Special Session Bill Advancements
The Colorado State Senate convened in the capitol building Saturday during their special session and advanced the Democratic property tax reduction plan.
The one-year plan calls for the same property tax reduction percentage as Proposition HH and excludes $50,000 of a home’s value from taxation during this tax year. Unlike Proposition HH, the new bill does not include the money from the Taxpayer Bill of Rights – commonly known as TABOR. Rather, it uses the state’s general fund to make up for tax revenue loss.
Amendments were made to the bill, including an increase in the amount of home value excluded from taxation – from $50,000 to $55,000. Edits also widened the criteria that determines which local entities could receive funding from the state to make up for their loss in tax revenue.
After the amendments, the Senate cleared the bill and it’s headed to the House for approval.
According to The Denver Post, today is expected to be the last day of the special session.
Climate Change Report
The White House released a climate change report Tuesday, that outlines a warming earth’s effect on Colorado. According to the Fifth National Climate Assessment, the Southwest portion of the country, which includes Colorado, has experienced 31 climate-related disasters since 2018. That number is expected to increase exponentially.
The report says the future of Colorado will include less water, weakened agricultural production and an increase in wildfires.
Less snow is also on the forecast for Colorado. According to the report, snowpack is decreasing in high and low altitudes, resulting in less runoff in rivers. Colorado’s water supply is highly dependent on those rivers, creating a threat for the state’s overall water supply in coming years.
The report says the country as a whole must act against greenhouse gas emissions quickly and efficiently to reduce the predicted damage.
AG Weiser Investigates Parental Evaluator
The Colorado State General Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into a former parental evaluator for falsifying her credentials and soliciting bribes.
Shannon McShane claimed to have obtained a PhD from the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K. According to the Denver Gazette, a parent under her evaluation discovered the falsified degree and reported her to state administrators. McShane retaliated against the parent, writing in her custody report that the parent was comparable to a murderer and unfit for custody of their child.
McShane is also being accused of accepting large payments from parents. Parents claim she would adjust her custody reports according to the amounts paid, with higher amounts leading to a more positive outcome.
Previous to practicing as a parental evaluator, McShane was revoked of her real estate license in Texas, during her time employed as a property manager. According to the Denver Gazette, McShane would pocket the money from renters, rather than ensure their rent was paid.
While being investigated, McShane resigned from her position as parental evaluator in Colorado and moved back to Texas.
Foster Care Costs Colorado Taxpayers Thousands
A recent study by the Common Sense Institute in Colorado finds that individuals who have aged out of Colorado’s foster care system, cost the state close to $350,000 a year. From a 200 person study, researchers found that children who have grown up in Colorado’s youth foster care system experience elevated rates of homelessness, incarceration and poverty, resulting in long-term financial burdens for the state.
Only about 30% of children in Colorado’s foster care system graduate high school and around 25% of former foster youths, aged 21 in 2021, were incarcerated in the prior two years. Seven out of ten girls in the Colorado foster care system become pregnant by the age of 21.
Illness Spreads In Colorado Dogs
A contagious illness is spreading across Colorado’s dog population. Veterinarians are unsure of what the illness is or how it originated but urge pet owners to visit the vet if their dog shows symptoms.
Symptoms of the respiratory disease include coughing, sneezing and lethargy. Serious cases can lead to pneumonia.
In some cases, antibiotics are not combatting the illness in some cases and causing dogs to die, according to Axios Denver.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory is investigating the illness.
Thanksgiving Travel Tips
Thanksgiving is around the corner and for those traveling, the Denver International Airport predicts a 13% increase in travel from last year’s Thanksgiving week.
From today until Nov. 27, DIA is expecting more than 785,000 travelers, with the busiest days being Wednesday and Sunday.
DIA recommends that travelers arrive at the airport at least two hours before their boarding time. Time slots for the TSA Security Checkpoint are available for reservation through Den Reserve, a free service.