Monthly Archives: September 2007

GOV. RITTER VISITS WESTERN AND SOUTHERN COLORADO TODAY & SATURDAY


 

Gov. Bill Ritter is scheduled to make stops in western and southern Colorado today and Saturday as he continues his statewide outreach tour.

 

Here is Gov. Ritter’s complete two-day schedule:

 

Friday, Sept., 28, 2007

 

7:30 a.m.:       Craig Business Roundtable
Location:         Holiday Inn Hotel
The Moffat Room
300 S. Highway 13, Craig

 

10:30 a.m.:     YampaValleyCommunityTown Hall Meeting                                       
Location:         Boys and Girls Club of Craig
1324 E. Highway 40, Craig

 

1:30 p.m.        Rifle Veterans’ Home 20th Anniversary Celebration

Location:        

815 E. 5th St

.

, Rifle

 

4 p.m.              Tour of Colorado Mountain College’s New West Garfield Campus

                                    Location:         CMC West Garfield Campus

3695 Airport Road

, Rifle

 

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007:

 

10 a.m.:           Action 22 Annual Conference

Location:         DoubleEagleHotel & ConferenceCenter
442 Bennett Drive, Cripple Creek

 

2 p.m.:             AlamosaWorkforce Center Site Tour

Location:         AlamosaWorkforceCenter

1016 West Ave.

, Alamosa

 

3:45 p.m.:       Rio GrandeHospital Tour & Business Roundtable

Location:        
0310 County Road

14, Del Norte

 

5:30 p.m.:       Visit to San Luis Valley Information Center & Ski Hi Complex
Location:         SLVInformationCenter
                       
947 1st Ave.

, Monte Vista

 

                        Ski Hi Complex
                       
2435 Sherman Ave.

, Monte Vista

 


GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES 2007 AMERICORP STATE GRANT AWARDS


Gov. Bill Ritter recently announced that five Colorado organizations have been awarded close to $1.4 million in AmeriCorps state grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The funding allows placement of 110 AmeriCorps members in communities across the state.  When coupled with the $921,000 in awards announced in June, the total amount awarded totals just under $2.3 million. 

 

“Organizations like AmeriCorps and the recipients of the 2007 grants provide an extremely valuable community service when it comes to working with those children, families, and communities most in need,” Gov. Ritter said. “We are extremely pleased with the partnerships we enjoy with the organizations supported by the AmeriCorps grants, and we’re especially grateful for funding support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that funds AmeriCorps.”

 

Organizations receiving awards include:

 

  • $163,800 to the Board of Weld County Commissioners, Weld County Division of Human Services, to fund the Weld County Youth Conservation Corps Program.

  • $334,314 to the City and County of Denver to fund the Community Partnership for Youth in Transition program. 

  • $260,381 to Adams County School District 14 to fund the CARENET (Community Action on Reading and Education Network) program.

  • $316,019 to Mesa State College to fund the College’s AmeriCorps program.

  • $287,917 to Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver to fund the Operation Jumpstart program. 

 

The impact AmeriCorps and its members have had in their communities is significant:  

“AmeriCorps has been an amazing asset for Catholic Charities over the past 10 years,” said June Jones Paulding, Center Administrator for Catholic Charities.  “Approximately 200 members have brought incredible amounts of enthusiasm and support to our child care programs.  This past year, we were fortunate enough to expand our program by adding members to other areas of Catholic Charities, including Youth Services, Foster Care and the Samaritan House. The program has had a tremendous impact on the lives of our children and families.  We will be forever grateful for AmeriCorps’ caring and compassionate contributions.”

 

“From Foster care to AmeriCorps, Community Building Partnership, AmeriCorps program at Denver Human Services, presents opportunities for young people in and out of the foster care system by providing them invaluable professional development, mentoring and independent life skills, and by connecting them to community resources that facilitates successful emancipation to adulthood,” said Pearl Lopez, program administrator, City and County of Denver’s Community Partnership for Youth in Transition.

