Monthly Archives: March 2007

GOV. RITTER, LT. GOV. O’BRIEN SCHEDULES FOR WEEK OF MARCH 19



GOV. RITTER AND LT. GOV. O’BRIEN SCHEDULES FOR WEEK OF MARCH 19

 

GOV. RITTER SCHEDULE

 
Monday, March 19

 

9 a.m.:  News conference announcing the creation of the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2), State Capitol, West Steps.

 

9:30 a.m.:  Brief visit with University of Colorado President Hank Brown‘s class, State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Chambers.

 

Noon: Community Colleges Day at the Capitol, (addressing 13 community college presidents), State Capitol, Senate Committee Room.

 

Tuesday, March 20

 

9 a.m.:  Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Day at the Capitol, State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Chambers.

 

10 a.m.:  ColoradoSchool of Mines Tour, GeneralResearchLaboratoryBuilding,
1310 Maple St.

, Golden.

 

Wednesday, March 21

 

11 a.m.:  National Agriculture Day, State Capitol, West Steps.

 

7 p.m.:  Denver Public Schools Foundation Dinner, HyattRegencyConvention Center,
650 15th St

.

 

Thursday, March 22

 

8 a.m.: American Bar Association, Access To Justice Conference, HyattRegencyConvention Center,
650 15th St

.

 

10 a.m.: Colorado Credit Union Association Legislative Forum, State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Chambers.

 

10:30 a.m.: Sportsmen Appreciation Day, State Capitol, West Steps.

 

11:30 a.m.: Denver Metro Rotarians Meeting, MarriottDenverTechCenter, 4900 S. Syracuse.

 

5 p.m.: MorganCounty Economic Development Event, WigginsEventCenter, 4th and Chapman Streets, Wiggins.

 

7 p.m.: Upstate Colorado Economic Development Annual Dinner, University of Northern Colorado, UniversityCenter Ballroom,
2045 10th Ave., Greeley

.

 

Friday, March 23

 

8 a.m.: Aurora Day at the Capitol, State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Chambers.

 

Saturday, March 24

 

10 a.m.: Renewable Energy Summit with U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar.

 

5 p.m.: 2007 Military Ball & Change of Command Ceremony, Doubletree Denver Hotel,
3203 Quebec St

.

 

 

LT. GOV. O’BRIEN SCHEDULE

 

Monday, March 19
 
Colorado Commission Indian Affairs Annual Meeting. Lt. Gov O’Brien will be involved in several commission-related meetings throughout the week.  Contact Wil Alston for detailed information, 303.866.6323.

 

Tuesday, March 20

 

4 p.m.:  12th Annual Spring Buffalo Feast and Honoring Ceremony, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd.

 

Wednesday, March 21

 

11:45 a.m.: Early ChildhoodState Systems Team, Blair-Caldwell Library,
2401 Welton St

.

 

Thursday, March 22

 

9 a.m.: Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs Quarterly Meeting, Colorado Historical Society, 1300 Broadway.

 

Friday, March 23

 

9 a.m.: Tribal Introductions in the House and Senate Chambers, State Capitol.

 

1 p.m.: Tri-Ute Meeting, State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Chambers.

 

RITTER HAILS PASSAGE OF HALLMARK RENEWABLE ENERGY LEGISLATION


GOVERNOR RITTER HAILS PASSAGE OF

HALLMARK RENEWABLE ENERGY LEGISLATION

 

Gov. Bill Ritter today hailed the final passage of House Bill 1281, the legislative centerpiece of his 2007 renewable energy agenda for Colorado.

 

“I applaud lawmakers from both parties for their bipartisan cooperation and vision as they work to enact Colorado‘s New Energy Economy,” Ritter said. “In 2004, when Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 37, we became the first state in the country to set renewable energy standards by citizen initiative.

 

“We’re making history yet again with HB 1281 by expanding those standards and continuing to establish Colorado as the nation’s renewable energy leader.”

 

The governor congratulated lawmakers, investor-owned utilities, rural electric associations, environmental organizations, labor groups, consumer advocates and others for their collaborative efforts in shaping HB 1281.

