Headlines – April 17, 2023 benita
Colorado House Passes Bill To Increase Mental Health Resources
The Colorado House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that would evaluate a system to connect Coloradans with behavioral healthcare that leads to long-term recovery.
Democratic Rep. Judy Amabile of Boulder, who co-sponsored House Bill 1153, said the legislation was designed to prevent Coloradans with serious mental illnesses from cycling in and out of jails, hospitals and homelessness.
The bill would support a study of statewide data to better understand the barriers that prevent people with mental illnesses from accessing resources.
Polis Signs Colorado Abortion Rights Bills
After Gov. Jared Polis signed three bills protecting abortion access and gender-affirming care Friday, a Trump-appointed federal judge halted the Colorado law banning abortion reversal treatment this weekend.
The trio of bills include:
- Senate Bill 188, which will protect those who travel to Colorado for abortion or gender-affirming care from lawsuits and criminal prosecution in other states.
- Senate Bill 189, which will require large-employer health insurance plans to pay for abortions beginning in 2025.
- Senate Bill 190, which will prohibit anti-abortion centers — known as crisis pregnancy centers — from falsely advertising abortion services or emergency contraceptives.
This weekend, however, federal judge Daniel D. Domenico exempted a Catholic anti-abortion clinic from the Bill 190 that prevents these centers from providing abortion-reversal drugs.
According to The Colorado Sun, Bella Health and Wellness, a Catholic anti-abortion clinic, filed a lawsuit Friday arguing that “the legislation violated their constitutional free speech and equal protection rights.”
Although the restraining order only covers the three Bella Health and Wellness clinics in Colorado, a hearing set for April 24, will push for the order to be expanded to all crisis pregnancy centers.
Suspected Attacker Of Rockies’ Mascot Arrested
Denver police arrested a man suspected of tackling Colorado Rockies’ purple dinosaur mascot “Dinger.” According to The Denver Gazette, police contacted the suspect by phone Friday. 45-year-old Kenneth Sonley chose to turn himself in and was charged with assault and disturbing the peace.
The attack occurred Monday at Coors Field when the Rockies were playing the St. Louis Cardinals. Sonley allegedly left the stands, then knocked down the mascot, injuring the person who portrays Dinger.
House Passes Student Apprenticeship Bill
Colorado House representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill Saturday to connect graduating students with apprenticeships in high-demand trade industries.
Trade and construction companies are still trying to fill vacancies left by the pandemic. Under House Bill 1212, state education and employment agencies will connect schools with trade industries to develop apprenticeships. The bill also calls for the creation of an online job board for students and the development of academic standards to support students in the program.
Lawmakers say the apprenticeship program will save graduating students from spending money on further education and help jumpstart their careers in high-salary jobs.
Psychedelic Mushroom Guidelines Board Convenes
The 15 members of the Natural Medicine Advisory Board met for the first time Thursday to brainstorm recommendations for licensing access to psychedelic mushrooms. Panel members will work with Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies to launch the Natural Medicine Health Act.
Colorado voters passed Proposition 122 last November, which allows for licensed “healing centers” to offer access to the psychoactive compounds found in so-called magic mushrooms. The proposition also legalized personal use of psilocybin and psilocyn.
The board has four months to create their initial recommendations to state regulators.
Fast-Melting Snowpack Causing Flooding In Some Areas
While many Coloradans are welcoming warmer temperatures, others are struggling with quickly melting snowpacks.
In Hayden, Colorado, last Thursday, the banks of Dry Creek overflowed, closing a school, parks and multiple roads. Likewise, flooding in Dolores last week destroyed the floor of the town’s high school gym, according to Colorado Public Radio. Both towns supplied sandbags to residents to help stave off floodwaters.
This year’s above-average snowpack was at a bountiful 140 percent, but Colorado water officials are waiting to see if sunny, dry, and windy conditions continue to bring flooding in the coming weeks.