 

“For the past 10 years, CARENET AmeriCorps members have worked directly with Adams County School District 14 to provide individual and small group tutoring to increase student literacy and improve test scores,” said Kathryn Gray, CARENET AmeriCorps program coordinator for Adams County School District 14. “Last year, the team devoted over 34,000 hours of service to the community as a result of tutoring and investments in local service projects.”

 

The Governor’s Commission on Community Service, housed in the Office of Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, administers the Colorado AmeriCorps State grant program.  Since 1994, more than 12,565 AmeriCorps members in Colorado have provided nearly 10 million hours to local communities through AmeriCorps. 

 

For more information on AmeriCorps and other programs of the Colorado Governor’s Commission on Community Service, visit www.colorado.gov/gccs.

 

 

# # #

 

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES 2007 AMERICORP STATE GRANT AWARDS

Gov. Bill Ritter recently announced that five Colorado organizations have been awarded close to $1.4 million in AmeriCorps state grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The funding allows placement of 110 AmeriCorps members in communities across the state.  When coupled with the $921,000 in awards announced in June, the total amount awarded totals just under $2.3 million. 

 

“Organizations like AmeriCorps and the recipients of the 2007 grants provide an extremely valuable community service when it comes to working with those children, families, and communities most in need,” Gov. Ritter said. “We are extremely pleased with the partnerships we enjoy with the organizations supported by the AmeriCorps grants, and we’re especially grateful for funding support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that funds AmeriCorps.”

 

Organizations receiving awards include:

 

  • $163,800 to the Board of Weld County Commissioners, Weld County Division of Human Services, to fund the Weld County Youth Conservation Corps Program.

  • $334,314 to the City and County of Denver to fund the Community Partnership for Youth in Transition program. 

  • $260,381 to Adams County School District 14 to fund the CARENET (Community Action on Reading and Education Network) program.

  • $316,019 to Mesa State College to fund the College’s AmeriCorps program.

  • $287,917 to Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver to fund the Operation Jumpstart program. 

 

The impact AmeriCorps and its members have had in their communities is significant:   

“AmeriCorps has been an amazing asset for Catholic Charities over the past 10 years,” said June Jones Paulding, Center Administrator for Catholic Charities.  “Approximately 200 members have brought incredible amounts of enthusiasm and support to our child care programs.  This past year, we were fortunate enough to expand our program by adding members to other areas of Catholic Charities, including Youth Services, Foster Care and the Samaritan House. The program has had a tremendous impact on the lives of our children and families.  We will be forever grateful for AmeriCorps’ caring and compassionate contributions.”

 

“From Foster care to AmeriCorps, Community Building Partnership, AmeriCorps program at Denver Human Services, presents opportunities for young people in and out of the foster care system by providing them invaluable professional development, mentoring and independent life skills, and by connecting them to community resources that facilitates successful emancipation to adulthood,” said Pearl Lopez, program administrator, City and County of Denver’s Community Partnership for Youth in Transition.

 

“For the past 10 years, CARENET AmeriCorps members have worked directly with Adams County School District 14 to provide individual and small group tutoring to increase student literacy and improve test scores,” said Kathryn Gray, CARENET AmeriCorps program coordinator for Adams County School District 14. “Last year, the team devoted over 34,000 hours of service to the community as a result of tutoring and investments in local service projects.”

 

The Governor’s Commission on Community Service, housed in the Office of Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, administers the ColoradoAmeriCorps State grant program.  Since 1994, more than 12,565 AmeriCorps members in Colorado have provided nearly 10 million hours to local communities through AmeriCorps. 

 

GOV. RITTER AND BUSINESS LEADERS ANNOUNCE ECONOMIC-DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE

GOV. RITTER AND BUSINESS LEADERS ANNOUNCE

STATEWIDE ECONOMIC-DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE

 

AURORA — Gov. Bill Ritter, Economic Development Director Don Elliman and Colorado business leaders today announced a comprehensive economic-development package for a more competitive Colorado in the 21 Century. Key components of the package will be introduced during the upcoming legislative session.

