3.27.2009

Road Conditions/Highway Closures

For up-to-date road conditions around the state, and to find out which highways are open or closed, visit the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT)'s road conditions webpage.

3.26.2009

American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and Colorado

Many people are wondering how the federal Recovery & Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. Federal Stimulus) will benefit Colorado. Governor Ritter's office has produced a website that attempts to answer these questions, officially known as the Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability Website. The site addresses not only the Federal Stimulus information but also addresses what Colorado is doing to overcome the struggling economy. The site includes news updates from the Governor's office; information on transportation projects, "new energy economy," and other growing industries; and links to other economic recovery websites from state agencies and the federal government. The website is designed to be a useful tool for Coloradans facing tough economic times.

3.25.2009

Diabetes Awareness

Yesterday was American Diabetes Alert Day, a day to inform the public about the seriousness of diabetes. People are encouraged to take the diabetes risk test to discover if they are at risk for developing diabetes.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), approximately 220,867 Coloradans have diabetes, and an additional 92,000 are undiagnosed. Luckily diabetes can be prevented through moderate changes in diet and exercise. CDPHE has put together a nice collection of resources on diabetes and diabetes prevention.

Other resources that may be of interest:

3.19.2009

Presidential Election by Popular Vote

Presently the Legislature is considering HB09-1299, which seeks to change Colorado's system of elections by entering into an agreement with other states to give Colorado's 9 electoral votes to the candidate who earns the most popular votes in all the states combined. The other states in the agreement would do this as well. The idea behind this system is to stay aligned with the constitution, which requires the use of the electoral college, but would circumvent the old winner-take-all system. Proponents argue that the measure will make elections more fair, giving less power to the most populous states, and will allow voters to feel that their vote actually counts; further, propoents seek to avoid situations where presidential candidates who receive more popular votes may not win the election because they don't have the electoral votes. Opponents of HB1299, however, argue in favor of adhering to the Constitution and the system set up by the founding fathers; and that the new system will undermine Colorado's sovereignity and cause candidates to ignore our state, as votes in other states will dictate where our electoral votes go. With strong arguments on both sides, this bill has caused considerable debate in the legislature.

Where to go to find out more about Colorado's electoral system? The Colorado Secretary of State's office's Election Center is a good place to start. The Secretary of State is officially in charge of elections in Colorado. The site will also link to national voter sites that explain the civic process of the United States.

3.18.2009

Sunshine Week

This week is "Sunshine Week", a national initiative focusing on the importance of open government and freedom of information.

In Colorado, there is a law in the statutes called the "sunshine law" (CRS Title 24, Article 6) that requires disclosure statements from elected officials, and lobbyists; and an open meetings law that declares that the formation of public policy is public business and may not be conducted in secret.

The mission of the State Publications Library is to aid in the transparency of government by making publications produced by Colorado state agencies freely available to the public. You can find state publications by searching our online catalog. We have also created subject guides to help locate online resources.

In an effort to keep citizens informed in regards to the economy recovery package, Governor Ritter has created a website, www.colorado.gov/recovery , that details how the stimulus money is being distributed for transportation and education projects.

For more details on open government at the federal level, check out the Sunshine Week website: www.sunshineweek.org.

3.12.2009

Transportation Construction Projects

The recent passage of the FASTER bill means that now drivers will be paying an additional $40 on their car registrations. This money will fund construction projects around the state, mainly addressing the repair of structurally deficient bridges.

Where will this money go? By utilizing the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT)'s website, you can find out about current and upcoming construction projects near you. The CDOT website features an annual map of construction projects around the state, as well as webpages providing information on many of the larger projects. This information can help commuters plan alternate routes and can help those living and working nearby to adjust to the projects. To find these webpages, just visit the CDOT homepage and click on the Travel Info menu.

3.05.2009

Dropout Prevention

HB09-1243 addresses Colorado's high school graduation rates and what can be done to encourage high school students not to drop out. Colorado's Department of Education and Department of Higher Education, as well as some of the state institutions of higher education, have produced numerous studies and statistical material regarding this topic, including:
  • The Graduation Gap in Colorado: Who is Most Likely to Graduate High School in Colorado (2007)
  • Report to the Colorado General Assembly on the Pilot Program for Teen Pregnancy and Dropout Prevention (2005)
  • Colorado Education Facts (includes statistics on high school graduation rates)
  • Colorado Graduation Rates for Class of ... and ... Annual Dropout Rates (data from the 1990s)
  • Labor Market Conditions and the High School Dropout Rate: Evidence from New York State (study by the University of Colorado at Denver)
  • Colorado Public School Annual Dropout Rates, Grades 7 through 12 (data from 1990-1991)
  • Colorado Department of Education Dropout Prevention Projects (1988)
  • The Cost of High School Dropouts to the Economic Development of Colorado (1988)
  • Minority Youth Dropouts: Personal, Social, and Institutional Reasons for Leaving School (1986 study by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs)
  • Colorado Public School Dropout Data (annual reports from the 1960s)
  • Colorado Education Statistics

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