Monthly Archives: November 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter’s P-20 Education Coordinating Council holds its next
meeting tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 16) at MorganCommunity College in Fort
Morgan, 920 Barlow Road.

Gov. Ritter convened the P-20 Council earlier this year to serve as
the vehicle for statewide education reform. The panel’s goal is to
align Colorado’s education systems from pre-school to grad school so
they serve as a cohesive pipeline that produces a highly skilled and
well-educated workforce for the 21st century.

For more information, visit the Governor’s website at

and click on the P-20 Council link at the top of the page.

Here is the agenda for Friday’s meeting:

9:30 a.m. Welcome from Morgan Community College
President Michele Haney

9:45 a.m. Discussion of Subcommittee Recommendations
P-3 Subcommittee Recommendations
Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien

10:15 a.m. Dropout Subcommittee Recommendations
Dr. Jim Henderson

10:45 a.m. Educator Subcommittee Recommendations
Bruce Benson

11:15 a.m. Data Subcommittee Recommendations
Alex Medler

Noon Prep & Transitions Subcommittee Recommendations
President Joe Garcia

12:45 p.m. Working Lunch (box lunches will be available)
Progressive 15
Cathy Shull, Executive Director

Report on Conversations 2007
Bill Fulton, Civic Canopy

1:30 p.m. Break

1:45 p.m. Further Discussion of Recommendations

3:15 p.m. Voting Procedures and Wrap-Up

3:30 p.m. Public Comment



Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that Colorado has received two
federal grants worth $2.6 million that will provide training funds to
the spouses of military service personnel, assisting them in making
career advancements.

“Military spouses are often moving two or three times a year,” Gov.
Ritter said. “They have to pack up and take off, making sacrifices
that many of the rest of America cannot even imagine. This funding
will help them gain the skills needed to successfully enter, navigate
and advance in 21st century jobs.”

The grant funds are being provided by the U.S. Departments of Labor
and Defense and will be administered by the Colorado Department of
Labor and Employment and Workforce Centers across the state.

The first grant totals $600,000 and is part of the “Military Spouse
Career Advancement Initiative.” Military spouses with a high school
diploma or GED and/or some level of post secondary education can apply
for up to $6,000 over two years in the form of a Career Advancement

This money can be used to pay for expenses directly related to post-
secondary education and training, including tuition, books, necessary
equipment, and credentialing and licensing fees in nationally
identified high-growth fields such as education, health care,
information technology, construction trades and financial services.

The second grant is for $2.1 million and is being made available as
part of the Base Closure and Realignment process.Colorado is not among
the states that will see base closures. Instead, these funds will
assist military families as well as the families of Department of
Defense civilian employees who will be redeployed to bases in Denver,
El Paso and Teller counties.

Colorado Springs will face the challenge of thousands of service
personnel and their families being redeployed to the Fort Carson Air
Force Base over the next few years. Redeployment and relocation can
be difficult for spouses, who often find themselves in a new city
without the career they had to leave behind. This grant will address
their employment and retraining needs.

“Opportunity starts with education,” said Colorado Department of Labor
and Employment Executive Director Donald J. Mares, “and thanks to this
financial partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and the
Department of Defense, we can offer opportunities to a significant
number of military families. These grants will help build a vibrant
and dedicated workforce for Colorado.”

To learn more about the grant programs and training dollars that are
available, military spouses should contact their nearest Colorado
Workforce Center (click here for a directory of Workforce Centers).


Gov. Bill Ritter‘s Blue Ribbon Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel meets tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 15) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oxford Hotel in Denver
1600 17th St.

 This will be the panel’s final meeting prior to submitting a report to Gov. Ritter next month.


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


The panel’s work commenced in April with a statewide transportation summit. Since then, the panel has met 12 times in communities around Colorado. The panel’s technical advisory committee also has met more than a dozen times since April.



