Monthly Archives: April 2008

GOV. RITTER PRAISES PLATTE RIVER LEGISLATION


Gov. Bill Ritter today praised yesterday’s passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation authorizing the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. The program will allow Colorado to work withWyoming, Nebraska, the federal government, water providers and other organizations to recover threatened and endangered species within the Platte River Basin.

 

The Senate passed the legislation, which is part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, on April 10.

“This is a major step toward assuring that the Platte River Recovery Program succeeds,” Gov. Ritter said. “Water providers, environmentalists and Colorado citizens should be proud that Sen. Salazar, Sen. Allard and Rep. Udall took leadership roles to support the passage of this legislation.”
 

“This step allows us to move immediately to take direct actions to recover the whooping crane, least tern, piping plover and pallid sturgeon,” said Harris Sherman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “The whooping crane is North America‘s largest bird species, and through our actions we have been able to bring this species from the brink of extinction to the highest recorded numbers in decades.”

 

In 1979, there were just 56 whooping cranes in the wild flock that uses the Platte River. In 2007, 257 whooping cranes were counted in the flock.

 

“This legislation opens the door to land restoration efforts that are critical to the program’s success,” said Ted Kowalski, program manager for the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

 


GOVERNOR RITTER SIGNS NEW LAWS TODAY


GOVERNOR RITTER SIGNS NEW LAWS TODAY

 

Gov. Bill Ritter signed several pieces of legislation into law today:

 

Bill #

Short Title

Sponsors

Date Action

Action

HB08-1038

Assisted Living Residence Regulation Fee 

RIESBERG / WARD 

4/25/2008

Signed

HB08-1131

Mergers Of Health Insurance Companies 

MCGIHON / HAGEDORN 

4/25/2008

Signed

HB08-1148

Adverse Possession 

WITWER & … / TUPA 

4/25/2008

Signed

HB08-1224

School District Student Wellness Program 

BENEFIELD / TUPA 

4/25/2008

Signed

HB08-1236

Ag Dept Livestock Info Security Act 

CURRY / ISGAR 

4/25/2008

Signed

HB08-1248

Joint Tenancy In Real Property 

KERR J. / VEIGA 

4/25/2008

Signed

HB08-1249

Emergency Telephone Services 911 Charge 

RICE / KESTER 

4/25/2008

Signed

HB08-1337

CO Children’s Trust Fund Audit 

WHITE / MORSE 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-030

Increase Delegation Period Pub Security 

VEIGA / FERRANDINO 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-041

Clarify Mineral Ownership Under Highways 

CADMAN / CURRY 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-050

Elder Driver’s License Renewal Mail Elec 

WINDELS / GAGLIARDI 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-089

Early Intervening Services For Students 

WILLIAMS / GARDNER C. 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-096

State Agricultural Commn Composition 

ISGAR / CURRY 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-097

Anhydrous Ammonia Regulation 

TOCHTROP / SONNENBERG 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-105

Classification Of Trailers 

JOHNSON / LEVY 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-108

Purple Heart Recipients Wildlife License 

SPENCE / WHITE 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-129

School Nutrition Beverages Policy 

GIBBS / RIESBERG 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-159

Lower Boater DUI Blood Alcohol Levels 

TUPA & … / SCANLAN 

4/25/2008

Signed

SB08-172

Community Parole Officer Revisions 

WARD / STAFFORD 

4/25/2008

Signed

 

GOV. RITTER APPOINTS 8th JUDICIAL DISTRICT JUDGES

Gov. Bill Ritter today appointed two new judges in the 8th Judicial District in Larimer and Jackson counties.

 

Gregory McCarroll Lammons of Fort Collins was named to the District Court bench, and Cynthia Marie Hartman of Fort Collins was appointed to the County Court bench.

 

Lammons is currently the chief deputy for the District Attorney’s Office in the 8th Judicial District. He has served as a prosecutor in the office since his admission to the Colorado bar in 1996. An Executive Committee member of the Larimer County Bar Association, Lammons has also taught the Colorado District Attorney Council’s course for new felony deputy district attorneys. He earned his bachelor’s degree from BostonCollege in 1991 and his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1995.

 

Hartman has served as a magistrate in the 8th Judicial District since 1998. Previously, she was the managing attorney for the Larimer County Office of Colorado Legal Services Inc. from 1981 to 1998. She was a partner at Robinson Hartman and Wotan from 1978 to 1981 and a sole practitioner in Loveland from 1977 to 1978. Hartman received her bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in 1974 and her law degree from the Washburn University School of Law in 1977.

