The Home Front: Colorado lawmaker on GOP abortion bills: ‘Thank God we have a Democratic majority in the House’

“Colorado House Democrats have bristled at the introduction of a group of bills targeting abortion, with Fort Collins Rep. Joann Ginal among those leading the charge against the proposals,” The Coloradoan in Fort Collins reports. “Ginal chairs the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, which is the first stop for many of the bills. Her committee, with its Democratic control, will stand against the four Republican proposals.” The paper quoted her saying, “Thank God we have a Democratic majority in the House,” to a group gathered Friday at a local watering hole in Fort Collins. Read what the GOP abortion bills would do here.

“President Donald J. Trump’s executive order to go slow on requirements in the Affordable Care Act won support from U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Trump signed the executive order on Friday and he followed it up on Monday with executive orders for a federal hiring freeze, withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and reinstating a ban on paying for or supporting abortions in other nations. Tipton was pleased to see the Trump administration ‘take immediate action to support Congress’ efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare,’ his Washington, D.C. office said. Tipton on Monday heard from a woman in rural Colorado who told him her family of three is to pay a monthly premium of more than $1,500 on a deductible of $13,100 for insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year, his office said.” The paper also checked in with Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet whose Washington, D.C. office said changes to national healthcare reform “must not roll back the progress we have made in making health care services more accessible.”

A Trump effect in Colorado? The Boulder Daily Camera reports a 7.6 percent drop in international applicants at the University of Colorado. “Though the overall number of freshman applications increased this year, the University of Colorado saw a drop in the number of international students applying to study on the Boulder campus,” the paper reports. “Overall, the number of freshman applications to CU for the summer and fall semesters increased 5 percent this year. CU saw a 7 percent jump in the number of Colorado applicants — a school record — and a 6.5 percent increase in non-resident domestic applicants.” Because “deciding where to apply for college is a complex decision, CU admissions officials couldn’t say for sure what reasons may behind the decrease,” the paper continued. “But some signs point to the election of President Donald Trump as something international students are considering when making decisions about where to attend college.”

The Longmont Times-Call reports on its homepage today that the City Council will “decide whether to allow an oil and gas company to conduct a seismic survey of city-owned land in Weld County.” The paper reported that In December, “city staff informed the council that TOP Operating — long the only oil and gas company operating in Longmont — had partnered with Cub Creek Energy LLC, which had been operating near Mead. Dale Rademacher, Longmont general manager of public works and natural resources, said then that Cub Creek wished to work with the city to do a seismic survey on parts of the Wattenberg Gas Field east of Longmont. The seismic survey would give both Cub Creek and the city a picture of oil and gas underneath city-owned lands in Weld County. Doing so would allow Cub Creek and TOP to abide by the city’s master contract that was negotiated to forestal future disagreements about where oil and gas developers could drill or hydraulically fracture in Longmont.”

“Officials at a Greeley charter school took it upon themselves to investigate a sex-related complaint involving an eighth-grade girl and a male teacher, firing the teacher but failing to contact law enforcement in apparent violation of Colorado mandatory reporting requirements, a Greeley Tribune investigation has uncovered, the paper reports today. “The Tribune first learned about the allegations from parents at the school and later confirmed them with law enforcement and school officials. Instead of reporting to police the unlawful sexual contact complaint Salida del Sol Academy officials received this past spring, Executive Director Joe Melendez and school security guard Anthony Antuna — both retired police officers — investigated the incident. The school fired the teacher, but officials maintain they had no obligation to report the accusations that led to the teacher’s dismissal. The Tribune is not naming the teacher because he hasn’t been arrested or charged with any crime.”

The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports how local developers who were “planning to build a controversial 14-unit condominium project on Burgess Creek Road near the base of Steamboat Ski Area have scaled down their plans. The new plans call for a five-unit development that isn’t as tall or dense as the previous proposal that the city approved in July. Drawings submitted to the city show more contemporary multi-level units overlooking Ski Time Square and the ski slopes.”

“A Penrose woman was charged with 64 counts of cruelty to animals after authorities seized 63 horses from her property Friday,” The Cañon City Daily Record reports. “According to a news release from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Penny Gingerich, 42, was the owner of the horses and has been summoned to court after the seizure.”

Vail Daily reports “the county’s self-funded housing authority might spend $3 million to help jumpstart affordable housing efforts.” Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry said, “The question becomes, ‘Whose role is this? Who should be doing it?’” the paper reports. “After a proposed housing tax went down in flames this past November, Eagle County’s Housing and Development is proposing a series of steps, presented to the county commissioners by Jill Klosterman, Eagle County’s housing director.”

“The Denver Police Department’s proposed use-of-force policy reflects a national change in philosophy in how officers confront suspects, experts said, but some areas are too vague and need more specific language to uphold accountability and prevent confusion among officers,” reports The Denver Post. “In anticipation of a series of public meetings — including the first one Tuesday — about the proposed changes to the policy, The Denver Post sought reviews from criminal justice experts and compared the policy to a set of recommendations endorsed this month by 11 national policing organizations.”

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports on an annual program to count the homeless in El Paso County. “Called the Point in Time homeless survey, the effort marked the single greatest effort at capturing an accurate snapshot of the homeless community. It revolved around one question: Where did respondents sleep Sunday night into Monday morning?”