7.31.2008

Vetoed Bills

Every year, the governor chooses to veto a few of the bills that were passed. A veto occurs when the bill is passed by both House and Senate, is signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, and is referred to the Governor for his signature -- but if he doesn't like the bill, he has the option to veto it. Curiously, this year, all but one of Governor Ritter's vetos were on bills sponsored by his fellow Democrats. They were also all House Bills. Here are the 2008 bills that were vetoed:

  • HB1032 by Rep. Massey and Sen. Morse, "Concerning a change in payments to pharmacies for certain drugs under Medicaid."
  • HB1150 by Rep. Todd and Sen. Williams, "Concerning a program for providing additional therapies to persons with disabilities who are eligible to receive Medicaid."
  • HB1170 by Rep. Soper and Sen. Tochtrop, "Concerning the regulation of electricians, and making an appropriation therefor."
  • HB1186 by Rep. Solano and Sen. Windels, "Concerning the exception of certain students' scores from calculations of a school's academic performance."
  • HB1208 by Rep. Levy and Sen. Shaffer, "Concerning juveniles against whom charges are directly filed in a district court."
  • HB1406 by Rep. Madden and Sen. Gordon, "Concerning the circulation of initiative and referendum petitions."
  • HB1408 by Rep. Levy and Sen. Veiga, "Concerning the implementation of additional requirements on a corporate income taxpayer to verify the validity of transactions related to real estate investment trusts."

So why were these bills vetoed? They all obviously had a lot of support. To find the governor's reasons for vetoing each of these bills, visit his press releases page. There will be a separate Veto Message for each bill. Veto Messages are letters written by the govenor explaining to Coloradans why he vetoed each bill. You can view all bills and acts, as well as bill histories, House and Senate Journals, and archived video of the House floor debates, on the General Assembly's homepage.

7.30.2008

Student Assessment

The results from the Colorado Student Assessment Program have been released and are available online at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeassess/documents/csap/csap_summary.html

The Colorado Department of Education has a new tool called "Colorado's Growth Model", that yields student, school and district comparisons based on longitudinal data. The growth model provides educators with a way to understand how much growth a student made from one year to the next, with a common and consistent means of understanding each student’s progress, regardless of their starting point. Statewide data has been released and can be accessed from the Department of Education web page.

7.24.2008

Eminent Domain

Eminent domain has always been a contentious issue in Colorado, but recently has been even more so due to the fact that RTD is taking over a great deal of personal property for their FasTracks program. Just this week, homeowners in a brand-new condominium development near the Platte River downtown were informed that they would have to leave their homes -- the new development was going to be demolished so that RTD could build a new light rail maintenance facility. Homeowners west of the city are also getting their eviction notices as RTD furthers plans to build its west line to Golden.

Because eminent domain is so controversial, it is important to understand the legal issues of the practice. You can find out more about what the Legislature is doing about eminent domain in Colorado by reading the Legislative Council's short, simple explanation in their fact sheet entitled Eminent Domain Legislation. If you are a property owner whose property has the potential to be acquired by the government through eminent domain, you do have rights. The Colorado Department of Transportation has published a guide for property owners addressing issues of compensation, etc. On a more technical level, CDOT also publishes the Right-of-Way Manual which they describe as providing "guidance in all phases of acquiring, managing and disposing of real property. It is based on federal and state statutes, rules, policies and procedures related to real estate, condemnation, and relocation." The information in the manual is rather technical in nature but provides thorough guidance on government property acquisition procedures, including eminent domain. Be sure, also, to check the Denver newspapers. With all the FasTracks issues, the dailies are full of articles and editorials on the issue.

7.22.2008

Wildfires

The combination of high temperatures and minimal rainfall has dramatically increased the fire danger in most of Colorado. While there isn't much we can do about the weather, there are steps to take in wildfire prevention. Read about creating wildfire defensible zones from the CSU Cooperative Extension. Fire restriction information and fire danger maps can be found on the Department of Emergency Management web site. In-depth fire data is also available through the Colorado division of the Bureau of Land Management, including fire weather forecasts, smoke dispersion forecasts.

If a wildfire starts in your neighborhood, here are some resources to keep you informed:

7.16.2008

Dinosaurs in Colorado

We just received from the Colorado Geological Survey a cd-rom entitled Dinosaurs in Our Backyard. This is an interactive look at Colorado paleontology, focused mostly on the Dinosaur Ridge area in Jefferson County which is full of preserved dinosaur footprints. State agencies have also produced a few other publications readers can use to look for dinosaur fossils. These include Dinosaur Remains in Colorado, produced by the Colorado Historical Society's archaeology office, and the Colorado Geological Survey's Colorado's Dinosaurs; Dinosaur Lake: The Story of the Purgatoire Valley Dinosaur Tracksite Area; and Colorado's Magnificent POGIs [Points of Geological Interest], which includes some information on dinosaur fossil sites.

7.10.2008

Amphibians and Reptiles

Did you know Colorado is home to a variety of frogs, toads, and other amphibians? You can find out all about them in some of the publications available in our library and on the web, including

There are many more, too -- just search our web catalog for more publications you can check out from our library.

7.09.2008

Rafting

Hot summer weather leads people to water and water sports. One of the most popular summer activities is white water rafting. The Colorado Tourism Office is a great source of information on rafting opportunities in Colorado. Rafting safety information can be found on the Colorado State Parks website. If you live for rafting or kayaking, you may be interested in stream flow data available from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. Their database will show peak waterflow and current water level information for Colorado streams and rivers by section.

7.03.2008

Protect your skin

For Fourth of July weekend many of us will be heading outside for picnics, barbecues, or hitting the trails for a hike. Make sure to take along sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to help protect your skin from the sun. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health, 90% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation. Check out the Sun Safe Colorado prevention strategies website for tips on preventing skin cancer. Statistics and other skin cancer information are available from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

7.01.2008

Garden Butterflies

This is the time of year when yards and gardens are filled with bees, birds, and butterflies. I have seen a number of large yellow butterflies this month, and they look so pretty flitting through the colorful gardens blooming in the summertime. The CSU Cooperative Extension has produced a publication called Attracting Butterflies to the Garden, offering tips on which fruit and flowers are most attractive to butterflies. Using these plants can attract these pretty insects that will make your garden even more colorful.

Popular Posts