image-1.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 21, 20174min11
The Colorado Civil Justice League cited breakthrough tort-reform legislation this year as it honored 55 of the legislature’s 100 members Friday at the Four Seasons hotel in Denver. “Common sense in the courtroom requires justice for those who have been wronged, balanced by fairness for those who may be wrongfully accused,” CCJL executive director Mark […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


Download080417_c-e1502211253201-1024x574.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 21, 201711min680


IMG_4262-2-1280x960.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 21, 20172min105
Tickets are still remaining for the Women’s Summit at Mile Hi Church in Denver next Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event hopes to build off the Women’s March in downtown Denver last January, the week after President Trump’s inauguration, and it’s a “sister event” to the Women’s Convention in Detroit, Colorado organizers […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


rayscott3-e1487736965945.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20172min3790

Ray Scott won’t face an ethics rebuke from his fellow senators, after Republican and Democratic leadership said his social media accounts are his business.

Scott, a Republican from Grand Junction, received complaints from three Grand Valley residents because he blocked them from posting on his social media accounts, including Facebook, Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Sentinel reported.

Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker, and Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, agreed there was no violation to investigate, since the Senate doesn’t have rules regarding social media, Ashby reporter after an interview with Grantham.

Anne Landman, Claudette Konola and Martin Wiesiolek alleged they were denied free speech because they were blocked by Scott, which they further alleged was official misconduct of his legislative duties. (Disclosure: This reporter has blocked or muted at least a dozen people for various reasons, including compulsive tweeting at me, profane insults, conspiracy theories and stuff stranger than that. Forgive me, Founding Fathers.)

“Senate Republicans and Democrats agreed this was a frivolous attempt to taint our ability to control inappropriate comments on our personal social media sites,” Scott told Colorado Politics Friday morning. “Trolls trying to smear someone they don’t like personally or for our political views hopefully will move on to other adventures.”

Ashby wrote that the three cite the Virginia court case of Davison v. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. In July U.S. District Judge James Cacheris ruled the board had violated the First Amendment rights of a blogger when the chairwoman blocked him from posting on her Facebook page.

Read Ashby’s story here.


AP17276493983271.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20173min101
Colorado Politics told you last month about a bipartisan group that hopes to move the power to draw legislative districts a little farther away from partisan interests to a independent commission. Thursday Fair Districts Colorado the language for three proposals with the Office of Legislative Council after it says it conducted a statewide listening tour. […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


IMG_8104.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20173min106
Reggie Bicha has been talking to tribal leaders about how the state of Colorado can be an ally to the Ute nation to provide needed social services to tribal members in the state. Bicha, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services, and other state agency leaders met with representatives from the Ute Mountain […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


Screen-Shot-2017-10-19-at-9.32.43-PM.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20173min141
Older Coloradans are among the most aggrieved in the country about credit reports, mortgages, credit cards and other financial services, according to a study released this week. “Older Consumers in the Financial Marketplace” was compiled by the Colorado consumer group CoPIRG Foundation and the Frontier Group, a left-leaning advocacy organization. Colorado ranked ninth for the […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe


iStock-544357868.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20175min2870

 

When a U.S. House committee holds the first-ever hearing on Down syndrome research next week, Colorado’s groundbreaking work and generous philanthropy will be in the spotlight.

The House Health and Human Services Subcommittee is scheduled to hear testimony on science and discoveries on major diseases next Wednesday morning.

More specifically, “on current and future research funding priorities to accelerate scientific discovery that will benefit individuals with Down syndrome and lead to new therapies to treat Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other major diseases.”

On a five-member panel of experts, three are from Colorado: Michelle Sie Whitten, founder, CEO and president of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, and Frank Stephens, the Quincy Jones Advocate for the Denver-based foundation, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, as well as Dr. Joaquin M. Espinosa. executive director of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The congressional committee will hear about a project at the Crnic Institute at the University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Campus about connections between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s and other major diseases.

The Crnic Institute Human Trisome Project will recruit 1,000 people with Down syndrome and 500 people without it, so researchers can sequence and study several layers of genomics. The institute has enrolled 300 people in the project’s first 11 months.

