CU Boulder appoints new head of public safety, and Colorado legislators seek to strengthen the state’s anti-fraud powers

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    CU Boulder appoints new head of public safety, and Colorado legislators seek to strengthen the state’s anti-fraud powers Luke Ryan

CU Boulder appoints new lead of Division of Public Safety

After a months-long national search, the University of Colorado Boulder has a new associate vice chancellor for public safety.

Marlon Lynch served as the vice president and chief safety officer at Michigan State since 2021. In his new role at CU Boulder, Lynch will oversee the university’s police department, event and emergency management, flight operations, and the new office of threat assessment, along with all administrative aspects of the public safety division.

Lynch will replace Dan Jones, the outgoing associate vice chancellor of integrity, safety, and compliance, who is set to retire. Jones will aid in the transition process until the end of February. 

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Front Range drivers whose cars can’t pass emissions could get $850 for repairs under new bill

Front Range residents whose cars can’t pass Colorado’s emissions inspections could receive financial help for repairs under a new bill.

SB24-095 would provide $850 vouchers, redeemable at verified mechanics, for drivers who qualify for an economic hardship waiver. That’s based on the driver’s income, and the age of their vehicle.

The vouchers would be for folks living in the nine-county Front Range region currently in violation of the federal air quality standards. The program would only exist until Colorado meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The vouchers are just one provision in a multi-pronged bill sponsored by Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer from Weld County aimed at reducing the state’s ozone pollution. The program would be funded by fees that are collected through the state’s highway user tax fund.

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Colorado legislators seek to strengthen the state’s anti-fraud powers following Medicaid drivers’ incident

Colorado lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hope to fast-track an anti-fraud bill in the wake of a Medicaid drivers’ scheme. 

Late last summer, state officials got word that Medicaid drivers were exploiting vulnerable patients for profit. According to The Denver Post, drivers were allegedly packing their cars with patients for previously unscheduled appointments, taking them on round trips of 200 miles or more between southern Colorado and metro Denver. They would then bill Medicaid for every mile they drove, and could have made thousands of dollars each trip, on a per-patient and per-mile basis.

The state has put payments on hold for drivers while they review thousands of claims for reimbursement. This has caused a significant backlog, leaving those with legitimate claims unpaid for several months.

Legislative leaders are fast-tracking bill HB24-1146 at the request of Medicaid providers. The measure would give state officials the authority to stop paying a driver transporting Medicaid patients without fully removing them from the program, while fraud allegations are investigated.

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Colorado bill aims to warn kids about overusing social media

A new Colorado bill aims to warn kids about the risks of spending too much time on social media.

Judy Amabile and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are sponsoring House Bill 24-1136. It calls for the Department of Education to make a resource bank of materials, for parents in particular, about the potential negative effects of social media. It will also require social media companies to issue pop-ups notifying young users when they’ve spent more than an hour on social media over a 24-hour period, and ping them if they’re on platforms between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The pop-up notifications will include links to health-related resources and tips on how to limit screen time. There’s no organized opposition to the bill so far.

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