Monthly Archives: January 2009

RITTER, BUESCHER ANNOUNCE NEW ONE-STOP ‘COLORADO BUSINESS EXPRESS’ WEBSITE

 
Gov. Bill Ritter and Secretary of State Bernie Buescher today officially unveiled Colorado Business Express, an exciting new web service that puts Colorado at the forefront nationally of state-of-the-art online business assistance.

 

“In these tough economic times, it’s more important than ever to keep making Colorado a business-friendly state,” Gov. Ritter said. “With today’s launch today of Colorado Business Express, we underscore our commitment to helping companies grow, prosper and compete in today’s challenging marketplace.”

 

The new website – www.colorado.gov/cbe – provides Colorado business owners, for the first time, a single site where they can easily access all the vital information they need to interact with state government. Until now, they needed to contact each agency separately to get the same information.

“Colorado Business Express is truly a one-stop shop,” Secretary of State Buescher said. “Instead of surfing the Internet or standing in line at four separate state and federal departments, people will be able to get their crucial businesses information on line by visiting a single website.”

 

With the new system, business owners can use Colorado Business Express to access the Secretary of State’s website where they can register their business entity, and get information on how to apply for a state sales tax license from the Department of Revenue or an unemployment insurance identification number from the Department of Labor and Employment.  The new service also links directly to the Internal Revenue Service’s online system, allowing users to quickly get a Federal Employer Identification Number. Also, people who use the website will be linked to the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to obtain additional information about doing business in Colorado.   

 

The year-long project was a collaboration of five state departments and Colorado.gov, the state internet portal. This is the first time a project of this magnitude has been undertaken jointly by these agencies to benefit the business community.

 

“Colorado Business Express is a major leap forward toward a more streamlined government, with better service and less paperwork for the benefit of Colorado‘s new businesses,” said state Sen. Bill Cadman, chairman of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority, which oversees Colorado.gov.

 

For more information contact:                       

 

Dan Morrison

Colorado.gov

303-534-3468 x 101

 

Rebecca Davis

Department of Revenue

303-866-3091

 

Mike Whatley

Department of Regulatory Agencies

303-894-7855

 

Keith Whitelaw

Office of the Secretary of State,

303-894-2200

 

Rich Werner

Office of Economic Development and International Trade

303-892-3840

 

Alice Johnson

Department of Labor and Employment

303-318-9095

 


GOV. RITTER’S SCHEDULE FOR TODAY (THURSDAY, JAN. 29, 2009)


 

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009

 

8:10 a.m.        Gov. Ritter will deliver remarks to the University of Denver Strategic Issues Program panel studying the topic of immigration. Location: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, 6th floor, Schneider Board Room, 2101 S. University Blvd.

 

9:30 a.m.        Gov. Ritter will have his blood pressure taken during the 9Health Fair Capitol Screening Day. Location: third floor media room, Room 326.

 

1:30 p.m.        Gov. Ritter will deliver remarks to the Colorado Contractors Association’s 76th annual convention. Location: Invesco Field, East Club Lounge.

 


GOV RITTER CONGRATULATES 2ND ANNUAL EXCELLENCE IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AWARD WINNERS


 

Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the 2008 winners of the second annual “Governor’s Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards.”  The awards honor the outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations to protect Colorado’s environment and provide clean power through renewable energy.

 

“Colorado’s New Energy Economy brings good jobs, investment and clean energy to our state,” Gov. Ritter said. “I am proud to recognize these leaders today with the Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards for helping to establish Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy.”

 

The second annual award winners are:  

 

·         Individual:  Dr. Chuck Kutscher has been a committed advocate for renewable energy technologies as an employee of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for over 30 years. He has worked in a variety of areas in renewable energy, including solar cooling technologies, solar industrial process heat, geothermal energy, and concentrating solar power.  He led the study, “Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.” for the American Solar Energy Society and teaches “Climate Change Solutions” as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Chuck is currently a Principal Engineer at NREL and is the Group Manager for the Thermal Systems Group.   Contact: Chuck Kutscher, Chuck_Kutscher@nrel.gov , 303.384.7521.

 

·         Small Business:  Coolerado Corp. develops, manufactures and sells innovative air conditioning systems that use one tenth of the energy required by the most efficient conventional systems and without the use of chemical refrigerants. The Department of Energy reported that wide adoption of Coolerado systems can eliminate or delay construction of new power plants, substantially reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, off-grid solar powered air conditioning with Coolerado is simple and affordable.   Contact: Coolerado, Rick Gillan, rickgillan@coolerado.com, 303.375.0878 x105, www.coolerado.com.

