Powder day at A-Basin as Ritter signs beetle-kill, ski license plate bills

Gov. Bill Ritter is hitting the slopes at Arapahoe Basin today to sign some ski-related bills — not to indulge in the two inches of new snow that fell overnight at the state’s remaining ski area still open for business.

If Ritter gets the same kind of reception he got Tuesday during a bill-signing ceremony at the Capitol, he’ll likely get a snowball in his ear at A-Basin, which closes for the season Sunday.

Grocery workers angered by Ritter’s veto of House Bill 1170, which would have provided unemployment benefits in the event of a management lockout, heckled Ritter during the signing ceremony for several economic-hardship bills on Tuesday.

Chances are he’ll get a much friendlier reception in the high country, though, where he’ll sign Senate Bill 161 to create a new Colorado ski-themed license plate to rival neighboring Utah’s and HB 1199 focusing on forest health in the wake of the mountain pine bark beetle threatening ski areas around the state.

HB 1199, championed by state Rep. Christine Scanlan, D-Dillon, provides economic incentives for companies dealing with the epidemic, funds for mitigating wildfire danger and planning resources for local emergency responders.

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