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Tom RamstackOctober 20, 201710min108
H.Con.Res. 71: Establishing the congressional budget for the U.S. government for fiscal 2018 and setting budget levels for fiscal 2019 through 2027 This was a vote to agree to the  budget proposal in the Senate. The resolution sets the budget for fiscal 2018 and budget levels for fiscal 2019 through 2027. The resolution sets discretionary […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningOctober 20, 20178min6980

Declaring he's the only candidate with the right business and financial experience to serve as Colorado state treasurer  — including bouncing back after losing almost everything when the economy crashed — Republican Brian Watson on Friday jumped into a GOP primary that already includes three state lawmakers, a county treasurer and a prosecutor.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20172min4060

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.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20173min152
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 […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 20, 20175min3050

 

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.)