Headlines — March 17, 2023

March 17, 2023

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    Headlines — March 17, 2023 Stacie Johnson

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Bill Banning Horse Slaughter For Human Consumption Fails In State Senate

The Colorado Senate has rejected a bill that would have banned the sale of horses for slaughter and human consumption. The proposed legislation failed in a 20 to 14 vote yesterday. Boulder Democrat Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis sponsored the legislation. She told the Colorado Sun she wanted to crack down on “kill buyers” who purchase horses at auction and then take them to Mexico and Canada, where equine slaughter is allowed. 

Animal welfare groups and the American Journal of Veterinary Research say the United States is sending an estimated 20,000 horses per year to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, after which the meat is exported for consumption. 

The original version of the bill made it a crime to slaughter horses and burros for human consumption, according to the Colorado Sun. But the Senate Agriculture Committee amended it, adding tighter restrictions on transporting 20 or more horses for slaughter. Opponents of the measure said it was unnecessary, because of the existing federal laws governing livestock transport.

Kwame Spearman Drops Out Of Denver Mayoral Race

There is one less candidate vying to become Denver’s next mayor. Kwame Spearman announced yesterday that he is withdrawing from the race. Spearman, who is the CEO of Tattered Cover, said that breaking through the crowded field of 16 was too great of a challenge. He is endorsing candidate Kelly Brough, a former CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Denver Post, Spearman was among six mayoral candidates who did not receive an invitation earlier this week to take part in a debate hosted by 9News. The Post said Spearman wasn’t invited after failing to get a minimum 2%, in a survey of Denver voters. That poll showed 58% percent of Denver voters were undecided, but also had Brough, Lisa Calderón, and Mike Johnston in a 3-way tie for first place.

The last day to vote in Denver’s Municipal Election is April 4th. 

Governor Directs Regulators To Set New Air Quality Rules For Oil & Gas

Governor Jared Polis has made a move he says will improve air quality in the years ahead. The Governor’s actions yesterday came in an order to Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He wants them to set new rules by the end of next year that would cut nitrogen oxide from petroleum development in half by the end of this decade. His action also orders the Commission to step up efforts to enforce laws that consider the impact of petroleum regulations on health and the environment.

In a tweet, Governor Polis said that his order will “contribute to Colorado’s efforts to achieve reduced, and safer, levels of Ozone pollution.” Meanwhile, state lawmakers may introduce a bill with stronger restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Colorado. They say the regulators have not carried out provisions from a 2019 law that would link new drilling permits to its impact on human health. But the Colorado Sun reports that leaders in the oil and gas industry say they have already helped make historic cuts to emissions.

Colorado Senate Pass Right To Repair Farm Equipment Bill 

Colorado lawmakers in the Senate passed House Bill 1101 Thursday which aims to require agricultural manufacturers to sell tools, parts, and digital access to their sold equipment so farmers and independent repair shops can diagnose and fix the equipment on their own. Currently, some manufacturers prohibit access to advanced computer software to the equipment. The Senate voted 25 to 8 in support of the bill, with all Democrats voting yes while Republicans split their vote. 

Critics of the bill say they are worried the legislation will hurt manufacturers and dealerships who rely on revenue from repairs, whereas farmers say the bill will help them avoid paying expensive repairs and having to wait weeks to get repairs done. 

The Colorado House passed the bill last month by a vote of 44 to 17, but the bill will go back to the House for changes made by the Senate.

Boulder County Planning Commission Approves Termination Of Kanemoto Estates Conservation Easement 

The Boulder County Planning Commission unanimously approved Wednesday to terminate the Kanemoto Estates Conservation Easement on land southwest of Longmont that a developer is aiming to turn into a dense residential neighborhood. The subject 40-acre parcel is just outside of Longmont’s municipal boundaries and is about half a mile north of the intersection of Colo. 119 and Airport Road. 

The owner of the land and its conservation easement is Lefthand Ranch, LLC which is proposing to annex the land into Longmont as a mixed residential community known as Somerset Village. The developer is currently planning to build roughly 300 to 400 units aiming to serve residents in the 50-120% area median income level.

Prior to Longmont considering annexation of the parcel and the developer building any homes, the county must end the parcel’s conservation easement which carries the Kanemoto name of the family that sold the parcel in 2020. Although most county conservation easements require an area to be open space in perpetuity, the Kanemoto easement allows for termination if the county later decides that the property is suitable for development under the county’s comprehensive plan. 

The Longmont Leader reports that roughly a dozen community members spoke against terminating the easement including coalition members from Keep Airport Road Environmental and Safe. Although the commissioners recognized the opposition, commission members said that lifting the conservation easement would align with Boulder County’s long-term planning goals by focusing growth in cities and that it would be best for Longmont to decide on the specifics of the development. 

The issue of ending the conservation easement next goes to the Boulder County Commission for their vote along with negotiations as to the amount of money the developer will pay the county in exchange for the easement’s termination. 

Elected Officials To Discuss Marshall Fire Response And Recovery Efforts

Several elected officials will be taking part in a Marshall Fire Round Table Discussion today beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the Superior Community Center. CBS News Colorado Political Correspondent Shaun Boyd will be moderating the event which will include attendance by Gov. Jared Polis, U.S. Representative Joe Neguse, Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway, Boulder County Commissioner Ashley Stolzmann, Boulder County Treasurer Paul Weissmann, State Senator Lisa Cutter, and State Representatives Judy Amabile and Kyle Brown.

According to an event flier, the elected officials will have an unvarnished conversation about existing conditions, what went right and what went wrong, and what is ahead for the Marshall Fire communities. 

Colorado Privacy Act Rules To Go Into Effect July 1st 

The Colorado Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday that the office has completed rule-making under the Colorado Privacy Act, a new law that grants Coloradans rights over their own personal data. The rules will go into effect on July 1st.

The law will allow Coloradans to have access to data that entities collect about them and also instruct entities to delete or correct the data. Coloradans will also be able to opt out of the sale of their personal data and what is used for advertising and profiling. According to the Attorney General’s Office, Colorado is the third state to enact a general privacy law and the second state to produce related rules. 

State Health Department Conducting Vaccine Event During The Denver March Powwow 

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment will be operating a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Denver March Powwow starting today and through the weekend at the Denver Coliseum. The clinic’s hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Organizers of the clinic say COVID is still impacting Native communities and are encouraging attendees to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their community.

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    Headlines — March 17, 2023 Stacie Johnson

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