I-70 Wildlife Watch

The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Patrol, and other partners have just launched a new website, www.I-70wildlifewatch.org. I-70 Wildlife Watch is a website where motorists can log in and report wildlife sightings along the interstate. Then, other motorists can visit the site prior to making their trip and view the interactive map to find out where along the highway to use extra caution. The website is designed to help both people and animals by reducing the number of vehicle-wildlife crashes.


PERA reform

This afternoon (January 26, 2010) is the first hearing on a new bill to reform PERA, the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association's retirement plan. Senate Bill 10-001,"Concerning modifications to the Public Employee's Retirement Association necessary to reach a one hundred percent funded ratio within the next thirty years," calls for larger contributions from employers and employees and a smaller cost of living increase to help balance the retirement fund. The hearing will be held before the Senate Finance Committee in Room SCR 354 at 1:30. Live audio is available from the General Assembly website.

For more information about this issue, try the following resources:


Race to the Top

The first major initiative of the 2010 Legislative session has been the Race to the Top program for federal education funding regarding teacher preparation. The Governor has already signed SB10-036 regarding Race to the Top. For information on the program and related documents, see the Governor's Race to the Top webpage.


Guide to Legislative Information

If you would like to stay on top of the activities in the capitol building during the new legislative session, the State Publications Library has created a "quick guide" to legislative information that may help you navigate through the complexities of the Colorado General Assembly. Listen to live audio of the proceedings, read proposed bills, and learn about the legislative process.


2010 Legislative Session Underway

Yesterday began the 2010 Legislative session, which runs 12o days. This year, the budget will continue to be a major topic of debate. For information on the introduction and status of bills, legislators' contact information, and calendar of proceedings, visit www.leg.state.co.us. Additionally, the Legislature's research division, Colorado Legislative Council, has a new feature on their website entitled Legislative Research Fundamentals, with helpful information on researching laws and bills past and present. Finally, the current session's House and Senate floor proceedings can be viewed online or on Comcast cable channel 165. Online viewing includes archived proceedings. Broadcast of the Senate is new this year. Committee hearings are available via streaming audio, however, these are not archived on the website, so past hearings need to be accessed from the Colorado State Archives.


Internet Safety

Earlier this week Colorado Attorney General John Suthers unveiled Wired with Wisdom, an Internet safety program designed to educate Colorado parents on how to keep their kids safe online. According to a press release from the Attorney General's Office:
The program, Wired With Wisdom, is designed to provide parents and caregivers with useful information and solutions related to the problems their children might encounter in today’s digital age. The program addresses the dangers associated with social networking, e-mail, cell phones, chat rooms, instant messaging and other technology widely used by youth today so that adults are equipped to educate young people about safe and responsible online practices.

More information on the program and how to connect is available in the press release.

You may also want to visit the "Safe Surfing Initiative Website" which contains Internet safety resources for kids and parents.


Previous Political Roles of Colorado Governors

Since Colorado's current Governor, Bill Ritter, has decided he will not run for re-election in 2010, there has been much speculation about who will run on the Democratic ticket. The press has speculated on such possible candidates as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, former Speaker of the (State) House Andrew Romanoff, and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (although Salazar announced today he will not run). As each of these persons has a very different role in government, it made me wonder what prior political positions have been held by past governors.

Colorado's governors dating back to Statehood in 1876 had served in roles from everything from judges to school boards to City Attorney, although, interestingly, no Colordo Attorney General has ever become governor.

Only one Governor ever served as Mayor of Denver - John L. Routt, who was governor first, serving as Territorial Governor 1875-76, the State's first Governor 1876-79, Mayor of Denver 1883-85, and Governor again 1891-93. (Popular guy!) Two other Colorado governors served as Mayors, of Pueblo and Montrose, before becoming governor.

One Colorado Governor, John Shafroth, served in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming Colorado's chief executive, while exactly half, 18 out of 36, Governors served in the Colorado State Legislature, two as Speaker of the House and seven as President of the Senate.

Finally, seven Colorado state governors previously served as Lieutenant Governors.

This information was obtained from the following sources: The Colorado State Archives' lists of Colorado Governors and Colorado Attorneys General; the City and County of Denver's online list of Mayors; the Colorado Legislative Council's database of legislator biographies; and a book, available from our library, entitled Presidents and Speakers of the Colorado General Assembly.


2010 Election

It seems early to be thinking about elections this year, but the early stages of candidate selection are in full force. Candidates are vying for a chance to run for governor, U.S. Congress, and positions in the state legislature to name a few.

The Colorado caucus for candidate selection is scheduled to take place on March 16, 2010 this year. The Democratic and Republican Parties will both hold a caucus to poll public preference for their gubernatorial and other candidates. According to state law (CRS 1-3-101):
"In order to vote at any precinct caucus, assembly, or convention of a political party, the elector shall be a resident of the precinct for thirty days, shall have registered to vote no later than twenty-nine days before the caucus, assembly, or convention, and shall be affiliated with the political party holding the caucus, assembly, or convention for at least two months."
Voters who want to participate in their local caucus need to register to vote and declare their party affiliation before January 15th.

To learn about the election process, try the following resources:

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