 

“As Governor, I am committed to leading a state government that partners with businesses, listens to their concerns and comes up with ideas to help our businesses get ahead in this increasingly competitive global marketplace,” Gov. Ritter said during an announcement ceremony at the Anschutz Medical Campus at Fitzsimons. “The package we’re announcing today will help businesses large and small, in rural Colorado and urban Colorado, capitalize on new economic opportunities. It cuts taxes, and it simplifies, streamlines and reduces red tape.”

 

Major elements of the package include:

 

1.      Simplify corporate income taxes by eliminating the complicated multiple factors that businesses must use to calculate their taxes and establishing a simple single-sales factor, as well as streamlining other aspects of corporate income taxes in a revenue-neutral fashion.

 

2.      Cut taxes for 30,400 businesses by raising the Business Personal Property Tax exemption threshold from today’s $2,500 level to $7,000.

 

3.      Establish a $3.5 million a year Bioscience and Life Science Fund. The fund will be administered by the Office of Economic Development to promote the growth and sustainability of the bioscience industry, provide Colorado research institutions with funding to commercialize viable technologies, and provide incentives to help attract new businesses and retain and expand existing companies.

 

4.      Eliminate the so-called “fly-away” sales tax. Colorado is one of only a few states that charges a “fly-away” sales tax on planes manufactured in Colorado even if they are housed in another state. Eliminating the fly-away tax would match current practices in other states.

 

5.      Make it easier for businesses – especially rural small businesses – to qualify for job-creation incentives by modifying Colorado‘s Performance-Based Incentives Fund. This will help small, rural businesses grow.

 

6.      Dedicate $3.5 million from the new Clean Energy Fund specifically for economic-development opportunities.

 

7.      Analyze spending of Colorado‘s tourism-promotion dollars, and work with industry partners to devise new strategies to better invest and leverage state funds.

 

“This package will make Colorado businesses more competitive not just in the intermountain area but nationally as well,” said Joe Blake, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “The efficiency and common sense that this package brings is great news for large and small businesses. Thank you, Governor. This is a strong step forward for Colorado‘s economy.”

 

“I’m committed to making Colorado businesses the most competitive in the country,” Gov. Ritter said. “This is the most significant, comprehensive business package Colorado has seen in more than a decade. These proposals will give businesses more tools to succeed – from a reduced tax burden to less red tape. This package is good for our economy, good for our small businesses and good for our communities.”

 

Also participating in today’s announcement were University of Colorado President Hank Brown, University ofColorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center Chancellor M. Roy Wilson, Denver Metro Chamber Chairman John Ikard and David Perez, president and CEO of Gambro BCT in Lakewood.

 

Additional Details About Gov. Ritter’s 2008 Legislative Business Proposals

 

1) Simplify Corporate Income Tax (Rep. Jahn/Sen. Shaffer)

 

Background

 

Under current law, a company that does business in more than one state must determine how much income is subject to corporate income tax in each state.  This is done by distributing a company’s federal taxable income based on three or fewer criteria: sales, property and payroll.  Each state determines which factors are considered, as well as the relative weight of each factor.  In Colorado, companies may choose one of two apportionment formulas to calculate its Colorado corporate income tax liability:

 

         Two-Factor Method: Equally weighted sales factor (50 percent) and property factor (50 percent).

 

         Three-Factor Method: Equally weighted sales factor (33⅓ percent), property factor (33⅓ percent) and payroll factor (33⅓ percent).

 

Proposal

 

Simplify the corporate income tax structure by eliminating the multiple-factor apportionment formula and establishing a simple, single-sales factor, as well as streamlining other aspects of corporate income taxes. These revenue-neutral steps would act as an economic development incentive for the state and would decrease the current accounting burden that falls on multi-state corporations that do business in Colorado.

