Monthly Archives: December 2007

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

Gov. Bill Ritter today announced appointments to a variety of statewide boards and commissions:

Board of Trustees for Fort Lewis College

Richard G. Ballantine of Durango (reappointed), for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2001.

Board of Trustees for Western State College of Colorado

George H. Delaney of Castle Rock and Linda A. Morton of Littleton for terms expiring Dec. 31, 2011.

State Board of Parole

JoKatherine Holliman Page of Denver.

The State Board of Parole holds hearings and considers applications for parole, and conducts all proceedings involving revocation of parole. It has seven members who serve three-year terms.

Statewide Internet Portal Authority

The Hon. Ron May of Colorado Springs, for a term expiring June 1, 2011.

Energy Impact Assistance Advisory Committee

The Hon. Carl E. Miller of Leadville (reappointed) and Justin T. Clifford of Bayfield for terms expiring Aug. 24, 2011.

The Energy Impact Assistance Advisory Committee reviews the existing and potential impact of the development, processing, or energy conversion of mineral and fuel resources on various areas of the state. The committee then makes recommendations to the Department of Local Affairs to assist impacted areas.

Council of Advisors on Consumer Credit

Jacline L. Harriman of Colorado Springs to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Brent A. Neiser of Greenwood Village, for a term expiring Sept. 30, 2009.

Artiesha “Tish” L. Maes of Denver, Vincent G. Toenjes of Parker and Jose L. Vasquez of Highlands Ranch, for terms expiring Sept. 30, 2010.

The Council of Advisors on Consumer Credit advises and consults with the assistant attorney general concerning his powers under the consumer credit code. It has nine members who serve three-year terms.

Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways Commission

The Hon. William L. Miller of Cedaredge, Christopher F. Sporl of Littleton, State Sen. Dan Gibbs of Silverthorne and William H. Ulfelder of Denver, for terms expiring Jan. 1, 2010.

Russell George of Rifle, Edward C. Nichols of Denver, Harris Sherman of Denver and Susan Kirkpatrick of Fort Collins, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

The Commission works with state and federal agencies, local byway organizations and public and private resources to assist in the development of byway management plans. The Commission also helps coordinate the budgeting process and allocation of federal, state and private funds for the purpose of byway improvement. It has up to 15 members who serve three-year terms.

State Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners

Sherry “Beth” E. Giles of Centennial to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Jason B. Brinkley of Aurora, for a term expiring Sept. 12, 2010.

The State Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners adopts rules and regulation, conducts examinations, and grants or denies licenses. All complaints are referred to the State Grievance Board.

Colorado Commission for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Kevan Worley of Colorado Springs, Evelyn Tileston of Craig, Dr. Nalin J. Mehta of Golden, Dr. Kara S. Hanson of Aurora and Peter O. Goshia of Longmont, for terms expiring Sept. 1, 2009.

Mark N. Wedgle of Westminster, Barbara Hopke Boyer of Arvada, Scott C. LaBarre of Denver,
David E. Bolin of Broomfield, Sammie McKay of Buena Vista, Julia M. Zanon of Denver, Julie M. Hunter of Denver, and Michelle L. Chacon of Arvada, for terms expiring Sept. 1, 2010.

The Commission was established in 2007 to make recommendations concerning the provision of services to aid individuals who are blind or visually impaired. It has no more than 15 members, who serve up to four-year terms.

Ritter meets with legislators on Capitol Safety

GOV. RITTER TO MEET WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS
REGARDING STATEHOUSE SECURITY ON WEDNESDAY

Gov. Bill Ritter will meet with legislative leaders on Wednesday to begin discussions about state Capitol security in the wake of Monday’s shooting.

“We are going to revisit building security and we are going to do so in a thoughtful and prudent way,” Gov. Ritter said. “We aren’t putting any time limits on how long this will take, and in the meantime you will see access limited to the north entrance and the building kept fairly secure. But there are tourists back in the building right now and that’s a good thing to see.”

