Statetap: Salary corral

Colorado State Capitol dome

The Gazette‘s Sunday exclusive digs into records from the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration to parse out who takes home the biggest salary of taxpayer dollars in the state. Their analysis shows that nearly 2,000 employees make $100,000 or more per year. Governor John Hickenlooper didn’t make it into this exclusive group (he was $10,000 short); nor did any member of the Colorado General Assembly (they each clock in at $30,000.) Department heads, judges and physicians comprise the six-figure salary club – some of whom made nearly $50,000 in overtime last year and all of whom get more bonus pay than any other category of state employee.

statetap The Federal Communications Commission recently completed a study on so-called “orphan” counties that cleared the way for the Senate to pass the STELAR Bill (Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization Act) – piece of legislation that would help counties like Colorado’s La Plata and Montezuma access local and state TV broadcasts. As of now, residents there complaint that they can’t watch Denver Broncos games or cable news like the rest of the state can. In this lame duck session before Republicans take control, Senate Democrats say this isn’t a partisan issue, it was just on their to-do list. There’s no word yet from the White House on whether Obama will sign the bill if it lands on his desk. Via the Durango Herald.

Since Colorado legalized the sale of recreational pot two years ago, reliable banking services has been the biggest missing piece for the burgeoning industry. Because the stuff is still classified as a drug at the federal level, national banks are wary of doing business with “illegal” enterprises, leaving large amounts of cash to float dangerously around. Last week, Colorado granted a charter for a credit union to serve the state’s marijuana industry – the first financial institution of its kind – so now the ball is in the court of National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Reserve to make the next move. The Denver Post reports the credit union could open for business as early as January.

In the Aurora movie theater shooting trial that keeps dragging on, James Holmes’s attorneys argued that the second of their defendant’s two psychiatric examinations should be tossed because it’s so similar to the first. But in a 21 page order, Judge Carlos Samour Jr. rejected that argument, saying that “the disparate reactions by the defendant to the two examinations speak volumes about the differences between the two reports.” Though much of the details of the exams regarding Holmes’s sanity have been redacted, Samour wrote that the findings of the second “undercut” those of the first. Now, the psychiatrist who conducted the second exam will be allowed to testify in court. Via the Aurora Sentinel.