 

2) Business Personal Property Tax Exemption & Simplification

(Rep. Rice/Sen. Williams)

 

Background

 

Today, the average business in Colorado pays four times more property tax for real estate (29 percent assessment ratio, with declining rates as property depreciates) than a similarly priced home. Taxable personal property generally consists of any equipment that is used in an income-generating enterprise, including machinery, furniture and computers.

 

Proposal

 

Increase the exemption threshold for the business personal property tax, from today’s $2,500 exemption level to $7,000 over five years. In 2008 and 2009 threshold would be $4,000; in 2010 and 2011 it would be $5,500; and in 2012 and 2013 it would rise to $7,000. Beginning in property tax year 2014, the amount of the exemption would increase biennially based on the consumer price index for the Denver-Boulder-Greeley area. This would exempt an additional 30,400 businesses from the tax.

 

Seek new methods to streamline and simplify the filing process for businesses.


3) Establish a $3.5 Million Annual Bioscience and Life Science Fund

(Rep. Reisberg/Sen. Bacon)

 

Background

 

Bioscience is one of Colorado‘s most promising economic sectors. With projects like Fitzsimons and its bioscience park, Colorado is poised to become a major player on the nation bioscience stage. Using available resources, the state can help leverage the talent at our research institutions and assist our entrepreneurial-minded companies grow.

 

Proposal

 

Establish a $3.5 million annual Bioscience and Life Science Fund to promote the growth and sustainability of the industry, provide Colorado research institutions with funding to commercialize viable technologies; and provide business-growth incentives.

 

4) Eliminate the “Fly-Away” Sales Tax (Rep. Buescher/Senate sponsor TBA)

 

Background

 

Colorado is one of only a few states that charges a “fly-away” sales tax on planes manufactured in Colorado but not housed here. Other states only charge a sales tax on planes bought and kept in the state. No other surrounding state applies its sales and use tax in this manner. Other states impose sales taxes on aircraft domiciled in their jurisdiction, but not domiciled in other states or countries.

 

Colorado‘s “fly-away” tax acts as a disincentive and impediment to grow this particularly attractive sector of the economy. It is particularly onerous on the makers of small private aircraft, as it will ultimately increase the price of manufactured aircrafts. 

 

Proposal

 

Repeal or modify the state sales and use tax of manufactured aircrafts that are not domiciled in Colorado. Currently, many other states only charge sales and use tax on aircrafts that are domiciled within their jurisdiction – a practice that Colorado should follow. 

 

5) Rural Small-Business Growth Plan (Rep. Hodge/Senate sponsor TBA)

 

Background

 

In 2006, the General Assembly passed HB06-1017, creating the Performance-Based Incentives Fund (PIF).  The PIF program was designed to provide incentives to businesses that create new high-paying jobs throughout the state. In order to qualify for this incentive program, the legislation used a scale that took into account geography (urban vs. rural), number of new jobs created (10 for an urban area; five for a rural area), a specific timeline (one month), and the amount paid above the average county wage.  All jobs must be kept for one full year.   

 


For example, for a company to qualify for an incentive of $1,000 per new job, the company must hire 10 or more employees in one full month (five in a rural area), pay at least 110% of the county wage and keep those jobs for one full year. Since the passage of HB06-1017, local economic development agencies and local businesses have expressed concerns that businesses will be unable to meet the one-month requirement, especially rural businesses that may not hire five new employees in one full year, let alone one month. 

 

Proposal

 

Expand the timeline for job creation from one month to six months, allowing more companies to qualify for the program.  This change would benefit rural companies across Colorado that may struggle to meet the strict job requirements set fourth by this legislation. The change would also be helpful to many start-up companies in their infancy. 

 

6) Utilize Portion of Clean Energy Fund for Economic Development

 

Background

 

In 2007, the legislature passed and Gov. Ritter signed into law Senate Bill 246, establishing a $7 million Clean Energy Fund. For the fund to be most effective, a portion of those dollars should be used for economic-development purposes.

