Monthly Archives: September 2009

PSA on H1N1 Flu Prevention Features Governor Ritter

DENVER- In a public service announcement released today by the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment, Gov. Bill Ritter sends an
important message to the people of Colorado about how they can protect
themselves and their community against influenza.

The public service announcement is being distributed to television and
radio stations statewide and is available at

Ned Calonge, the state’s chief medical officer, said, “We
appreciate the governor lending his voice to our H1N1 prevention
campaign. He appreciates how important it is for people to be prepared
this upcoming fall and winter to avoid the flu,” said. “While it is
difficult to predict how severe the H1N1 flu will be, we know there are
steps people can take to protect themselves and prevent the flu from

In the public service announcement Gov. Ritter reminds Coloradans to
get the recommended vaccinations. He also encourages good hygiene
practices to reduce the spread of flu such as frequent hand washing,
covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home from work or school when

“Have a plan in case your family gets sick,” he says, and, “if
necessary, people may need to ask their employers or teachers if they
can work from home to keep the flu from spreading to others.”

Calonge cautioned Coloradans not to forget about seasonal flu amid all
the discussion around H1N1, “Getting vaccinated is the single best
thing people can do to protect themselves from seasonal flu. Every year
an estimated 36,000 Americans die as a result of seasonal flu.”

Many doctor’s offices, clinics, grocery stores, pharmacies and public
health departments already have received seasonal influenza vaccine so
people should plan to get their flu vaccination. The vaccine for the
2009 H1N1 flu still is being tested in clinical trials and won’t be
available under mid-October or early November.

To locate a local flu clinic or for more information about H1N1 and
seasonal influenza, visit the department’s Web site at or call the Colorado Health Information
Line (CoHELP) at 1-877-462-2911.


Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien today announced an unprecedented $80 million for distribution to cities, counties and schools to offset impacts from energy development, strengthen local economies and improve the livability of Colorado communities.


Some 509 cities, counties and school districts will receive a record $80.4 million from the Local Government Severance Tax Fund and Federal Mineral Lease Fund.  


“These funds come at a critical time and will help local agencies and schools maintain quality services,” Lt. Gov. O’Brien said. “These direct distribution awards will allow local officials to decide how best to invest these funds and make the biggest difference in their communities.”


The Colorado Department of Local Affairs oversees the distribution of funds derived from energy and mineral extraction. Senate Bill 08-218 and House Bill 08-1083 authorized a new method and formula to determine the direct distribution of energy impact dollars. These new factors, coupled with an increase in revenue generated by the industry, resulted in a record-high distribution amount.


“With families, businesses, communities and schools struggling in this tough economy, I am proud that we were able to protect these direct distribution funds even when closing a $1.8 billion budget shortfall over the past few months,” Gov. Ritter said. “These funds will help lead Colorado forward by strengthening our economy, assisting schools, saving and creating jobs and improving the quality of life in our communities.”


Prior to the passage of SB08-218 and HB08-1083, direct distribution was based on the number of employees in the energy impacted communities in which they resided. Under these new laws, other factors are also considered, including: drilling permits, production, employee residence, as well as, for sub-county distribution, population and highway user miles. Last year’s distribution amounted to $24.7 million from the Severance Tax Fund and $8 million from the Federal Mineral Lease Fund.


“I am thrilled to see local communities receive this funding today,” said Sen. Gail Schwartz, co-sponsor of SB08-218.  “These communities have all been impacted by oil and gas activity and have been responsible for generating these funds.  Thanks to Senate Bill 218, a significant, extensive, bipartisan effort, this funding will go a long way in helping communities.”


With the new formula and increased production levels, the Severance Tax Fund provided $44.5 million and the Federal Mineral Lease Fund generated $35.9 million.


“One of the aims of this bi-partisan bill was to support impacted communities when extraction activity was down,” said Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, a former House member and co-sponsor of SB 218. “Clearly, these dollars couldn’t have come at a better time.”


Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs said, “We know the importance this distribution means for communities. These funds help communities address the impacts of development, processing, or energy conversion on their infrastructure and capacity to improve the livability of their communities.”


For a report listing distributions by local government recipients go to:




Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009


10 a.m.            Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs will hold a news conference to announce the unprecedented distribution of $80 million to local communities and schools from the revised Severance Tax and Federal Mineral Lease Direct Distribution Programs. Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert and leaders with the Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Counties Inc. also will take part. Location: West Foyer, State Capitol.


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