The Governor said his immediate concern is addressing the needs of Capitol employees. He spoke with two groups of employees Tuesday: about 50 members of his own staff in the morning and a larger group of more than 100 legislative and executive staffers in the afternoon. Victim assistance specialists are being made available to all employees, many of whom were in the Capitol at the time of Monday’s incident.

The Governor encouraged all employees to be mindful of their own needs and to acknowledge that Monday’s events were traumatic. “Our employees will have to deal with the impact and we want to make sure the resources and support networks are in place for them to do that,” he said.

The Governor praised members of his administrative staff and Colorado State Patrol security detail for performing “in a noble and remarkably professional way on Monday.”

GOV. RITTER DIRECTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY TO AUDIT CAPITOL SECURITY MEASURES

Gov. Bill Ritter today directed the Department of Public Safety and Colorado State Patrol to conduct a detailed security audit of the state Capitol. The Governor announced he had asked for the audit after meeting with the legislature’s Executive Committee for about an hour this morning.

“I have directed the Department of Public Safety and its divisions to conduct a threat assessment and a security assessment of the Capitol building’s vulnerabilities, and I’ve asked them to do that with some dispatch,” Gov. Ritter said after the meeting with Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, Majority Leader Alice Madden and Minority Leader Mike May.

The initial review is expected to take approximately two weeks. The Governor also has asked for a list of possible changes to Capitol security measures. “No decisions have been made, and we will not make any decisions until we see the audit and review the options,” Gov. Ritter said.

Current security measures – access restricted to the north basement entrance with a magnetometer – will remain in place during the review period.

“We continue to encourage folks who want to come to the Capitol to visit as often as they want,” Gov. Ritter said “This is still an open and safe building.”

Ritter talks about asthma

Gov. Bill Ritter today shared his personal experiences with asthma with a group of children who attend National Jewish Medical and Research Center’s Kunsberg School. It was the first time the Governor has talked publicly about his asthma.

The Governor spoke to and then jogged with 32 Kunsberg School students who are participating in the Colorado Kids Marathon Milers Program as part of this coming weekend’s Colfax Marathon activities. The kids, who are living with asthma and other respiratory illnesses, have already run a cumulative 25.2 miles over the past few weeks as part of the training. The final one-mile fun run is scheduled for Saturday.

Gov. Ritter jogged with the children for 15 minutes inside the school’s gymnasium. “You are great to have already run 25 miles,” Gov. Ritter said before the event. “I just want you to know that I also have asthma, but I have been able to manage it and to keep exercising. I bicycle a few times a week. I really applaud you kids for working so hard on this.”

The Governor won a few laughs when he joked: “I’ll run with you, but I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up. If I run slowly, it’s not because of my asthma – it’s because I’m old!”

After jogging with the children, Gov. Ritter encouraged them to “keep exercising, keep taking your medicine and keep doing what you need to do. I really, really admire you.”

Colorado has the second-highest prevalence of asthma of any state in the nation – an estimated 7.1 percent of the population. That amounts to about 250,000 people, including 90,000 children.

The Kunsberg School teaches 60 to 90 children in kindergarten through eighth grade from around the metro area. The school helps children whose education has lagged because of their illnesses get caught up so they can return to traditional classrooms.

Ritter signs sex ed bill, second parent adoption

GOV. RITTER SIGNS 26 BILLS INTO LAW TODAY

Gov. Bill Ritter signed 26 bills into law today, including the second-parent adoption and human-sexuality education bills. More than 200 additional bills are pending before the governor, with a deadline of June 4.