 

Proposal

 

Dedicate $3.5 million specifically for economic-development purposes. Up to $1 million will be made available to companies seeking funding assistance in the form of state grants; consideration will be given to providing support to a renewable energy incubator; and funds will be used to attract and retain renewable energy businesses.

 

7) Promote New Tourism Strategies

 

Background

 

In 2006, the legislature passed and Gov. Owens signed House Bill 1201, which allocated $19 million for tourism promotion in Colorado. Over the past year, the Colorado Tourism Office has begun investing those funds to increase tourism visits to the state. Promotional campaigns have targeted new key areas such as Boston,Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., with a component also aimed at keeping Coloradans in Colorado.

 

Visits to promotional websites, calls to 1-800 numbers, visits to the nine official Colorado Welcome Centers and requests for the Official State Vacation Guide are all up this year over last year thanks to these efforts. Second-quarter lodging sales are up almost 17 percent over last year. 

 

Proposal

 

The Colorado Tourism Office is developing a strategic plan and analyzing how it can better leverage funds and partner with tourism industry members to maximize the impact of state promotional dollars and further promoteColorado as a premiere travel destination.

 

# # #

 

GOV. RITTER TO ANNOUNCE BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC-DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE TOMORROW

Gov. Bill Ritter and Economic Development Director Don Elliman will announce the Governor’s business and economic-development agenda for the upcoming legislative session at a news conference on Tuesday.


WHAT:          News conference to announce business and economic-development legislative proposals for the upcoming session of the Colorado General Assembly will be held Tuesday at Fitzsimons.

 

 

Colorado Adult and Youth Smoking Rates Lowest Since 1990

Colorado Adult and Youth Smoking Rates Lowest Since 1990

 

DENVER – Governor Bill Ritter today announced significant reductions in the smoking rates among youth and adults in Colorado.  Colorado’s 2006 adult smoking rate puts Colorado in the nation’s top ten for lowest smoking prevalence.  And, among Colorado high school youth, the state has surpassed the national 2010 goal of a smoking rate lower than 16 percent.

 

“The willingness of individuals to take responsibility for their own health and well-being plays a significant role in building a healthy state and a sustainable health care system,” said Gov. Ritter.  “I believe that the only way to achieve comprehensive health reform is through shared responsibility. Everyone – individuals, families, employers, health care providers, government and insurers – must be a part of the solution and must have a stake in the success of the outcome.

 

“That starts with individuals taking charge of their own health,” said Gov. Ritter. “The data being released today shows this not only is a possibility, but a reality here in Colorado.”

 

Colorado now ranks 9th in the nation for the lowest prevalence of adult smoking, up from a ranking of 14th in 2005.  The adult smoking rate dropped from 22.3 percent in 2001, to 17.9 percent in 2006.  Colorado’s 17.9 percent smoking rate, surpassed the national average in 2006 of 20.1 percent. The 17.9 percent rate is the lowest rate for Colorado since at least 1990.  [See attached table for historical data on adult smoking rates in the U.S. and Colorado.]

 

Among high school students, cigarette smoking declined from 18.2 percent in 2001 to 14.6 percent in 2006, thus surpassing the Center for Disease Control’s Healthy People 2010 goal of 16 percent.

 

These successes can be directly attributed to the funding provided by Amendment 35, the 2004 voter-approved increase in the tobacco tax that funds the state’s work in tobacco education.  This funding is administered by the State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership, housed within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which provides comprehensive programs to reduce youth smoking rates, assist adults who want to quit, reduce the exposure to secondhand smoke and to work with populations disparately affected by tobacco.

 

According to the department, tobacco use is the number one risk factor for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung disease.  Tobacco is the leading cause of early death and disability and is a leading cause of chronic disease.