 

“HB 1281 will help stimulate the rural areas at the heart of the New Energy Economy — regions like the Eastern Plains and San Luis Valley where wind, sun and agriculture are abundant,” Ritter said. “The bill will help us attract manufacturers of wind turbines and solar products. It also will stimulate research and development of emerging energy technologies.

 

“And by expanding our renewable energy production and consumption, we’ll reduce our reliance on foreign oil, which is good for our environment and our national security.

 

“I look forward to signing HB 1281 and the remainder of the New Energy Economy legislative package very soon,” the governor added.

 

RITTER TO SIGN EDUCATION BILL IN PUEBLO TODAY


Gov. Bill Ritter will sign Senate Bill 16 into law in Pueblo this afternoon. The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Abel Tapia and Rep. Dorothy Butcher, lowers the minimum age of compulsory school attendance from 7 years old to 6.

 

WHEN: 4 p.m. today (Friday, March 16, 2007)

 

WHERE: Spann Elementary School, 
2300 E. 10th St., Pueblo

.

 

This is the second bill-signing in Pueblo this week. The governor signed House Bill 1132, a water-quality measure co-sponsored by Rep. Buffie McFadyen and Sen. Gail Schwartz, at the El Pueblo Museum on Monday. 

 

GOV. RITTER RESTORES PAYROLL DEDUCTION OPTION FOR STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES


Executive order allows state workers to once again have union dues deducted

directly from paychecks and forwarded to employee associations


 

Gov. Bill Ritter today signed an executive order that once again will allow the state to deduct dues from employees’ paychecks and forward the money directly to employee associations. The dues check-off option was essentially banned in 2001 after nearly 70 years in existence.

 

“I am pleased to restore what had been a long-standing policy that benefited state employees and employee associations,” Gov. Ritter said. “This will once again give employees the option of assigning association dues directly from their paychecks to their organizations.”

 

The state’s 74,000 employees will be able to check off a payroll deduction box that allows organization dues to go directly to those organizations. Ritter said the convenience and efficiency of the check-off program is important to the state’s workforce.

 

“Those of us serving on the front lines want to work as partners with Gov. Ritter and his managers to make state government more responsive and effective,” said Audrey Newman, a 16-year state employee at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a member of the Colorado Association of Public Employees/Service Employees International Union. With more than 4,000 members, CAPE/SEIU represents the largest number of state employees.

 

“We know what works and what doesn’t, so we value the right to support employee organizations that will speak with a cohesive voice on our behalf,” Newman said. “I appreciate the governor’s action today and the respect it shows for the important work we do for the people of Colorado.”

 

The governor’s executive order initiates a state rule-making process that involves a public notice and public comment period. The rule would take effect in August.

 

GOV. RITTER SIGNS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION AND HIGHER EDUCATION BILLS INTO LAW


Gov. Bill Ritter signed four bills into law today – one dealing with notification of the availability of emergency contraception to sexual assault survivors, and three addressing the needs of public institutions of higher education.

 

Senate Bill 60 was co-sponsored by Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, and Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver. It directs that all licensed health-care facilities providing emergency care to sexual assault victims have protocols for informing a survivor, in a timely fashion, of the availability and use of emergency contraception. The measure provides exceptions for individual health care professionals on the basis of religious or moral beliefs.

 

“A lot of people spent a lot of time working very hard on this bill,” Gov. Ritter said. “Thank you to everyone who participated in this extremely collaborative process.”

 

“I truly believe this is a great day for women and a great day for women’s health,” Sen. Boyd said. “We will be assisting some of our most vulnerable citizens with this bill.”

 

SB 48 was co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins. It allows public institutions of higher education to enter into an unlimited number of employment contracts extending longer than five years, provided such contracts are for research to be performed in university settings. The goal is to make Colorado public institutions more competitive in recruiting and retaining research faculty and staff. This provides institutions of higher learning with a tool other than tenure to recruit and retain research faculty and staff.