The bills signed today and their sponsors:

HB 1019, Carriers Exempt Public Utilities (Rep. Mike Cerbo and Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald)
HB 1141, Purchase of Metals Record Keeping (Rep. Nancy Todd, Sen. Suzanne Williams)
HB 1156, Disclose Source Residential Water Supply (Rep. Marsha Looper, Sen. Ken Gordon)
HB 1174, Repeal Sunset Concealed Carry Database (Rep. Al White, Sen. Bob Bacon)
HB 1176, Injured Worker Change Select Physician (Rep. Morgan Carroll, Sen. Lois Tochtrop)
HB 1255, Uniform child Abduction Prevention Act (Rep. Anne McGihon, Sen. Gordon)
HB 1266, Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (Rep. McGihon, Sen. Brandon Shaffer)
HB 1285, Timeliness Unemployment Claims Appeals Receipt (Rep. Joe Rice, Sen. Jennifer Veiga)
HB 1289, Compounding Drug Pharmacy (Rep. Buffie McFadyen, Sen. Peter Groff)
HB 1292, Content Standards Human Sexuality (Rep. Nancy Todd, Sen. Sue Windels)
HB 1295, RTD Area (Rep. Paul Weissman, Sen. Stephanie Takis)
HB 1327, Creditor Notice Delinquency Charge (Rep. Amy Stephens, Sen. John Morse)
HB 1330, Second-Parent Adoption (Rep. Alice Madden, Sen. Veiga)
HB 1333, Conservation Dist. Political Subdivisions (Rep. Kathleen Curry, Sen. Gail Schwartz)
HB 1336, Reporting Requirements Repeal (Rep. McGihon, Sen. Bacon)
HB 1337, Farm Products Commodity Handlers (Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, Sen. Jack Taylor)
HB 1340, Clarifying Changes to Victims’ Rights (Rep. Bob Gardner, Sen. Veiga)
HB 1348, Extend Initial Accreditation Contracts (Rep. Tom Massey, Sen. Windels)
SB 42, M.O.S.T. Program for Military (Sen. Mike Kopp, Rep. Mary Hodge)
SB 62, Motor Carriers Registration Penalty (Sen. Windels, Rep. Ray Rose)
SB 117, Unfair Employment Practices Prevailing Party (Sen. Bacon, Rep. Terrance Carroll)
SB 158, Exempt Assets Debt Collection Bankruptcy (Sen. Betty Boyd, Rep. Cerbo)
SB 208, Audiologists & Hearing Aid Providers (Sen. Schwartz, Rep. Gwyn Green)
SB 209, Council for Excellence in Health Education (Sen. Schwartz, Rep. Rafael Gallegos)
SB 212, Regulation of Drop-in Child Care Facilities (Sen. P. Sandoval, Rep. R. Marshall)
SB 214, CDC Increase Exemption Amounts (Sen. Josh Penry, Rep. Rob Witwer)

With the signing of HB 1330, Colorado becomes the 10th state to allow second-parent adoption either through statute or case law. In 18 other states, second-parent adoption is allowed in certain counties and municipalities.

“From my experience in law enforcement, I know how important it is for children to grow up in a stable environment,” said Gov. Ritter, who served as Denver’s District Attorney for 12 years. “This law gives children in a one-parent family a chance to grow up in a two-parent home. We must do all we can to strengthen families and provide children with as stable an environment as possible. This law will give children a better chance to succeed.”

HB 1292 establishes content standards for human-sexuality courses taught in public schools and as part of teen-pregnancy-prevention and drop-out-prevention programs.

“Preventing unintended pregnancies, especially among teenagers, is important,” Gov. Ritter said. “If a school district and a student so choose, this legislation allows educators to help students develop skills that will enable them to make responsible and healthy decisions, including the teaching of abstinence. This legislation also ensures local school districts have control over what programs they choose to offer to their students.”

Among the groups that support the content standards in HB 1292 are the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Colorado Children’s Campaign.

GOV. RITTER BREAKS GROUND ON NATION’S 2nd-LARGEST

Gov. Bill Ritter joined FPL Energy, Xcel Energy, local officials and about 200 other guests here today to break ground on what will be the nation’s second-largest wind generation facility.

Ritter was joined by Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development at FPL Energy, and Karen Hyde, managing director of Resource Planning and Acquisitions at Xcel Energy.

“Today we are making history,” Gov. Ritter said. “This project will be the largest wind farm in the state and second-largest in the nation. It will have the longest transmission line in the world. Along with our tremendous agricultural crops, Colorado is the 11th windiest and 6th sunniest state in the nation. Our intellectual resources are second-to-none.

