Headlines – April 26, 2023

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    Headlines – April 26, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo

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Farmer ‘Rights to Repair’ Bill

Colorado became the first state in the nation yesterday to guarantee farmers access to resources necessary to repair their agricultural equipment on their own. 

The farmer’s right to repair bill requires manufacturers of farm equipment to sell tools, digital access, and parts to independent farmers and repair shops so they can assess and repair problems with their equipment.

The idea stemmed from farmers statewide who had to pay thousands of dollars and wait weeks for manufacturers to repair equipment they felt they could have done independently. 

Colorado is the first of 11 states that introduced the legislation this year to get its proposal signed into law. 

The new law will take effect on Jan. 1.

Expulsion Hearing Bill

Legislation that aims to provide further protections for students facing expulsion advanced in the state house Thursday. 

House Bill 1291 would make it so hearing officers responsible for expelling students who have broken state laws or school rules would have to undergo more training. 

State Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez told the Broomfield Leader the bill is “trying to fundamentally change the way kids and families are treated in [the expulsion] process.”

The bill would ensure officers wholly account for the student’s circumstances, including any previous traumatic experiences, learning disabilities, or otherwise. 

The bill will become a law if it moves through the state Senate and the entire house within the next two weeks.

Rent Control Bill Killed In Committee

A bill that would have allowed local jurisdictions to craft policies to cap rents died in a Senate committee yesterday. House Bill 1115 aimed to reverse a 1981 rent control ban that prevents local governments from enacting rent stabilization policies in their communities. 

Carmen Medrano, the co-chair for Colorado Homes for All, said in a press release, “This vote means that teachers and service workers will be forced out of the communities where they work, especially in Colorado’s mountain resort areas.”

Colorado is considered a landlord-friendly state due to laws, practices, and policies that favor landlords over protecting the tenets. 

The 4-3 opposing vote killed the bill.

Settlement Reached With Southern Ute Tribe 

The Southern Ute tribe reached a settlement with two companies that operate a natural gas plant in Ignacio in southern Colorado.

Harvest Four Corners and Williams Inc, operate gas pipelines nationwide.

In 2019, the Southern Ute tribe sued both companies, related to their operation of a natural gas processing plant in Ignacio near the Durango airport.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the companies were violating numerous clean air regulations.

The plant was emitting Volatile Organic Compounds, which are potentially-cancer-causing gases.

The plant was also illegally flaring gas. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe settled with the companies last week for over $300,000. 

The settlement is part of a larger, $9 million settlement with three companies that the EPA announced on Thursday.

Light Rail Derailment Possibly Caused By Lack of Sleep

An investigation into the derailment of a W-Line Light Rail train in Golden last month found the operator may have nodded off while conducting. 

On March 11, two passengers on the train were taken to the hospital with minor injuries following the train hitting a bump post at the Jefferson County Government Center station, causing the car to end up off the rails.

This derailment was the third in the Denver Metros transit agency since the start of 2019. 

Tuesday’s regulatory finding regarding the operator’s alertness has prompted the Regional Transportation District to restructure its operator readiness checklist, including a fatigue awareness campaign to evaluate shift start times and durations.

As of last Monday, the operator involved in this crash no longer works for the transit department.

In a statement yesterday, RTD said they anticipate service to the W-Line to resume by the end of the month.

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    Headlines – April 26, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo

Alyssa Palazzo

Alyssa Palazzo

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