 

·         Large Business: Ascent Solar is applying new thin film roll-to-roll processing and manufacturing techniques to harness the sun’s power for viable clean-energy. The company produces solar modules on very lightweight thin-film plastic substrates that turn natural sunlight into electricity. More flexible and affordable than most traditional solar panels, the product can be integrated into electronics, portable power, transportation, commercial and residential buildings, and space and near-space applications. Contact:  Ascent Solar, Brian Blackman, bblackman@ascentsolar.com, 832-515-0928, www.ascentsolar.com.

 

·         Institutions: Red Rocks Community College serves 14,000 students annually with campuses in Lakewood and Arvada. The College’s Renewable Energy Technology Program has grown from 10 students in fall 2007 to 94 students currently.  Students are gaining skills in high demand to include LEED green building, energy auditing, solar PV, and solar thermal. As of fall 2008, 20 percent of students were employed in the renewable energy field. Contact: Red Rocks Community College, Michele Haney, Michele.haney@rrcc.edu  303.914.6214, www.rrcc.edu.

 

·         Non-profits: Western Resource Advocates (WRA) works to protect the West’s land, air, and water by advancing clean energy to reduce pollution and global climate change; promote urban water conservation and river restoration; and defend special public lands from energy development and unauthorized off-road vehicle travel. WRA collaborates with other conservation groups, hunters and fishermen, ranchers, American Indians, and others to ensure a sustainable future for the West. This past year WRA played a major role in getting the Public Utilities Commission to approve Xcel Energy’s plan to swap coal for renewable energy. Contact: Western Resource Advocates, Peter Roessmann, peter@westernresources.org, 303.444.1188 x221, www.westernresourceadvocates.org.

 

The winners each received an award created by Colorado artist Sandy Jackson. For more information about the awards, winners and artist visit the Governor’s Energy Office, www.colorado.gov/energy

 

 

GOV. RITTER CONTINUES BUDGET-BALANCING PLAN


 

Gov. Bill Ritter today continued submitting recommendations to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee to close a $1 billion shortfall, with these newest proposals focusing on fiscal year 2009-10, which starts July 1 and ends June 30, 2010. Click here for detailed documents.

 

The plan calls for reducing or phasing out services and programs, closing or delaying the opening of state prisons and other facilities, eliminating or keeping vacant hundreds of positions, and imposing employee furlough days.

 

“Three weeks ago in my State of the State Address, I urged lawmakers to set aside partisan differences and called on all Coloradans to work together as we confront one of the worst economic crises in generations,” Gov. Ritter said.

 

“On Jan. 15, my office began submitting a budget-balancing plan to the Joint Budget Committee, and today we are proposing additional steps that include deep, targeted and strategic cuts,” Gov. Ritter said. “These reductions, along with the latest unemployment figures released this morning, should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind about the seriousness of the problems we face, and of the collective effort it will take to chart a Colorado way forward.”

 

The FY09-10 recommendations submitted to the Joint Budget Committee today include:

 

·         $1 billion worth of proposals, including $696.2 million in actual General Fund cuts and reductions, and another $126.9 million in reduced obligations, for an overall decline of $823.1 million. The proposals represent a 10 percent General Fund reduction from Gov. Ritter’s original Nov. 1 FY09-10 General Fund operating budget request of $8.2 billion to the JBC.

 

·         A carry-over of many of the items from the FY08-09 balancing plan into FY09-10.

 

·         An estimated $259 million of anticipated revenue from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help reduce the impact of the budget shortfall on health care services.

 

Other elements Gov. Ritter’s FY09-10 balancing plan:


n      Workforce

 

o       Keep vacant or eliminate more than 540 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.

 

o       Impose five unpaid furlough days on most of the state’s workforce, for a $15 million savings (including $7.6 million General Fund), and authorize up to three furlough days in FY08-09 if necessary.

 

o       Withhold salary increases for 26,000 state employees, saving nearly $63.1 million, including $34.3 million General Fund.

 

n      Corrections

 

o       Close the 210-bed Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility in Canon City effective May 31, saving $5.2 million, eliminating 71 FTEs and requiring the transfer and double-bunking of inmates at other facilities.

 

o       Close the 192-bed Rifle Correctional Facility effective May 31 and sell the property and water rights, saving $5.7 million.

 

o       Sell a department-owned 1,000-acre ranch with water rights in Chafee County, saving $2.7 million.

 

o       Delay the April 2010 opening of Colorado State Penitentiary II in Canon City until July or August 2010, saving $16.4 million.

 

o       Delay the opening by one year, to July 2010, the expansion of the Denver Reception Diagnostic Center, saving $2.7 million.

 

n      Human Services

 

o       Close the 20-bed general hospital at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo effective Nov. 1, 2009, saving $4.8 million total funds, including $3.1 million General Fund, and eliminating 54 FTEs.

 

o       Close the 20-bed Therapeutic Child Care Facility at Fort Logan effective July 1, saving $2.1 million total funds, including $417,000 General Fund, and eliminating 30 FTEs.