“Combined, all of this says that Colorado is well on its way to becoming the renewable energy capital of the country and a leader in the New Energy Economy,” Gov. Ritter added.

O’Sullivan said, “Colorado is taking an important leadership role in the growth of wind energy in the United States. The Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will help the state realize its enormous potential for economic growth through the generation of clean, renewable energy.”

”Xcel Energy continues to add more wind power to our existing system. By purchasing the energy from FPL at this project and from three others, we will reach Colorado’s renewable energy standard seven years early,” said Hyde. “Wind power is a valuable part of our generation mix in Colorado. With the new renewable energy legislation requiring 20 percent of our power come from renewable energy, we feel that it will continue to grow in importance.”

Peetz Table Wind Energy Center Facts:

· Construction of 267 General Electric turbines should be complete by the end of 2007.

· They will generate 400 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 120,000 homes a year.
· Xcel Energy will purchase the energy under a long-term contract.

· FPL Energy is constructing a 78-mile-long transmission line to connect the Peetz Table facility to the power grid at Xcel Energy’s Pawnee substation near Brush. This will be longest power transmission line in the world.

· At the height of construction, the project will employ between 300-350 workers.

· When complete, the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will have about 20 full-time employees and have a significant positive impact on the local economy.

Ritter appoints Walker to El Paso Bench

Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the appointment of Jonathan L. Walker of Colorado Springs to the El Paso County Court bench in the 4th Judicial District. The appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of county court Judge Sylvia Manzanares.

“Jonathan’s many years of work in the legal system make him an excellent choice for the El Paso County Court bench,” Ritter said. “He will serve the citizens of Colorado honorably.”

Walker, 59, currently works for the Office of the State Public Defender handling criminal cases. Prior experience in private practice includes personal-injury and product-liability law, employment and civil litigation, and mediation.

From 2000 to 2003, Walker served on the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1969 and his law degree from Wayne State University in Michigan in 1977. He served in the U.S. Army Special Forces from 1970-73.

The initial term of office for a judicial district judge is a provisional term of approximately two years; thereafter, the incumbent will serve a term of six years if retained by the voters.

Colorado Conservation Voters grade Ritter

Since 1997 the conservation community has issued a legislative scorecard that shows how lawmakers voted on the most important environmental issues of the year. In 2005, Colorado Conservation Voters began issuing a gubernatorial report card that looks at legislation, executive action, and overall leadership when it comes to protecting our environment. What we hope to achieve with these accountability reports is a fair assessment of how our
elected leaders do when it comes to protecting Colorado’s natural resources.
Our goal is to reward leadership taken, and to point out where more is needed.
It will come as a surprise to few that Governor Ritter received high marks from
the conservation community for his first year in office. In fact, the start of the
Ritter Administration marks a sea of change in how conservation issues are
addressed at the executive level in Colorado. Bill Ritter put the New Energy
Economy and wise stewardship of our natural resources front and center in his
campaign for governor. What was refreshing for those who have grown tired of
politicians making bold promises on the campaign trail but falling short when
it comes to governing, is that Gov. Ritter began delivering on these promises
within weeks of coming into office.
While Gov. Ritter starts his administration with a strong grade point average, he did not receive straight A’s this year. His recent comments on the Roan Plateau were an improvement from the plan developed by the Bureau of Land Management, but did not draw the clear line that conservationists, sportsmen, and local elected officials had hoped for regarding protection of this unique and treasured area.
And, while Gov. Ritter is off to a strong start, much work remains to be done.
Two challenges stand out as the most urgent. The first is global warming.
Nobel laureate scientists, many working here in Colorado, have declared that
“warming of the climate system is unequivocal” – fighting words for scientists.
Urgent action is needed at all levels of government, and Colorado should be at
the forefront of this effort. Gov. Ritter’s Climate Action Plan is a good start, but
much of the hard work remains to be done. The secondarea where urgent
action is needed is around the management of oil and gas development in
Colorado. Oil and gas drilling is already reshaping our landscape, and state
experts forecast that 150,000 wells will be drilled in Colorado over the coming three decades. Gov. Ritter has a critical role to play in our work for permanent protection of some truly unique areas. His administration will also set the direction for day-to-day decisions that will determine how we minimize the lasting impacts of drilling on our communities and wildlife.