 

Both positions were created pursuant to House Bill 07-1054. The initial terms of office are provisional terms of approximately two years, and then until the second Tuesday in January following the next general election.

 

GOV. RITTER SIGNS LAW CREATING BIOSCIENCE GRANT FUND


 

Gov. Bill Ritter today signed into law a measure that will provide $26.5 million to expand Colorado‘s bioscience industry by expediting the transfer of research from the lab to the marketplace.

 

House Bill 1001, sponsored by Rep. Jim Riesberg and Sen. Bob Bacon, establishes the Colorado Bioscience Research Grant Program. The bill is the first piece of Gov. Ritter’s 2008 business-development package. Additional bills are expected to be signed in the coming weeks. The bioscience grant program will provide $26.5 million over five years to research institutions and private companies. Research institutions are eligible for $150,000 and companies $250,000.

 

“Through this investment we’ll see significant returns – both financial returns and in terms of improving the quality of life for Coloradans through improved health,” Gov. Ritter said. “This will take Colorado to the next level and allow us to compete on a national and international level. With the work being done at the Anschutz Medical Campus at Fitzsimons, in Boulder and in Fort Collins, Colorado can be a global leader in the bioscience field and in developing treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s, tuberculosis, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and West Nile disease.”

 

Colorado is home to more than 400 bioscience companies that provide more than 16,000 direct and indirect jobs, with an average salary of about $70,000 per year.

 

It’s a great day for research universities and the high-tech companies that come to Colorado for the intellectual capital produced here,” Sen. Bacon said. “For too long we have been focused on the industries of yesterday, and I’m proud to stand today with the Governor as we build the ‘new energy’ industries of tomorrow.”  

 

As Gov. Ritter signed the bill into law, he also welcomed Colorado‘s first Nobel Laureate, Tom Cech, back toColorado. Cech has served as president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland since 2000. “Tom is truly one of Colorado‘s greatest treasures,” Gov. Ritter said. “He shares our vision of creating a new ‘science’ economy in Colorado.”

 

Also taking part in today’s event were Denise Brown, executive director of the Colorado BioScience Association, and Dr. Barry Beaty, a Colorado State University researcher.

 

CMS ER Grant to improve access to primary care

DENVER – April 22, 2008 – The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing announced today that it has received $1,816,100 for two projects from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Centers to improve access to primary medical care to Medicaid clients to avoid improper use of costly emergency room visits. 

Valley-Wide Health Services will receive $890,000 for a two-year period to increase operational hours to provide primary care alternatives during hours when the emergency room is the only option.

Peak Visa Community Health Centers and Memorial Health System will receive $926,100 for a two-year period to establish an effective referral program for Medicaid clients seeking non-emergency services.

“Diverting Medicaid clients with non-emergent conditions from the emergency rooms to out-patient centers is the right direction towards decreasing the costs of health care, and connecting people to a Medical home,” says Joan Henneberry, executive director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “Governor Ritter’s Building Blocks to Health Care Reform plan addresses all three legs of the health care stool – managing costs, improving quality, and expanding access to care.  This funding will allow Colorado to tackle all three.”

GOV. RITTER CELEBRATES EARTH DAY 2008


 

Gov. Ritter kicked off Earth Day 2008 in Colorado today by issuing three climate-change executive orders, announcing a new Insulate Colorado residential rebate program and introducing the first 13 Colorado founding reporters to The Climate Registry.

 

Today’s event was held at the 100-year-old Governor’s Residence, where new attic insulation and a 9.8-kilowatt solar array were recently installed. A geo-exchange system that will help heat and cool the Residence will be installed later this year.

 

“Earth Day has been in existence for nearly 40 years,” Gov. Ritter said. “But the realities of climate change are bringing a new sense of urgency to the future of our planet. It’s been my pleasure as Governor, for a little over one year, to promote the ideals and goals of Earth Day.

 

Colorado‘s New Energy Economy is booming. The Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory is doing ground-breaking work. More than 40 Colorado scientists shared the Nobel Peace Prize for their work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We introduced our Climate Action Plan in November. And today, on Earth Day, we are taking several additional steps to bring the New Energy Economy closer to home and to begin enacting the goals laid out in the Climate Action Plan.”

