Headlines — March 14, 2023

March 14, 2023

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    Headlines — March 14, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo

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Pat Schroeder Dies

Former Representative Pat Schroeder, the pioneering advocate for women’s rights and family rights, died in Florida last night at the age of 82. Schroeder served Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years, and is being remembered as a trailblazing leader.

Pat Schroeder was first elected to Congress in 1972 and over the next nearly two and a half decades became an influential member. In one major achievement she championed the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which protected the jobs of those taking time off to care for a newborn, a sick child, or a parent. In a 1992 interview with KGNU, a year before the act passed, Representative Schroeder explained why it was so important:

“All the work and family issues impact on women the most, because women are the caregivers in most families, and we have a workplace that just doesn’t recognize caregiver roles at all. In fact, you’re penalized, if you have to be a caregiver.”

She earned a degree from Harvard Law School, and after leaving congress became a law professor at Princeton University.

Governor Jared Polis said Pat Schroeder broke barriers with her leadership.

A former press secretary said she recently suffered a stroke, and died in a hospital in Celebration, Florida.

Gun Safety Measures Advance

Gun safety advocates in Colorado are hailing the approval of three bills by the State Senate.

The lawmakers passed Senate Bills 23-168, 169, and 170 yesterday.

168, if it becomes law, would help to hold the gun industry accountable, in cases where their actions contribute to gun violence.

Senate Bill 169 would raise the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21.

Senate Bill 170 would strengthen Colorado’s extreme risk protection law, which in its current form allows family members or law enforcement to get a court order preventing someone from having a gun if it posed a risk to themselves or others.

The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action issued a statement applauding lawmakers for advancing these three measures.

They also applauded the approval of a State House bill that would establish a three-day waiting period to buy a firearm in Colorado.

The bill is now headed to the State Senate, after passing the House on Saturday by a 44-20 vote. The bill passed in spite of a more than sixteen-hour Republican-led filibuster.

That filibuster also failed to stop a bill that would allow local governments to establish overdose prevention centers. Republicans have vowed to continue their opposition to both House measures, especially the firearms purchase waiting period bill, which they say violates Second Amendment rights.

Colorado Opioid Abatement Council Grants

Two grants totaling more than $1.9 million are meant to help Colorado address the ongoing opioid crisis. 

The Colorado Opioid Abatement Council, or COAC, approved the funding yesterday for six organizations to combat Colorado’s opioid crisis.

According to Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who is also the Chair of COAC, said in a press release,  the money will go toward  prevention, harm reduction, criminal justice, and treatment with a focus on underserved communities.

The council approved programs in Arapahoe County Public Health, Boys and Girls Club of Chaffee County in Buena Vista, Valley Hope Association in Douglas County and the Thornton Police Department.  

COAC plans to award another $3.2 million in grants for infrastructure in a second funding cycle later this year. Any state agency, regional opioid abatement council, or participating local governments can apply. 

Racial discrimination lawsuit

The family of a Boulder County nine-year-old are suing BVSD for alleged racial discrimination. They say a black, female classmate physically assaulted their white son two times after the boy made “racist” comments.

The girl’s mother, who is also black and an employee at the school, shielded her daughter from punishment, alleges the lawsuit. According to the Daily Camera, the boy has not been in school since late January.

The family is asking the court to prohibit the district from engaging in “discriminatory discipline policies, practices and procedures” and from disregarding its policies. 

Two Colorado Workforce Bills

The State House also passed two bills that would support Colorado workers.

House Bills 1094 and 1074 were both approved by wide margins yesterday.

1094 would modify the state’s Agricultural Workforce Development Program by doubling the length of paid internships from six months, to up to one year.

House Bill 1074 would create a workforce study aimed at industries in transition because of automation, and help Coloradans prepare for high-demand careers of the future.

Sober Seating Bill 

A bill that would set a national precedent by establishing substance-free seating at large events in Colorado is expected to go before state lawmakers this week.

If approved and signed into law, sporting events and concert venues that seat more than seven thousand people would have to designate four percent of their seating capacity to substance-free seating. In those areas, tobacco, alcohol and other substances would not be allowed.

If it becomes law, it would be the first of its kind in the United States.

Improved Snowpack

All that heavy snowfall in the mountains this winter is giving Colorado its best snowpack in years.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service says that as of yesterday, the snowpack is at 105% of its median peak level. Barring unusually heavy melting in the next few weeks, the state will enjoy its first above-average snowpack since the winter of 2018-2019.

The news wasn’t all good, the Arkansas River basin is below its season-to-date level. But the snowpack has greatly reduced drought conditions in the high country.

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    Headlines — March 14, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo

Alyssa Palazzo

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