December 28, 2022
Governor Issues Proclamations For Ballot Measures Approved By Voters
Governor Jared Polis issued eight proclamations Tuesday recognizing the statewide ballot measures that gained voter approval during the 2022 election. The governor’s declarations follow the certification of election results by the Secretary of State earlier in the month and meet a requirement of the Colorado Constitution. As part of the governor’s validation, the eight approved ballot measures became law Tuesday.
Amendment E, the measure that extends a Colorado property-tax exemption to Gold Star spouses, was the most popular with voters which gained 88% of the vote.
Three measures passed with less than 55% of voter approval and those measures include Proposition 122, which allows the personal use of psychedelic mushrooms and the licensing of healing centers using mushrooms for therapy; Proposition 123 which requires the state to dedicate $300 million to affordable housing programs by exempting funds from an automatic taxpayer-refund mechanism; and Proposition 125 which authorizes the sale of wine in grocery stores.
According to statistics from the Secretary of State’s office, turnout among the state’s active registered voters was just over 2.5 million or about 67% and turnout among the eligible voting population was around 59%.
Beleaguered Southwest Airlines Continues Its Flight Cancellation Streak
The Denver International Airport continues to grapple with a logistical bottleneck of flight delays, nearly a week after a winter storm blew through the region. As of Wednesday morning, the website FlightAware.com shows DIA at the top of a worldwide list of flight cancellations for both departure and arrivals.
Southwest Airlines continues to be the largest contributing factor to the flight cancellations. The airline’s flight cancellation streak has created long lines at ticket counters and frustration for stranded passengers. The airline Wednesday morning accounted for more than half of Denver International Airport’s flight cancellations. Since Thursday, the airline has canceled over 10,000 flights and has scrubbed more flights for today and Thursday.
Federal regulators are beginning to investigate why the airline is lagging behind other carriers in recovering from the winter holiday storm that created havoc for travelers since last week. The Denver Post spoke to aviation analysts who say Southwest Airlines uses a point-to-point routing system, a non-hub configuration, that experts say makes the airline vulnerable to massive storms, such as the sub-zero weather and storms that hit the country last week. The Wall Street Journal has also reported that Southwest uses an outdated scheduling system for flight crews, resulting in the airline not being able to track dispersed crews as cancellations mounted.
Governor Polis Considering Changes To Colorado’s Red Flag Law
Colorado is considering changing its Red Flag Law after the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. After the nightclub shooting that left five people dead, Colorado’s governor wants to strengthen the state’s red flag law.
Red flag laws allow judges to issue extreme risk protection orders. Those orders allow a judge to remove guns from people who are a threat to themselves or others. Police or family in Colorado can petition a judge to issue a protection order. But that doesn’t happen very often in communities where sheriffs believe the law steps on Second Amendment gun rights.
Now, Governor Jared Polis is asking if other people should be eligible to file requests. In some states, healthcare providers, schools or district attorneys can request that guns be taken away.
Advocates who want to stop gun violence are pushing locals to use federal dollars to teach people the legal ins and outs that can lead to a successful red flag petition.
Tri-County Health Department Set To Dissolve As 2022 Comes To A Close
The reign of the 75-year-old Tri-County Health Department is set to end New Year’s Eve, leaving the counties of Arapahoe, Douglas, and Adams to operate their own health departments beginning Jan. 1. In late summer 2021, Douglas County Commissioners decided to split from the three county health system after county officials had disagreements with the health agency over mask mandates, vaccination requirements, and other health orders during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Douglas County withdrawal forced Adams and Arapahoe to follow suit.
Douglas County officials say the decision will save their county money. For Adams and Arapahoe, health care budgets will increase in order to serve the diverse needs of residents.
According to the Denver Post, regulation differences are also forcing Archuleta and La Plata counties in southwest Colorado to go their own separate ways by dissolving the San Juan Basin Public Health, with each of the two counties needing to have their plan in place by Jan. 1, 2024.
Lafayette OKs Loan To Help With The Residential Acquisition Of A Mobile Home Park
Lafayette City Council voted last week to commit to an interest-free $495,000 loan to help Mountain View Mobile Home residents purchase their 34 unit park near the southeast corner of East Cleveland Street and South Burlington Avenue. In an effort to buy the mobile-home park, residents formed La Luna Community Cooperative which has partnered with the non-profit affordable housing organization Thistle.
According to the Daily Camera, the co-op requested city assistance for the purchase and are currently negotiating with the property owner to buy the land. The cooperative’s aim for residential acquisition is to create long-term affordable rent rates for the residents.
The letter of commitment by Lafayette states the loan is forgivable subject to future city appropriations and that the cooperative will need to enter into a loan agreement with Lafayette and purchase the park by Nov. 1, 2023.