 

Gov. Ritter issued the following executive orders today:

 

·         Executive Order D004 08 establishes reduction goals for greenhouse gas emissions (20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, both from 2005 levels); directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to develop regulations mandating the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions; and requests the Public Utilities Commission to require each utility under its jurisdiction to submit electric resource plans that include an analysis showing how the utility could achieve a 20 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020.

 

·         Executive Order D010 08 establishes an agricultural sequestration offset program.

 

·         Executive Order B007 08 establishes a Colorado Climate Advisory Panel.

 

Also today, Gov. Ritter announced the “Insulate Colorado” program to help homeowners insulate their homes and reduce energy consumption. With 44 statewide partners, Insulate Colorado will provide rebates to participating homeowners up to $300 per project.

 

“Last week, the Governor’s Residence had attic insulation installed,” Gov. Ritter said. “I encourage all Coloradans to insulate their homes because it’s one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption and your carbon footprint and to have a more comfortable home.”

 

Gov. Ritter also announced the first 13 founding Colorado reporters to The Climate Registry:

 

American Energy Assets

Cameron-Cole, LLC

Hogan and Hartson

Kleinfelder, Inc.

Newmont Mining Corporation

Platte River Power Authority

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

Shell Oil Company

State of Colorado

Suncor Energy (USA) Inc.

Symbiotic Engineering, LLC

Tri-State Generation and Transmission

Xcel Energy

 

Participating in today’s news conference:

Dan Grossman, Rocky Mountain Regional Director, Environmental Defense Fund

Frits Eulderink, Vice President of Unconventional Fuels, Shell Oil

David Wilks, Energy Supply President, Xcel Energy

Bill Buckalew, General Manager of Refining and Pipelines, Suncor (USA) Inc.

 

The Climate Registry was established by states, tribes and provinces in North America as a mechanism to measure greenhouse gas emissions consistently across industry sectors and borders. Reporters to The Climate Registry agree to calculate, verify and publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions annually.

 

“On Earth Day, it is only fitting to acknowledge that climate change is arguably the greatest environmental challenge of our time,” Gov. Ritter said. “Its effects will impact our environment, our economy and our quality of life well into the future. Adapting to climate change will certainly be a challenge, but it also will present tremendous opportunities for us all.”

 


9 A.M. EARTH DAY NEWS CONFERENCE WITH GOV. RITTER TODAY

Gov. Ritter will be hosting an Earth Day news conference at the Governor’s Residence at 9 a.m. today to highlight Colorado‘s recent New Energy Economy and climate-action achievements.

 

Gov. Ritter will be issuing three climate change executive orders, introducing the first 13 founding reporters to The Climate Registry, and announcing the new Insulate Colorado residential rebate program.

 

The executive orders will codify several of the goals spelled out in the Colorado Climate Action Plan, which was unveiled in November, including:

           

  • Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

  • Establishing Colorado‘s agricultural carbon-offset program.

  • Establishing a Climate Action Advisory Panel.

 

The news conference is being held at the Residence because last year a 9.8 kilowatt solar-energy system was installed atop the Carriage House on the grounds of the Governor’s Residence. New attic insulation was installed at the Residence last week. Later this year, the state hopes to move forward with a geo-exchange project that will help heat and cool the Residence.

 

WHEN:          9 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, 2008

 

WHERE:       Governor’s Residence, Carriage House courtyard, 8th and Logan streets (enter through gate on
Logan Street

)

 

WHO:             Gov. Ritter

                        Dan Grossman, Regional Director, Environmental Defense Fund

                        Frits Eulderink, Vice President of Unconventional Fuels, Shell Oil

                        David Wilks, Energy Supply President, Xcel Energy

                        Bill Buckalew, General Manager of Refining and Pipelines, Suncor (USA) Inc.

           


LT. GOV. BARBARA O’BRIEN TO HELP CONNECT KIDS TO NATURE AS PROMOTION OF EARTH DAY


Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien Tuesday will deliver the keynote address at the Connecting Kids to Nature Earth Day Forum at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 8 headquarters in Denver.

 

EPA and the National Wildlife Federation are sponsoring the event for leaders of children’s health organizations, conservation organizations, business, government agencies, education and smart growth/land use planning groups.

 

“Today’s kids spend half the time outdoors as they did 20 years ago and obesity has tripled,” said Lt. Gov. O’Brien. “Kids who play outside are more active and physically fit, and they will also have a healthier connection to the environment. This connection needs to be a priority for the future of our kids and our planet.”

