
According to The Colorado Sun, local business owners and residents sent some 80 emails to the council, urging them to not condemn the land. Some 20 emails supported the condemnation. Vail Resorts has a shortage of workers because of a lack of affordable housing.
Children’s Hospital Offering Free Tuition To Employees
Children’s Hospital Colorado announced a partnership with Guild, an online education platform, to provide tuition-free education to eligible employees. Children’s will be the first pediatric hospital to offer these benefits. Employees can apply for about $5,000 dollars per year to support everything from English language learning to graduate degrees.
Colorado Senate Approves Bill Removing Anonymity From Fertility Donors
Colorado senate approved a bill Wednesday that would require fertility donors to agree to have their identity revealed to their biological children when they turn 18.
The bill would also limit egg and sperm donors from contributing to over 25 families. Donors would need to be at least 21 under the new bill and would have to give families access to updated medical records.
Fertility experts say the bill is the first of its kind. Supporters say it would give everyone the basic right to know their own identity and deter reproduction industry fraud, such as cases of doctors using their own sperm instead of donors’.
Opponents say the bill would violate privacy protections and discourage donations.
Colorado House Ban Flavored Tobacco With Some Exceptions
A bill to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products passed the state House Wednesday.
Under the bill, flavored products like vapes, e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and chewing tobacco would be banned starting in 2024.
The bill exempts hookah products, premium cigars, pipe tobacco, and all flavored items sold in age-restricted stores.
Supporters say the bill protects young people from becoming addicted to tobacco and nicotine. Representatives who voted against the proposed legislation say the exclusion of some tobacco products contradicts the mission to protect young people’s health.