“People with Down syndrome have a different disease spectrum,” Espinosa said in a statement. “The Crnic Institute HTP will allow us to redefine Down syndrome from the least scientifically understood condition to one of the best understood conditions. In addition, it will provide unprecedented understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune conditions, cancers and other medical conditions that people with Down syndrome are either very predisposed to or protected from, eventually enabling the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools.”

Researchers so far have found that people with Down syndrome will develop the same pathology as Alzheimer’s, but nearly 40 percent will never get dementia. Less than 1 percent of people with Down syndrome will ever develop any solid-tumor cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and other forms of the disease.

The bioscience technology company Biogen has committed more than $500,000 plus in-kind support for the research project, with $1 million from the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus and a matching $1 million from the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

The National Institutes for Health is bracing for the possibility of budget cuts requested by the White House, and it’s counting on Congress to push back.

The lead federal agency on medical research has a budget of $34.1 billion this year. President Trump wants that lowered to $26.9 billion in his first budget. The House approved $35.2 billion in its budget bill last month, and the Senate figure is $36.1 billion so far.

The subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee has 30 Republicans and 22 Democrats, but none of them are from Colorado.

(Editor’s note: This story was updated to include Frank Stephens’ residency.)


DenverDems-Kennedy-Kroll-W.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 19, 20174min3680

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy rolled out her education plan for Colorado Thursday.

The plan, her campaign says, will make sure that by the time a Colorado kid turns 19 — “regardless of where they live and how much their family makes” — is prepared for higher education.

“As governor I will make education our top priority,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Great public schools are the only way to make sure that our state’s progress reaches everyone. For every Colorado kid to succeed, we need every classroom to be led by a great teacher, and every teacher to have the support they need to ensure the success of all of their students.”

The education plank of her platform, as presented Thursday, is more a goal than an action document. It doesn’t answer the single biggest question that always sours the blend of politics and schools: how to pay for it.

Her campaign, however, points to her history of raising money for schools. She wrote Amendment 23, the successful constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2000 and required the legislature to increase K-12 per pupil funding by the rate of inflation plus 1 percent each year through 2011.

While she was state treasurer from 2006 to 2010, she worked with the legislature to create the Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST, competitive grant program to help schools with education services and construction.

She is vowing to make education her top priority as governor, but she will, of course, have to negotiate with tax-stingy Republicans. In an e-mail to supporters, Kennedy said she would seek to repeal the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the 1992 constitutional amendment that puts a cap on state spending. Many Democrats have sought to do that, but none have gotten very far. Colorado voters would have to decide the issue, not the governor or legislature.

Her plan as released Thursday calls for addressing teacher shortages by paying them like professionals. Kennedy’s campaign said teachers should be able to afford to live where they work without a second job or government assistance to get by. They should earn at least the national average, her platform contends.

The average starting salary for teachers in Colorado is $32,126 a year, the National Education Association says. Pay is lower in rural communities, making it hard for them to attract faculty.  Nationally teachers start out earning on average $36,141.

Among surrounding states, Colorado is somewhat in the middle. Wyoming pays an average of $43,269 to starting teachers, while Utah and Kansas both pay a bit more than $33,000 a year. New Mexico pays $31,960 and Nebraska pays $30,844, according to NEA.

Kennedy also vows to expand the “talent pipeline” and bring more diversity to Colorado’s teaching ranks.

“Research has shown significant benefits for students served by teachers who better represent the demographic makeup of their student populations,’ Kennedy’s campaign said in an announcement Thursday.

Kennedy would work to increase scholarships, apprenticeships and other incentives to attract people to teaching and provide teachers of color in their respective communities.

It’s worth noting that the elected state school board retains most of the authority over education programs, not the governor.

The full plan is available by clicking here.

(Editor’s note: This story was updated to include information from Kennedy’s e-mail to supporters.)


Screen-Shot-2017-10-19-at-10.14.41-AM.jpg

Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 19, 20173min129
Colorado is open to the idea of voting for candidates who don’t have a party, according to a survey released Thursday by the Centrist Project Institute. The survey indicates 85 percent of Coloradans would consider candidates who don’t belong to a party, and 53 percent don’t like the way Democrats and Republicans are running the […]

This content is only available to subscribers.

Login or Subscribe