 

“Reducing smoking among Coloradans is a primary strategy for reducing chronic disease because quitting by the age of 30 eliminates nearly all excess risk associated with smoking,” said Colorado Chief Medical Officer Ned Calonge. “And, smokers who quit before the age of 50, cut in half their risk of dying in the next 15 years.”

 

The department reports that approximately 16,000 Coloradans die each year from cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic lower respiratory disease.  An estimated one-quarter of these deaths were due to smoking.

 

Annual health care costs in Colorado, which are attributable to smoking, are estimated at $1.3 billion by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

One program of the Department of Public Health and Environment that helps adults quit smoking is the Colorado QuitLine, a free telephone-based service, which offers a free supply of the nicotine patch and personalized assistance from an experienced quit coach. The QuitLine number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

 

In addition to helping adults, the department has an extensive outreach program to prevent youth and adolescents from ever starting smoking, such as a school-based curriculum in middle schools, high schools and colleges as well as a partnership with a number of the Tony Grampsas non-profit organizations, which reach out to high-risk youth.

 

Trend Data, Colorado and US

Adult Cigarette Smoking Rates

 

Current Cig–overall (BRFSS)

 

YEAR
CO

US

1990

21.3%

23.0%

1991

23.7%

23.1%

1992

23.1%

22.2%

1993

23.8%

22.6%

1994

24.2%

22.7%

1995

21.8%

22.4%

1996

22.8%

23.4%

1997

22.5%

23.2%

1998

23.0%

22.9%

1999

22.5%

22.6%

2000

20.0%

23.2%

2001

22.3%

22.8%

2002

20.4%

22.5%

2003

18.6%

21.6%

2004

20.0%

20.9%

2005

19.8%

20.6%

2006

17.9%

20.1%

 

 

 

Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006.

 

Ritter releases smoking reduction stats for Colorado

GOV. RITTER & STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS TO
RELEASE NEW SMOKING-REDUCTION FIGURES

 

 

Gov. Bill Ritter and Colorado Chief Medical Officer Ned Calonge will release new figures today (Monday, Sept. 24) on the smoking rates for adults and youth in Colorado. The adult rate is the lowest since the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment began tracking the data in 1990.

 

WHAT:          News conference to release new smoking-rate reduction statistics for Colorado.

 

WHO:             Gov. Bill Ritter

                        Colorado Chief Medical Officer Ned Calonge

                        James Sullivan, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Pikes Peak

 

WHEN:          10 a.m. today (Monday, Sept. 24, 2007)

 

WHERE:       West Steps, State Capitol (will move inside Capitol if raining)

 

FIRST LADY JEANNIE RITTER TO SPEAK AT SUNDAY’S SECOND WIND WALK/RUN/RIDE IN LAKEWOOD

 As part of her agenda to improve mental health care in Colorado, First Lady Jeannie Ritter will speak at Sunday’s Second Wind Fund Walk/Run/Ride in Lakewood. On Tuesday, she will travel to Colorado Springs for a panel on the behavioral health needs of American Indian communities. On Friday, the First Lady will participate in the official ribbon cutting ceremony for a new teaching center for visually impaired infants and toddlers.

 

Here is the First Lady’s schedule for the week:

 

Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007

 

Noon – 1 p.m.                         Second Wind Fund Walk/Run/Ride
                                                GreenMountainHigh School
                                                13175
W. Green Mountain Drive

(just south of Alameda)

                                                Lakewood

 

This event benefits the Second Wind Fund, which provides funding for youth suicide prevention programs Second Wind offers professional counseling services to uninsured or underinsured at-risk teens. To date, more than 700 young people at risk for suicide have been referred to the program without one of them being lost. Approximately 200 different schools have used Second Wind’s program successfully.

 

 

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007

 

3 to 3:30 p.m.                         15th Annual Four Corners States Indian Country Conference

                                                Media Availability

                                                Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel
                                               
5580 Tech Center Drive, Colorado Springs
                                                Room TBD

                                               

3:45 to 5 p.m.                         Panel on Behavioral Health Needs of Native American Communities

                                                Grand Ballroom, Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel
                                               

Panelists will include mental health providers, tribal leaders, and a tribal court judge. The panel is part of the 15th Annual Four Corners Indian Country Conference, held every year by the United States Attorney’s Offices in the Four Corners region.