 

SB 54 was co-sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, and Rep. Fischer. It lifts statutorily enforced capital bonding limits and replaces them with market-based limits established pursuant to prevailing market methods. The legislation lifts the statutorily enforced 6 percent bond limit, thereby permitting the University of Colorado and Colorado State University to issue debt in accordance with their Moody’s bond ratings.

 

House Bill 1026 was co-sponsored by Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Bacon. It requires graduate students to purchase health insurance, with the intent of lowering health insurance premiums at Colorado State University. CSU enrolls hundreds of professional graduate students each year. If CSU could require health insurance coverage of its graduate students, the premiums of all students and employees would be expected to drop.

 


RITTER TO SIGN EDUCATION AND EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION BILLS TODAY

            

Gov. Bill Ritter is scheduled to sign four bills today dealing with higher education and emergency contraception. The signings will take place in the West Foyer of the state Capitol.

 

Noon: The governor will sign Senate Bill 60, co-sponsored by Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, and Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver. SB 60 helps rape survivors by informing them of the availability of emergency contraception as part of standard hospital treatment after an assault.

 

12:15 p.m.: The governor will sign SB 48, SB 54 and House Bill 1026. All three measures support higher education institutions.

 

·         SB 48 was co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, and Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins. The measure allows public institutions of higher education to enter into an unlimited number of employment contracts extending longer than five years, provided such contracts are for research to be performed in university settings.

 

·         SB 54 was co-sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-SnowmassVillage, and Rep. Fischer. It lifts statutorily enforced capital bonding limits and replaces them with market based limits established pursuant to prevailing market methods.

 

·         HB 1026 was co-sponsored by Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, and Sen. Bacon. It requires graduate students at ColoradoStateUniversity to purchase health insurance, with the intent of lowering health insurance premiums at CSU. 

 

###

 

 

 

 

 

GOV. RITTER TESTIFIES IN FAVOR OF RENEWABLE ENERGY BILL

Gov. Bill Ritter today delivered the following testimony to the Senate State Affairs Committee in support of HB 1281, which would double Colorado‘s renewable energy portfolio to 20 percent by 2020. HB 1281 is the centerpiece of Gov. Ritter’s agenda for developing Colorado‘s New Energy Economy. This was Ritter’s first appearance as governor before a legislative committee:

 

“When Amendment 37 was passed in 2004, renewable resources provided less than 2 percent of the Xcel portfolio. By the end of this year, that percentage will be 10 percent.

 

Colorado was the first and remains the only state in the union to pass an RPS (renewable portfolio standard) by initiative.

 

“The paradigm of renewable energy is changing – today, the very industries that opposed Amendment 37 are supporting doubling and expanding the standard.

 

“I want to congratulate the sponsors of this bill for bringing all stakeholders and interested parties to the table.

 

“Everyone may not get everything they want, but the bill represents a tremendous compromise on the part of all involved. That includes Tri-State, the Colorado Rural Electric Association, Xcel Energy, independent power producers, the renewable energy industry, Colorado Farmer’s Union, Environment Colorado, Western Resources Advocates and labor groups.

 

“The result is well-crafted policy for the people of Colorado.

 

“What we’re seeing is that the state’s commitment to a strong renewable portfolio can be a catalyst for the New Energy Economy. It’s already helping us attract interest from national and international renewable energy development companies:

 

·         BP has announced it will build one of the largest wind farms in the country in Weld County. Florida Power and Light intends to develop a wind farm in Logan County. Sun Edison is developing a solar power plant in the San Luis Valley.

 

·         We know this investment will pay back impressive dividends. A recent economic study shows that increasing the RPS to 20 percent would result a $1.9 billion increase inColorado‘s share of the gross domestic product by 2020.

 

Colorado can lead the nation and the world. We have the intellectual resources, as evidenced by the new Collaboratory that brings the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado andColorado State University together with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. We have the natural resources: we’re the 6th sunniest and 11th windiest state. And we have the agricultural resources to develop bio-fuels.

 

“This bill represents the first step of many, but an important step – in establishing Colorado as a leader through a policy commitment on the part of our state.”