 

 

Who:                Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien

                        Robert E. Roberts, EPA Regional Administrator

                        Kevin Coyle, National Wildlife Federation, Vice-President for Education

 

What:               Connecting Kids to Nature Earth Day Forum

 

Where:             EPA Region 8 HQ, 1595 Wynkoop, Denver

 

When:              Tuesday, April 22

9:00 a.m. event; 9:30 a.m. keynote speech

 

GOV. RITTER SIGNS HEALTHY RIVERS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION BILLS INTO LAW


Gov. Bill Ritter signed several pieces of legislation into law today, including a measure that strengthens consumer rights against unfair business practices by insurance agents and another bill that will help preserveColorado‘s rivers, streams and lakes.

 

House Bill 1228 was sponsored by Rep. Gwyn Green and Sen. Ken Gordon. It authorizes the insurance commissioner to order an insurance agent or company to pay restitution to a consumer for violating state insurance laws or for engaging in unfair business practices. It passed the House 65-0 and the Senate 26-8.

 

“In general, insurance companies and their agents are doing a fine job in Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said. “But giving the insurance commissioner the authority to make the consumer whole if an insurance company or its agent does the wrong thing is the right thing to do for all Coloradans.”

 

The bill was supported by consumer advocates and insurers. “The citizens of this state always benefit when all parties to a problem are willing to come together and recognize the need to find a solution and make it happen,” Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison said.

 

“This bill will send a loud message to bad acting insurance companies that Colorado is out of bounds for insurance scams,” said Rep. Green.

 

House Bill 1280, known as the Healthy Rivers Act, was sponsored by Rep. Randy Fischer and Sen. Gail Schwartz. It encourages water-right holders to lease or loan rights to the Colorado Water Conservation Board for environmental purposes to protect instream flows in rivers and streams. Numerous environmental group and many water providers, including Denver Water, supported the bill, which passed the House 59-6 and the Senate 32-2.

 

“As an avid fly-fisherman, preserving Colorado‘s rivers and streams is extremely important to me,” Gov. Ritter said. “It’s also vital to our environment and our economy. This new law will strengthen Colorado‘s 35-year-old Instream Flow Program and ensure that water rights leased or loaned to the Colorado Water Conservation Board for environmental purposes will not be weakened, lost or considered abandoned.”

 

“For too long, ranchers and farmers could lose their water rights if they didn’t use all the water they were given annually,” Rep. Fischer said. “We live in a large, dry Western state that’s susceptible to drought, and it’s time we reward – not punish – those who conserve. This legislation gives landowners an important incentive to turn off the tap!”

 

Gov. Ritter signed the following bills into law today:

 

Bill #

Short Title

Sponsors

Date Action

Action

HB08-1113

Limited Gaming Casinos Statutory Cleanup 

MASSEY / SANDOVAL 

4/21/2008

Signed

HB08-1135

CICs HOAs Due Process Dispute Resolution 

CARROLL M. / HAGEDORN 

4/21/2008

Signed

HB08-1173

Prudent Management Institutional Funds 

MCGIHON / SHAFFER 

4/21/2008

Signed

HB08-1195

Return Release Of Deed Of Trust 

MITCHELL V. / TAYLOR 

4/21/2008

Signed

HB08-1207

Procure Envtl Preferable Products 

KEFALAS / BACON 

4/21/2008

Signed

HB08-1228

Ins Responsibility Unfair Bus Practices 

GREEN / GORDON 

4/21/2008

Signed

HB08-1280

Protect Leased Instream Flow Water Right 

FISCHER / SCHWARTZ 

4/21/2008

Signed

HB08-1334

Volunteer Fire EMS Provider Health Ins 

WITWER / KOPP 

4/21/2008

Signed

SB08-027

Ltd Gaming License Slot Machine Sales 

GIBBS / LEVY 

4/21/2008

Signed

SB08-035

Alternative Hunting License Program 

TAYLOR / SONNENBERG 

4/21/2008

Signed

SB08-069

Clarify Wildlife Prohibitions 

TAYLOR / SONNENBERG 

4/21/2008

Signed

SB08-144

Disposition Of Abandoned Motor Vehicles 

WINDELS / BENEFIELD 

4/21/2008

Signed

SB08-150

School Retirement Plan Member Records 

SANDOVAL / FRANGAS 

4/21/2008

Signed

SB08-151

Require Motor Vehicle Dealer Education 

TOCHTROP / MAROSTICA 

4/21/2008

Signed