Many Lafayette residents spoke at a City Council meeting Tuesday to express their support of a proposed Climate Bill of Rights and Protections.
The measure would make a right to a healthy climate part of city statute. This means that residents’ rights would be protected if they participated in civil disobedience in defense of the environment.
Residents passed a bill of rights ballot initiative in 2013 banning fracking, but The Colorado Oil and Gas Association challenged it in court, won, and the bill of rights was overturned.
Both residents and City Council members expect that if the measure passes it will once again be challenged in court.
If the town passes the Climate Bill of Rights, it will be one of only three communities in the country to have an ordinance of that nature. The City Council will take their first vote on the measure in early March.
On Wednesday the Colorado State Board of Education directed the education department to begin drafting new regulations that would require teachers to get additional training to help more effectively teach to students learning English as a second language.
This comes after an eight year investigation into whether Colorado is doing enough to insure that students learning English as a second language have teachers that are able to communicate with them effectively. The federal government has raised concerns that the Colorado Department of Education is not complying with regulations requiring that school districts have teachers adequately trained in teaching English learners.
Teachers already in the classroom will be required to take 90 hours of training over 5 years, as part of the teaching license renewal process.
In a 5-4 vote on Tuesday, the Boulder City Council approved a temporary ban on building permits for banks along 10 blocks of The Pearl Street Mall. The ban will run for 120 days and keep banks from obtaining ground-floor level space between 9th and 18th street. There are currently 5 banks in that stretch.
The rationale behind the ban is to keep Pearl Street Mall pedestrian friendly with businesses that stay open into the evening.
In the coming months the ban could grow to include more types of businesses, in addition to adding incentives for smaller local businesses to set up shop in the area.
The council did not consult with the business community, or other committees that might normally weigh in. In addition, there was no public comment on the ordinance before it was passed.
On Tuesday, officials said that the plan will be reviewed by the Planning Board, and the public will have the opportunity to comment before the ordinances’ second reading. That reading is yet to be scheduled.