ADVISORY: RITTER TO TESTIFY ON RENEWABLE ENERGY, UNVEIL MAJOR SCHOOL FINANCE PLAN


 

Between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.: Gov. Ritter will testify before the Senate State Affairs Committee on House Bill 1281 in Senate Committee Room 353. The bill will establish new renewable energy standards for Colorado. This will be Gov. Ritter’s first appearance before a legislative committee.

 

1:30 p.m.: Gov. Ritter and legislative leaders will announce a major proposal to provide an additional $84 million a year for K-12 education across Colorado.

 

Location: NorthMorElementary School,
9580 Damon Drive, Northglenn

(Adams 12 School District).

 

Directions from downtown Denver: Take I-25 north to
Thornton Parkway

. Go west on

Thornton Parkway

. Turn right on

Conifer Road

. Turn right on Huron. Turn right on

Switzer Lane

. Turn left on

Damon Drive

. School is on the right. School phone: 720-972-4149.

 

2:30 p.m.: Gov. Ritter will deliver remarks regarding the state’s fiscal outlook to the BellPolicyCenter‘s “Voices of Opportunity Event,”
Trinity Place

, 1801 Broadway, Room 250.  

 

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RITTER SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ESTABLISHING VACATION & SICK LEAVE POLICY


         

Gov. Bill Ritter has signed an executive order establishing a fair and clear policy regarding the accrual, capping and tracking of vacation, sick and other annual leave for department heads.

 

“This executive order sets forth clear and equitable guidelines for leave accrual, removing any ambiguities and placing the executive directors on equal footing with other state employees,” Gov. Ritter said. “These rules are fair and they protect taxpayer dollars.”

 

The order allows 15 executive directors to accrue 13.33 annual leave hours per month, or 20 days per year. It also allows for the accrual of 6.66 hours of sick leave per month, or 10 days per year.

 

For executive directors with fewer than five years of total Colorado state government service, the maximum accrual of annual leave is 192 hours (24 days). For those with five or more years of service, the maximum accrual is 240 hours (30 days).

 

Annual leave in excess of those amounts will be forfeited each year on July 1.

 

Regarding sick time, the maximum accrual for any executive director regardless of years of service is 360 hours (45 days). Sick leave in excess of that amount will be forfeited each year on July 1.

 

The executive order requires department heads to track their annual and sick leave and report it in writing to the governor’s chief of staff. Records will be reconciled at least once a year.

 

The complete text of the executive order, which Gov. Ritter signed Thursday, follows this news release. 

 


 

D 007 07

 

EXECUTIVE ORDER

 

 

Annual and Sick Leave Policy for Executive Directors

 

            Pursuant to the authority vested in the Office of the Governor of the State of Colorado, I, Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order setting forth the annual and sick leave policy for Executive Directors. 

 

1.                  Background and Purpose

 

The purpose of this policy is to provide clear guidance for the accrual and tracking of annual and sick leave for Executive Directors, and to ensure that such leave is accrued and tracked in a fair and equitable manner that is consistent with the policies applicable to other state employees.

 

This Executive Order applies to the following individuals, who are referred to below as “Executive Directors”:  Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture; Executive Director of the Department of Corrections; Executive Director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing; Executive Director of the Department of Higher Education; Executive Director of the Department of Human Services; Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment; Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs; Executive Director of the Department of Military Affairs; Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources; Executive Director of the Department of Personnel and Administration; Executive Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment; Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety; Executive Director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies; Executive Director of the Department of Revenue; and Executive Director of the Department of Transportation.

 

2.                  Directive

 

  1. Each Executive Director shall accrue 13.33 hours of annual leave per month, which equates to approximately 20 days of annual leave per year.  Each Executive Director shall also accrue 6.66 hours of sick leave per month, which equates to approximately 10 days of sick leave per year.  Leave is credited on the last day of the month in which it is earned and is available for use on the first day of the next month.

 

  1. All Executive Directors shall track their use of annual and sick leave in their respective departments.  In addition, Executive Directors shall contemporaneously report use of annual leave and sick leave to the Chief of Staff or his or her designee in writing or via email, where a record of Executive Director annual and sick leave will be maintained.