New Energy Economy A+
LEADERSHIP:
Gov. Ritter is serious not only about his commitment to building the New Energy
Economy here at home, but also about the role Colorado can play in moving
our nation towards a more secure future. From small ranching communities on the
Western Slope, to the halls of Congress, Gov. Ritter has laid out his vision and
continues to make the case for economic prosperityand environmental stewardship
throughinvestment in a clean, renewable future. Gov. Ritter has also been
thoughtful about the team he has assembled, appointing several strong
cabinet members and policy advisors with a tremendous depth of knowledge
on clean energy policy.

As a candidate, Bill Ritter promised to create a New Energy Economy in
Colorado “through strong leadership, responsible investment and a clear
vision for the future.”
In his first year as governor, Bill Ritter swiftly delivered.
LEGISLATION:
Gov. Ritter’s top 2007 legislative priority was a measure requiring that 20% of
Colorado’s electricity come from clean, renewable energy sources by 2020.
Governor Ritter’s success in bringing a diverse set of interests to the table, and
ultimately winning the support of long-time renewable opponents such as the
rural electric associations, was crucial to this landmark victory.
Gov. Ritter also stepped up where his predecessor had previously failed;
signing a proposal to widely expand energy efficiency programs for both
electricity and natural gas customers.
Experts estimate that this legislation will cut the growth in new demand
for electricity in half by 2020.
EXECUTIVE ACTION:
Gov. Ritter issued the Greening State Government Executive Order, ensuring
the state leads the way with strong efficiency improvements. Ritter set strong goals for the reduction of energy consumption in state buildings and vehicles, and called for a 75% reduction
of solid waste.

Balanced Oil and Gas Development A

The number of permits to drill for oil
and gas has increased by 280% over the
past five years. This increased drilling
has resulted in more fragmented wild-
life habitat and increased concerns about
water and air quality. Gov. Ritter lead a
call for more balanced oil and gas devel-
opment during his first year in office.
LEGISLATION:
Gov. Ritter displayed bold leadership
when his administration introduced
landmark legislation to reform the
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation
Commission. This body is responsible
for determining how drilling operations
occur in Colorado, and, until this year,
had been stacked with oil and gas
industry representatives. Thanks to
Gov. Ritter’s desire to create greater
balance in how oil and gas drilling
occurs, the Commission now includes
experts on public health, wildlife and
the environment in addition to other
important stakeholders. The governor
also signed a measure to give property
owners more rights when drilling occurs
on their land and a measure to use best
management practices for protecting
wildlife habitat against the most harmful
impacts of oil and gas drilling.
EXECUTIVE ACTION:
The governor has made strong
appointments to the Oil and Gas
Commission. This new commission has
embarked on a critical process that will
create new rules to protect wildlife
habitat and public health. Gov. Ritter
has also appointed leaders to the state
Wildlife Commission with expertise
when it comes to minimizing impacts
of oil and gas development on critical
wildlife habitat. Finally, the Division
of Wildlife has also taken a stronger
stance on behalf of big game and
sage grouse protections in the face
of expanded oil and gas drilling.

LEADERSHIP:
The conservation community, landowners,
sportsmen, and local communities have
fought to bring balance to the Colorado
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for
seventeen years. Gov. Ritter’s leadership
was the difference that made this a reality
in 2007. Enacting strong rules to imple-
ment the letter and the spirit of these
new laws will be a test for the governor’s
leadership in 2008.