Here is the complete agenda for Thursday’s meeting:


                               I.      Coffee and Continental Breakfast


                            II.      Welcome and Introductions from Co-Chairs

Doug Aden, Cary Kennedy and Bob Tointon


                         III.      Comment from Russ George, CDOT Executive Director


                         IV.      Process Review – Carla Perez, Governor Ritter’s Office


                            V.      Review Remaining Policy Issues

a.       Climate Action and VMT

b.      Economic Development and Transportation

c.       Severance Tax and Transportation

d.      Performance and Accountability


                         VI.      Pilot Recommendation

a.       VMT Pilot Proposal


                      VII.      Finalize Funding Recommendations

a.       Comments from 10/25 exercise

b.      Impact fees for Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs)


                   VIII.      Discussion on Post-Recommendation Activities of the Panel

a.       Communication and Outreach – “It’s all in the Presentation”

b.      Small group exercise

c.       Full group discussion


                         IX.      Closing comments from co-chairs and Russ George



Colorado Supreme Court upholds decision to let voters decide
whether fertilized eggs should have rights

Denver, CO (Nov. 13, 2007) – Kathryn Wittneben, executive director of
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, expressed extreme disappointment with
today’s decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to allow a proposed
2008 ballot initiative to proceed that would extend certain rights to
fertilized eggs. “Proponents of this initiative have publicly stated
that the goal is to make all abortion illegal — but nothing in the
language of the initiative or its title even mentions abortion. If
that’s not misleading, I don’t know what is,” Wittneben said.

In a 7-0 decision, the Court upheld an earlier finding by the Colorado
Initiative Title Setting Review Board that the proposed initiative
meets Colorado’s single-subject requirement and that the title of the
initiative is not misleading. The initiative, which would appear
before voters during the 2008 general election if proponents gather
enough signatures, would amend Colorado’s constitution to redefine the
legal term “person” to include any human being from the moment of
fertilization in those provisions of the constitution relating to
inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law.
“The impact of this initiative will extend far beyond the legality of
abortion. If fertilized eggs have the legal right to access Colorado’s
courts – which is one of the rights that would be granted by this
initiative – what does this really mean for Coloradans?” Wittneben
asked. “Does this mean fertilized eggs can petition the courts to make
it illegal to use the most effective forms of birth control if those
contraceptive methods create an inhospitable uterine environment for
fertilized eggs? Does this mean that a fertilized egg can sue a
pregnant woman if she miscarries? If we’re talking about granting
rights to fertilized eggs, all of these questions about possible
negative impacts and legal consequences have to be raised.”
Substituting the language proposed in the initiative, the rights
defined in Colorado’s constitution would be changed as follows:
• Article II, Section 3. Inalienable Rights. All persons, including
any human beings from the moment of fertilization, have certain
natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned
the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of
acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and
obtaining their safety and happiness.
• Article II, Section 6. Equality of Justice. Courts of justice shall
be open to every person, including any human being from the moment of
fertilization, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to
person, including any human being from the moment of fertilization,
property or character; and right and justice should be administered
without sale, denial or delay.
• Article II, Section 25. Due Process of Law. No person, including
any human being from the moment of fertilization, shall be deprived of
life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

Proponents of the initiative have until February 2008 to gather the
more than 76,000 valid signatures required to qualify the measure for
the November 2008 ballot.


Friday is Colorado‘s “Philanthropy Day”


The Governor’s Commission on Community Service, under the Office of Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, is scheduled to recognize nine Colorado individuals and organizations on Friday for volunteering their time and financial resources toward making their communities a better place.


“The generosity of time and financial commitment by these individuals, organizations and corporations in Colorado is a wonderful example of how we can enhance the quality of others’ lives,” Lt. Gov. O’Brien said.


National Philanthropy Day is a day set aside by communities across the country each November to recognize the thousands of generous people and organizations who donate their time, talent and financial resources to worthy causes.  It is an opportunity to recognize philanthropic accomplishments and to remind us all that the spirit of giving is very much alive.


National Philanthropy Day in Colorado is Friday, Nov. 16. More than 900 community members are expected to attend an awards luncheon honoring the nine outstanding individuals and organizations. 


The 2007 winners are:


Award                                                            Organization/Winner

Outstanding Large Business/Corporation       Alpine Banks of Colorado – Glenwood Springs

Outstanding Small Business/Corporation       InsureMe – Englewood

Outstanding Foundation                                 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation – Denver

Outstanding Philanthropist                             Katherine Loo – Boulder

Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy      Jackie Norris – Denver

Outstanding Volunteer                                   John McConnell – Grand Junction

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser                 Shirley Bradsby – Lakewood

Outstanding Youth                                         Danielle Graham – Swink

Outstanding Youth Group                              B.I.O.N.I.C. (Believe It Or Not I Care) Team – Lakewood


More than 110 nominations were received this year, a record number of entries. A unique group of community representatives, including members of the nonprofit, business and government sectors, met in Denver in August to select the 2007 winners.