 

                                

Friday, Sept. 28

 

2 to 3 p.m.                              Ribbon Cutting Celebration for AnchorCenter for Blind Children

                                                Julie McAndrewsMorkBuilding      

                                               
2550 Roslyn St., Denver

(Stapleton neighborhood)

 

The First Lady will take part in the AnchorCenter for Blind Children’s ribbon cutting celebration. This is a one-of-a-kind teaching facility for very young blind children, and it is poised to become a national model for teaching life skills to blind children.

 

GOV. RITTER STATEMENT ON SCHIP STALEMATE

Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today on the President Bush’s renewed threat to veto SCHIP legislation:

 

“With the House and Senate now in agreement on SCHIP legislation, it’s long past time for President Bush to quit politicizing the basic health care needs of this country’s children. States around the country – including Colorado – have made their voices crystal clear on this issue: the federal government must reauthorize SCHIP and take care of our kids. If there’s one thing government at any level should do, it’s to put the best interests of children ahead of politics. Mr. President, it’s time for you to listen.”

 

# # #

 


GOV. RITTER’S TRANSPORTATION PANEL MEETS IN WINDSOR ON TUESDAY

GOVERNOR’S BLUE RIBBON TRANSPORTATION PANEL
MEETS IN WINDSORON TUESDAY

 

Gov. Bill Ritter‘s blue ribbon transportation panel will meet in Windsor on Tuesday. Presentations will center on regional transportation issues in northeast Colorado and continued discussion about possible funding options for the state’s long-term transportation needs. 

 

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the WindsorRecreationCenter,
250 11th  St

.

 

Gov. Ritter convened the 30-member Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel earlier this year to explore the state’s transportation revenue challenges. The state’s primary revenue sources are declining while demand and the costs of construction and maintenance are rising. Final recommendations are due to Gov. Ritter by the end of the year.

 

Following Tuesday’s meeting in Windsor, the next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 4 in Colorado Springs.

 

 

Here is the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting:

 

8:30 a.m.         Coffee & Breakfast with local elected officials and public

 

9:00                 Welcome and Introductions

                        Co-Chairs Doug Aden, Cary Kennedy and Bob Tointon

 

9:15                 Transportation Panel Overview and Challenges

                        Russ George, CDOT Executive Director

Carla Perez, Governor Ritter’s Office

 

9:30                 Topic: Regional Presentations (10 minutes each)

 

      • North Front Range MPO, Cliff Davidson, Director

      • Upper Front Range TPR

      • Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, Sandra Solin and John Daggett

      • CDOT Region 4, Region Director Karla Harding

 

10:30               Public Comment Period

                        Each individual is limited to 3 minutes for comments

                       

11:00               Topic: Transit Needs and Investment Options

                                    Jennifer Finch, CDOT Division Director

 

Noon               Working Lunch:  Keypad Polling Exercise

                        Measuring the Pulse: Peter Kenney, Civic Results

 

12:45 p.m.       Keypad Polling Update – Peter Kenney

 

1:00                 Topic: Funding Options Advisory Committee Report #3

 

·         Revisited Roadway Maintenance Fee

·         Revisited Visitor Tax

·         New Wheels Tax

·         Sales Tax on Deliveries

·         Weight Distance

·         Sales Tax on Motor Fuels without the Excise Tax

 

2:00                 Topic: Transportation Incentives and Land Use

                        Jim Charlier, Charlier Associates

 

3:00                 Topic:  ColoradoState Patrol Proposal to Increase Traffic Fines for Traffic Safety – Terry Campbell, ColoradoState Patrol

 

4:00                 Close

                       

Next Meeting:

                        October 4th in Colorado Springs

PPACG Board Room