 

o       Reduce an earlier request for increased funding for developmental disability services, saving $3.4 million total funds and $1.7 million General Fund.

 

n      Education

 

o       Reduce state K-12 funding by $126 million, a 3.8 percent decline from Gov. Ritter’s initial FY09-10 budget proposal. Reductions also include:

§         Suspending a 2nd enrollment count for military children ($1.8 million)

§         Reducing charter school capital construction ($2.5 million)

§         Reducing full-day kindergarten expansion ($17.9 million)

 

o       Reduce state higher education funding by $100 million (this includes the $30 million reduction from FY08-09 and deepens it by another $70 million). This overall reduction returns the state’s contribution to higher education to the FY07-08 non-inflation adjusted funding level of about $750 million.

 

n      Health Care

 

o       Reduce Medicaid expenditures, provider rates and reimbursement obligations, saving about $150 million total funds, including about $70 million General Fund.

 

o       Suspend outreach efforts and reduce funding for Children’s Basic Health Plan Plus, saving $19.3 million, including $3.1 million General Fund.

 

n      Other

 

o       Senior Property Tax Homestead Exemption: Temporarily suspend this tax exemption in FY09-10, FY10-11 and FY11-12, with fiscal year General Fund savings of $91.4 million, $97.6 million, and $103.4 million, respectively. Similar steps were taken in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

 

o       Colorado Student Before and After School Program: Eliminate funding to this program, saving $300,000.

 

n      Revenues

 

o       Gun Background Check Fee: Re-institute a $10 to $15 user fee for the Colorado Bureau of  Investigation’s “InstaCheck” background check service, saving $1.6 million General Fund.


GOV. RITTER NAMES ALICE MADDEN AS NEW CLIMATE COORDINATOR

Gov. Bill Ritter announced today he has named former state Rep. Alice Madden as Colorado‘s new climate change coordinator.

 

“Alice Madden has distinguished herself as one of Colorado‘s most accomplished and talented public servants,” Gov. Ritter said. “Her thoughtfulness and problem-solving skills will be crucial as we strive to achieve the goals in Colorado’s Climate Action Plan and strengthen Colorado‘s New Energy Economy. Expanding the use of wind, solar, geothermal and clean-burning natural gas will create jobs, clean the air and address climate change.”

 

The $80,000 position is funded through private grants from the Hewlett, Denver and Energy foundations.   

 

“I’m extremely honored to serve in this position and help our region combat the broad effects of climate change,” said former House Majority Leader Madden. “Climate change is taking its toll in every corner of Colorado.

 

“Farmers, ranchers and the ski industry are concerned about winter snowpack. Citizens are worried about rising energy costs. Commuters are concerned about efficient and affordable transportation choices, and we all are worried about the future of our forests, air and water,” Madden said.

 

“One of the most exciting aspects to this challenge is that almost every solution has the added benefit of creating jobs. In these tough economic times, I can’t think of a better win-win for us all,” Madden said.

 

“Alice Madden has a well-developed reputation as a fair and reasonable legislator,” said Roy Palmer, Xcel Energy’s managing director for government and regulatory affairs. “We’re sure she’ll bring those same skills to bear on the issue of climate change.”    

 

Madden served in the state legislature from January 2001 to January 2009, the last four years as House majority leader. She was instrumental on energy issues, including co-sponsoring legislation in 2007 that doubled the state’s renewable energy standard. She served on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and garnered a reputation as a lawmaker who could unite opposing parties and find common ground and common-sense solutions.

 

Madden earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1981 and her law degree from CU in 1989.

 

GOV. RITTER’S SCHEDULE FOR TODAY (TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2009)


8:45 a.m.         Gov. Ritter will deliver remarks at the Colorado Alliance of Sustainable Business Association’s 5th annual Legislative Briefing Day at the Capitol. Location: Old Supreme Court Chambers, State Capitol.

 

Noon               Gov. Ritter will receive a civil rights award and deliver remarks at the Colorado Anti-Defamation League’s annual luncheon. Location: Denver Marriott City Center, 
1701 California St

.

 

1:20 p.m.        Gov. Ritter will be available to talk with reporters and answer questions about issues such as the state budget, federal recovery package, oil-and-gas rules committee hearing, and the FASTER transportation bill. Location: DenverMarriott City Center, 
1701 California St

.

 

4 p.m.              Todd Saliman, Gov. Ritter’s budget director, will present additional budget-balancing recommendations to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee. Location: Legislative Services Building, 14th and Sherman (just south of the Capitol on the other side of 14th).

 


GOV. RITTER TO VISIT W. SLOPE COMMUNITIES TODAY


 

Gov. Ritter is scheduled to visit three West Slope communities today – Grand Junction, Montrose and Olathe – focusing on economic issues and continuing his annual State of the State tour.