Awardees will be honored at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon on Friday at the Renaissance Denver Hotel, 
3801 Quebec St




Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today regarding the
resignation of Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald:

“It has been a privilege to serve with Joan Fitz-Gerald in state
government this year. I have benefited from her leadership, and the
people of Colorado have benefited from her vision, her commitment to
public service and her judgment. She deserves much praise for her
dedication to a host of important issues, from open-space acquisition
to bark-beetle eradication to forging a bi-partisan consensus around
Referendum C. I wish her nothing but the best.”

On the eve of Veterans Day weekend, Gov. Bill Ritter today issued the
following statement in support of Colorado’s military veterans, active-
duty personnel, Colorado National Guard members, and military families:

“As the son of a veteran, and on behalf of the people of Colorado, I
want to extend my personal gratitude to Colorado’s military veterans
and their families. Their commitment to public service and the
sacrifices they have made for their country, this state and their
communities deserve the highest recognition we can give them. We also
must acknowledge our active-duty military personnel and Colorado
National Guard members who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and

Gov. Ritter also offered his appreciation to state officials for their
military service, including Senators Brandon Schaffer, Jack Taylor,
Steve Ward and Mike Kopp and Representative Joe Rice, and Secretary of
State Mike Coffman.

Gov. Ritter’s father served in the Army during World War II. He died
in 2005 and is buried at Ft.Logan National Cemetery. Gov. Ritter’s
father-in-law, Marwood Lewis, was a Navy captain.

Colorado is home to approximately 450,000 military veterans.

More than 300 Colorado National Guard members are currently deployed
in Iraq or Afghanistan, with more than 200 scheduled for deployment
over the next month. Over the past five years, 2,000 Colorado National
Guard members have been deployed, with two fatalities.

Gov. Ritter’s FY08-09 budget proposal includes funding for several
veteran-related programs, including $2.3 million to restore the
Colorado State Veterans Trust Fund to pre-recession levels.

The Governor issued a proclamation earlier this week saluting
Colorado’s veterans. On Saturday, he will participate in the annual
Veterans Day Parade and tribute in Denver.


Gov. Bill Ritter departs next week for a multi-day economic-
development trade mission to Canada, a visit that will focus on the
energy and bioscience industries. In his first trade visit to another
country, Gov. Ritter will be stopping inCalgary, Toronto and Edmonton.
Canada is Colorado’s top export trading partner and one of Colorado’s
leading investors.

“Canada is a major source of foreign investment in Colorado,” Gov.
Ritter said. “The similarities between our key industries make Canada
a natural partner for Colorado, especially in the bioscience, fossil-
fuel energy and renewable energy sectors. This mission will allow us
to develop new partnerships and retain existing Canadian investments
inColorado. We hope to raise our visibility and position Colorado as a
preferred partner for Canadian companies.”

Colorado exported more than $1.8 billion in manufactured and
agricultural products to Canada in 2006. Overall trade between
Colorado and Canada amounted to nearly $3.5 billion and supported
93,000 jobs in Colorado in 2006.

During next week’s partnership-and-retention trade mission, Gov.
Ritter’s itinerary includes: visits to the MaRS Discovery Centre in
Toronto and Canada’s legendary oil sands in Alberta; industry meetings
with several energy-producing and bioscience companies, and visits
with government officials.”

The Colorado delegation will include representatives from the Colorado
Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Governor’s
Energy Office, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, University of
Colorado, Colorado State University, Consulate General Office of
Canada, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., Aurora Economic
Development Council, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson
Economic Council, Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp., Grand
Junction Economic Partnership, Denver Office of Economic Development,
Colorado BioScience Association, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority
and Forest City.


As part of her statewide agenda to improve access to mental health
care, Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter will be giving the keynote
address at the Southwest Mental Health Annual Community Dinner in
Durango tonight (Thursday, Nov. 8).

The dinner begins at 6 p.m. in the College Union Ballroom, Fort Lewis
College Student Union Building, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango.

Gov. Bill Ritter was in Durango earlier this week, also stopping at
Fort Lewis College. He announced an $11.6 million budget proposal to
build a new 29,000-square-foot biology and agriculture facility at the