Headlines – October 3, 2023

Daily local and regional headlines from across Colorado’s Front Range
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    10_02_23_MM_Headlines Alexis Kenyon

 

Gun Purchase Waiting Period Law Challenged

Colorado’s new law requiring a three-day waiting period for gun purchases is facing a new legal challenge.

The law went into effect on Sunday. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, A gun rights group, re-filed a federal lawsuit alleging the law is unconstitutional.

The new law requires that gun sellers wait for at least three days before the buyer takes possession. It applies to gun shops, and to sales at gun shows.

Opponents of the new law say that it won’t work, because criminals will still be able to get firearms. Supporters say it will help to save lives, especially in preventing suicides.

The new waiting period is one of a package of gun safety measures passed by state lawmakers earlier this year. The sponsor of the waiting period law said he is confident it will not be overturned.

Kaiser Contract Talks

Contract negotiations are continuing between Kaiser Permanente Colorado and the union representing nearly half of its workforce.

The contract between Kaiser and a coalition of unions representing workers nationwide expired on Saturday, but the two sides have agreed to keep bargaining. Last month the unions said they would go on strike from October 4th to October 6th if they don’t reach a new agreement. That would mean about three thousand employees striking Kaiser in Colorado, and about 75,000 nationwide.

Kaiser said it has reached an agreement with the unions on some of the contract issues, but there has been no agreement on wages. Kaiser Permanente Colorado also said that even if there is a strike, they will continue to offer care, although non-urgent appointments may be canceled, according to the Denver Post.

3rd 2023 Denver Jail Death

Authorities are investigating the death of a woman in the Downtown Detention Center in Denver. The woman was found unresponsive in her cell on Saturday night, and efforts to revive her were not successful. Her identity has not been made public. She is the third person to die in jail in Denver this year. The Sheriff’s Department and Denver Police are both investigating.

Overdose Prevention Bill 

 State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow for “overdose prevention centers.” If the new bill becomes law, it will allow the creation of safe injection sites: places where illegal drug users can be medically supervised in efforts to prevent overdoses. These sites will also offer referrals to counseling and other rehabilitation treatments. The new bill is similar to one that failed last spring. Supporters explain the bill will help those who aren’t ready yet to begin treatment for their addiction. These “harm reduction” centers have been used in other countries since 1986, according to the American Psychological Association with zero deaths from overdose. However, opponents argue these centers are bad for the neighborhoods where they are located–and –they enable drug abuse. The Legislative Council Committee will vote on October 30th on whether to advance the bill.

Dispensary Banking Bill

In Washington, lawmakers are considering a proposal to change the way that the marijuana industry can handle money. If it becomes law, the measure would allow dispensaries to take credit cards. Right now, dispensaries in states like Colorado are cash-only. Dispensary owners say if it becomes law, it would allow them to operate like any other legitimate business. The bill, called the SAFER Banking Act, has been approved by the Senate Banking Committee. It still needs the approval of the full Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as President Biden’s signature.

Colorado Dems Plan Virtual 2024 Assembly & Convention

Colorado Democrats say they’ll keep their state convention online next year.  Party representatives say the virtual assembly is more accessible for delegates from rural areas,  those with disabilities, and people coming from across the state. State Democrats haven’t held a traditional, in-person state assembly since 2018. In 2020, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, both major parties held their state assemblies and conventions online. The Democratic Party is following up on concerns raised by disability advocates and younger Democrats, who have long complained that gathering the conventional way was burdensome or excluded too many potential participants. Colorado Young Dems Chairperson Chris Davis brought up the cost of traveling around the state, taking time off from work, and paying for room and board that traditional conventions usually require. Davis said that his group is happy that the party is working to make sure that everyone’s voice can now be heard at the state convention.

State GOP Rejects Proposal To Opt Out Of 2024 Primary Election

Colorado Republicans will be moving ahead with its 2024 primary election. That, after the state’s central committee members, on Saturday, voted down a proposal to opt out of next year’s primary. Had it been approved, it would have kept unaffiliated voters from voting in the primary, which helps to choose Republican nominees.Most committee members approved the proposal, but not enough to meet the 75% majority required by state law.GOP chair Dave Williams said the result of that vote will help a Republican lawsuit that is seeking to overturn the rule that allows unaffiliated voters to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary.

Cell Phone Emergency Test

Virtually every cell phone in the country is expected to receive an emergency notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency tomorrow. The notification is only a test: FEMA says it wants to assess how effective its emergency alert system is. They say the message will be clearly marked as a test, and that recipients won’t need to take any action.The message will be sent in English and Spanish, according to 9News, and will only be sent one time.

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon

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