 

9:30 to 11 a.m.           Grand Junction: Gov. Ritter and Small Business Administration Regional Director Greg Lopez will attend the “Surviving Tough Times” small business finance forum. This is the third of six statewide forums. Location: Doubletree Hotel, 
743 Horizon Drive

.

 

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.      Grand Junction: Gov. Ritter will tour the new 92,000-square-foot Leitner-Poma of America and Prinoth manufacturing facility and deliver remarks at the grand opening celebration. Location: 
2746 Saccomanno Drive

.

 

3 to 3:30 p.m.             Olathe: Gov. Ritter will meet with community members and Olathe leaders during a public open house. Topics will include plans for a new school-based health clinic. Location: Olathe Town Hall, 
419 Horton Ave.

 

4 to 4:45 p.m.             Montrose: Gov. Ritter will congratulate Delta-Montrose Electric Association and other community members for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Location: Montrose Elks Civic Building, 
107 S. Cascade Ave.

 

 


GOV RITTER TOUTS BIOSCIENCE INDUSTRY SUCCESSES


 

Gov. Bill Ritter, the Colorado BioScience Association and Colorado Office of Economic Development today released the Colorado Bioscience Roadmap 2008 report, which shows impressive gains for Colorado’s bioscience sector and provides an updated growth plan for the future.

 

The report found that Colorado now ranks 11th in the United States for bioscience venture capital investments, with $1.3 billion invested from 2002 through the second quarter of 2008, and that bioscience employment has increased 5.5 percent since 2003.

 

“More than 18,000 Coloradans are now involved in this field,” Gov. Ritter said. “We want to continue this industry growth trend and build upon our successes. Using the updated action plan will allow us to be more targeted and strategic in our planning, as well as to better compete at a national and international level.”

 

The Battelle Technology Partnership Practice worked with key industry leaders in Colorado and conducted research throughout the state to prepare the report. Through this research, the Colorado Bioscience Roadmap showcases the strengths and of the industry and the challenges it faces, providing the industry a five-year plan to grow the bioscience hub in the state.  

 

“The new report shows that Colorado is on the right path to becoming a top-ten bioscience hub and pinpoints strategic areas to focus over the next five years to position the bioscience sector as a key driver of Colorado’s economy,” Colorado Bioscience Association (CBSA) Executive Director John Collar.

002 and 2007

In addition to the CBSA and the Economic Development Office, the Colorado Bioscience Roadmap 2008 was made possible by: Allos Therapeutics, Colorado State University, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, Forest City Enterprises, Holland and Hart, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Metro Denver WIRED, QLT USA, Roche Colorado and the University of Colorado. An electronic copy of the study can be found athttp://www.cobioscience.com/stateplan08.pdf.


GOV. RITTER TO VISIT WEST SLOPE COMMUNITIES ON MONDAY


Gov. Ritter is scheduled to visit three West Slope communities on Monday – Grand Junction, Montrose and Olathe – focusing on economic issues and continuing his annual State of the State tour.

 

9:30 to 11 a.m.           Grand Junction: Gov. Ritter and Small Business Administration Regional Director Greg Lopez will attend the “Surviving Tough Times” small business finance forum. This is the third of six statewide forums. Location: Doubletree Hotel, 743 Horizon Drive.

 

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.      Grand Junction: Gov. Ritter will tour the new 92,000-square-foot Leitner-Poma of America and Prinoth manufacturing facility and deliver remarks at the grand opening celebration. Location: 2746 Saccomanno Drive.

 

3 to 3:30 p.m.             Olathe: Gov. Ritter will meet with community members and Olathe leaders during a public open house. Topics will include plans for a new school-based health clinic. Location: Olathe Town Hall, 419 Horton Ave.

 

4 to 4:45 p.m.             Montrose: Gov. Ritter will congratulate Delta-Montrose Electric Association and other community members for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Location: Montrose Elks Civic Building, 107 S. Cascade Ave. 

 

GOV. RITTER’S FRIDAY & SATURDAY SCHEDULE


 

9 a.m.              Gov. Ritter will deliver remarks at the Colorado Association of School Executives annual winter leadership conference. Location: Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, 
7800 E. Tufts Ave.

 

11:15 a.m.       Gov. Ritter and the Colorado Bioscience Association will hold a news conference during Bioscience Day at the Capitol to unveil a new report, “Colorado Bioscience Roadmap 2008.” The report highlights Colorado‘s achievements, growth and national rankings in the important bioscience sector. Location: West Foyer, State Capitol.

 

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009

 

1 p.m.              Gov. Ritter will attend the grand opening of a “near-zero” energy use home. The home, built by Harvard Communities, uses 75 percent less energy than a traditional house. Location: 
9126 E. 35th Ave., Denver

 (Stapleton neighborhood).