 

  1. At least once each calendar year the records for executive director annual and sick leave maintained by the department and those records maintained by the Chief of Staff shall be reconciled.  Such records may only be reconciled in favor of the Executive Director if documentation is provided to substantiate that less leave was taken than is reflected in the records or the Executive Director can provide written documentation to substantiate the accuracy of the departmental records.

 

  1. For Executive Directors with fewer than five years of total service in Colorado state government, the maximum accrual of annual leave is 192 hours (24 days).  For Executive Directors with five or more years of total service in Colorado state government, the maximum accrual of annual leave is 240 hours (30 days).  Annual leave in excess of maximum amounts set forth in this paragraph are forfeited each year on July 1st.

 

  1. The maximum sick leave that any Executive Director may accrue is 360 hours (45 days).  Sick leave in excess of the maximum set forth in this paragraph is forfeited each year on July 1st.

 

  1. Upon separation from State service, each Executive Director shall be paid his or her earned and unused annual leave, which may not exceed the maximum accrual set forth in paragraph D above.

 

  1. For any Executive Director with five or more years of total service in Colorado state government and who is 55 years of age or older at the time of his or her separation and/or retirement from state service, accrued and unused sick leave shall paid out at the rate of 25% of accrued and unused sick leave, subject to the maximum accrual set forth in paragraph E above.

 

  1. This Executive Order does not restrict an Executive Director from exercising or requesting to exercise other types of leave that may be available by policy or statute, including but not limited to maternity leave, paternity leave, bereavement leave, military leave, jury leave, administrative leave, or unpaid leave.  However, no type of leave other than annual leave and sick leave shall accrue, carry over, or be paid out upon termination.

 

3.                  Duration

 

This Executive Order shall remain in force until further modification or rescission by the Governor. 

 

 

 

GIVEN under my hand and
the Executive Seal of the
State of Colorado, this 8th
day of March, 2007.

 

 

 

 

Bill Ritter, Jr.
Governor

 

 

 

GOV., LT. GOV. & FIRST LADY SCHEDULES WEEK OF MARCH 12



GOV. RITTER SCHEDULE

 
Monday, March 12

 

9:30 a.m.:  Signing ceremony for House Bill 1132 with Rep. Buffie McFadyen and Sen. Gail Schwartz, El Pueblo History Museum,
301 N. Union Ave., Pueblo

.

 

12:30 p.m.:  News conference with U.S. Senators Ken Salazar and Tom Harkin on the federal farm bill, Adams County Fairgrounds,
9755 Henderson Road

, Brighton.

 

Tuesday, March 13

 

3:30 p.m.:  The BellPolicyCenter, Voices of Opportunity Event,
Trinity Place

, 1801 Broadway, Room 250.

 

Wednesday, March 14

 

6:30 p.m.:  University of Colorado Law School Alumni Banquet Distinguished Achievement Awards, Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th St.

Thursday, March 15

 

7:15 a.m.: Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Breakfast, 3rd Floor Conference Room,
1445 Market St

.

 

 

LT. GOV. O’BRIEN SCHEDULE

 

Monday, March 12

 

National Lt. Governors’ Association 2007 Winter Meeting, WashingtonD.C.

Contact Wil Alston for detailed information, 303.866.6323.

 
Tuesday, March 13

 

National Lt. Governors’ Association 2007 Winter Meeting.

 

9 a.m.: Aerospace States Association (ASA) Hearing, Rayburn House,
Independence Avenue


& First Street SW.

 

Wednesday, March 14

 

National Lt. Governors’ Association 2007 Winter Meeting.

 

Saturday, March 17

 

6:30 p.m.: Early Childhood Education Commission Meeting, state Capitol, Senate Hearing Room, TBD.

 

 

FIRST LADY JEANNIE RITTER SCHEDULE

 

Wednesday, March 14
 
11:30 a.m.: Colorado Clubhouse Association, 2nd annual luncheon on mental-illness issues (brief introductory remarks), 1370 Grant St., Denver. 
 
Friday, March 16

 

11:30 a.m.: Colorado LINKS for Mental Health, Boettcher Auditorium, Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway.