Headlines – June 5, 2023

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    Headlines – June 5, 2023 benita

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Anti-Opioid Addiction Drugmaker To Pay $102.5M Settlement

Colorado will receive millions of dollars more from another drug company, the result of a class action lawsuit filed by 42 states. The latest disbursement amounts to about $2.5 million in settlement money from Individior Inc. According to Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Individior allegedly took advantage of the nationwide opioid crisis by maintaining a monopoly over its product Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction. 

In 2016, the states filed a complaint against Individior, alleging that the company switched from a tablet to a film form of Suboxone to keep generic competitors from entering the market. The company had made this switch in 2010, claiming concerns over the tablet’s safety.

The agreement will go before a federal court in Pennsylvania for approval.

Judge Grants Postponement To Defense For Elijah McClain Trial 

The start of the first criminal trial resulting from the death of Elijah McClain has been pushed back.

Colorado 17th District Court Judge Mark Warner agreed Thursday to postpone the trial of two former Aurora police officers in the 2019 death of McClain, a young Black man who died after police forcibly arrested him and put him in a neck hold, and paramedics injected him with a powerful sedative. He died a few days later.

The defense attorneys for officers Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt asked to reschedule the July 10 trial date to allow them more time to prepare. According to the Sentinel, the attorneys said they could not line up appropriate witnesses for a proper defense because prosecutors had not pinpointed whether the officers were directly responsible for the death or complicit with others’ actions.

In 2019, McClain was walking down a street in Aurora when he was stopped by police after a 911 caller had described the 23-year-old as “sketchy.” McClain was unarmed and had not been accused of a crime. The interaction with police escalated and he was forcibly restrained.

In 2022, the coroner’s office amended its original, inconclusive autopsy report after receiving grand jury materials. It stated that McClain died from injection of the sedative ketamine.

Judge Warner has not set a new court date, but asked prosecutors to provide more information about some of the charges against the officers. Separate trials are scheduled later this year for the paramedics and for a third police officer involved in the case.

All Colorado DMV Offices Now Offer Standard Licenses To Undocumented Residents

As of June 1, all driver license offices in Colorado are able to offer a state license or ID to qualifying residents who lack federal immigration authorization.

The milestone coincided with the 10-year anniversary of the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act. On June 5, 2013, the bill was signed into by then-Governor John Hickenlooper.

DMV offices in Canon City, Delta, Lakewood, Meeker, Salida and Steamboat Springs are the latest to join program, which issues what are now called “standard” driver licenses and ID cards.

Immigrant rights organizations celebrated the landmark legislation alongside Governor Jared Polis last week.

According to the I Drive Coalition, over 200,000 Coloradans have been able to obtain their driver license or permit through the program. Polis said the bipartisan law has helped undocumented residents to also obtain automobile insurance, making roads safer and keeping insurance premiums lower for all Coloradans.

Colorado Labs To Receive Over $91M In Funding

Colorado Representative Joe Neguse announced Friday that the University For Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder will receive over $91 million in government funding to create a state-of-the-art climate radar system.

The Airborne Phased Array Radar (APAR) will take 3D images and capture climate data to help predict extreme weather events, and better prepare communities for their arrival.

UCAR’s main partner for the radar project is Ball Aerospace. 

Phase-Out Fracking Action Day Planned For June 10 

Thousands of Coloradans are expected to join anti-fracking events on Saturday as part of a nationwide plea to phase out fossil fuels sooner.

Environmental groups and community organizations are organizing the “Phase Out Fracking 2030” Day of Action. Ten locations across the state will host events to urge federal and state officials to curb new oil and gas fracking permits. Activists say fracking is the main source of pollution contributing to climate crisis and air quality issues in the state.

Local groups are also calling on the Biden Administration to revoke decisions for the Willow Oil pipeline project in Alaska and to declare a climate emergency to unlock measures that allow further development of clean renewable energy sources.

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