Water A-
Ensuring adequate water supplies for
growing communities while protecting
our rivers and streams is one of the
biggest policy challenges in Colorado.
LEGISLATION:
Acknowledging that changing a water
right from one use to another can
result in diminished water quality in
our rivers, Gov. Ritter signed a measure
allowing water courts to protect water
quality. This legislation, which had
failed during seven previous legislative
sessions, is especially valuable in light
of the increasing number of agricul-
tural water rights being converted to
municipal use.
Gov. Ritter signed another measure
to increase the fees industry pays to
the state for water quality programs,
for the state to fund water quality
enforcement.
The governor also supported an expan-
sion of the grants to communities to
create and implement water efficiency
plans. Gov. Ritter and the Department of
Natural Resources demonstrated their
commitment to local water conservation
efforts by making adjustments to free up
the necessary dollars for the program.
EXECUTIVE ACTION:
The governor has made several strong
appointments to state agencies, boards
and commissions with jurisdiction over
water issues. As additional vacancies on
water boards and commissions occur,
the conservation community encourages
Gov. Ritter to appoint individuals who
will make decisions with the health of
LEADERSHIP:
During the campaign, Bill Ritter
embraced the concepts in “Facing Our
Future,” the conservation community’s
blueprint for meeting the water demands
of Colorado’s growing population without
further damaging the state’s already
stressed rivers. Some Front Range
developers and water providers continue
to promote old ideas to divert additional
water from the West Slope to the Front
Range. The time is ripe for Gov. Ritter to
articulate a vision for meeting Colorado’s
growing water needs while protecting and
restoring the state’s rivers and streams.
Strengthening and promoting the state’s
instream flow program is another
important area in 2008.

Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien Appoints First Colorado Early Childhood Advisory Team

Lieutenant Governor Barbara O’Brien has appointed 21 people to Colorado‘s first Early Childhood Councils Advisory Team to help support and strengthen local efforts for children statewide.

 

The Office of Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, is convening the team, which was created by legislation last year.

 

“These volunteers will provide advice and support to local early childhood councils to improve and sustain the availability, accessibility, capacity and quality of early childhood services for children and families throughout the state.  There is no more important goal than to make Colorado the best place for families to raise their children,” said Lt. Gov. O’Brien.

 

Local early childhood councils address community issues on early care and education, mental health, health and family support. Local councils are comprised of a combination of public and private stakeholders including parents, service providers, educators, health care professionals, community leaders, and others.

 

Appointed to the inaugural Early Childhood Councils Advisory Team:

 

Alfredo Esguerra (Adams County)

Betty C.de Baca (Denver)

Charlotte Pirnat (La Plata County)

Derrick Padilla (Pueblo)

Lisa Poppaw (Larimer County)

Lucinda Burns (Grand/Summit Counties)

Noelle Hause (Weld County)

Pam Walker (Fremont County)

Rose Clement (Logan, Phillips & Sedgwick County)

Sarah Scully (Boulder County)

Sherri Valdez (San Luis Valley)

Tom Gangel (Routt County)

Virginia Howey (Montezuma/Dolores Counties)

Diana Romero Campbell (Denver)

Diane Price (Colorado Springs)

Jennifer Landrum (Denver)

Lisa Merlino (Denver)

Megan Wilson (Denver)

Gladys Wilson (Denver)

Priscilla Logan Queen (Douglas County)

Sudy Opsahl (Denver)

 

The group is appointed to two-year terms, which begin in January 2008.

 

GOV. RITTER’S NEW 2008 BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS BOOK NOW AVAILABLE

Fifty-page booklet lists hundreds of opportunities for Coloradans to get involved
and serve on a statewide board or commission

The new 2008 Colorado Boards and Commissions booklet is now available in hard copy or on-line, describing opportunities for Coloradans to serve on nearly 300 panels that oversee issues ranging from health care to air quality and transportation to the arts.

Gov. Ritter will have an opportunity to appoint thousands of Coloradans to the many boards and commissions that will help determine Colorado’s future.

“These boards offer an ideal opportunity for people all across the state to get involved and make a difference,” Gov. Ritter said. “We need our citizens to be engaged so we can keep making progress in the areas where we already excel and overcome obstacles where we face challenges.”

To view online or download the 2008 Boards and Commissions booklet, click here. The book also contains an application form and instructions on how to submit an application.

The booklet is also available by contacting the Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions at 303.866.6380, boards@state.co.us or 136 State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203.