The Home Front: Tweaking TABOR, #GorsuchWatch, and a Colorado man set on fire

The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reports how local Meals on Wheels recipients don’t question its value. “Meals on Wheels and its value was put in the spotlight last week when White House budget director Mick Mulvaney gave a preliminary outline of President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget, which included cuts for the Department of Housing and Urban Development of about $6.2 billion. Almost half of that $6.2 billion would come from cutting the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which provides money for a variety of community development and anti-poverty programs, including some for Meals on Wheels. At a news conference Mulvaney brought up Meals on Wheels as one of the programs of questionable effectiveness.”

“Instead of increasing taxes — as another proposal working its way through the Colorado Legislature would do to pay for transportation projects — a solitary Republican tried to persuade his fellow GOP senators Monday to go along with a bill that would accomplish the same task without raising taxes,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Regardless of that suggestion, the GOP-dominated Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee voted along party lines to kill the measure, which was introduced by Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction. Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, who chairs the committee, voted against the measure. The measure, HB1187, would have based the state’s revenue cap on a five-year rolling average of personal income rather than annual inflation and population increases, as has been the case with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights since voters approved it in 1992.”

The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports parking tickets and fines are on the rise. “According to data the city’s police department provided Monday, the city issued about 50 percent, or 404, more parking citations last year than in 2014. The city issued 1,204 parking citations in 2016. The amount of revenue the city collected from the citations nearly doubled, from $26,380 in 2014 to $50,904 in 2016.”

“The Colorado State Patrol has charged the driver of an RTD bus with careless driving resulting in injury following a four-vehicle crash along Arapahoe Road on Monday morning,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Trooper Nate Reid said Richard Castle, 73, was issued a summons to court as the driver of the bus that rear-ended a stopped commercial van, sandwiching it against a semi flatbed and causing the van to burst into flames.”

The Loveland Reporter-Herald reports a “developer received approval Monday to build six new single-family residential units with the potential for as many as 11 more southeast of Loveland. Larimer County commissioners approved plans at a land use hearing for the Mile High Estates conservation development and appeal, despite all three commissioners lamenting the “horrible design” of the proposal, at the northwest corner of County Road 9 and County Road 16 that is also part of the city of Loveland’s growth management area.”

“Staff in the city’s Division of Housing are recommending a series of updates to the Boulder inclusionary housing program aimed at creating more units for middle-income earners and changing the requirements of developers who contribute to the local affordable housing stock,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “During a study session Tuesday night, the City Council will offer direction on the proposals, which will inform the drafting on an ordinance that the council is scheduled to vote on in May. On the table are five different possible policy changes.”

The Cañon City Daily Record reports a local man was reportedly set on fire. A 40-year-old man “was air-lifted yesterday to a hospital in Denver to be treated for his burns, his mother, Karla Johnson, said. Johnson said her son was being taken into surgery on Monday for his first skin grafting. She said about 40 percent of Crowder’s body suffered serious burns. According to a news release from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Crowder was set on fire Sunday morning allegedly” by a man who doused him with gasoline while he was inside a vehicle.

“A climate of institutionalized gender inequity colors the experience of female workers at Colorado State University, according to a study released Monday,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The report details a workplace where women face a pervasive fear of retaliation, sexist insinuations and inconsistent applications of earned benefits such as parental leave.”

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports on the confirmation hearings of Colorado judge and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. “U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democrat from Denver, sure sounded like he wouldn’t support a filibuster to block the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, a Republican from Denver, for the U.S. Supreme Court. As he introduced Gorsuch to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday for confirmation hearings, Bennet heartily praised Gorsuch and admonished Republicans for blocking the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee last year.”

“Spurred on by concerns that dangerous criminals are getting hired to care for ill, disabled and frail patients, legislation that would require fingerprint-based criminal background checks for health care professionals in Colorado passed key hurdles this month,” The Denver Post reports. “House Bill 17-1121, sponsored by Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, recently cleared two key House committees and appears headed to the Senate for final consideration. The House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee and the House Finance Committee both gave their blessing to the legislation, which would require more than 160,000 health care workers in Colorado to submit their fingerprints for criminal records checks.”

“Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, in a possible “self-serving” effort to discredit his fellow commissioners, leaked a complaint against himself to two media outlets, according to a Mountain States Employers Council investigation,” The Greeley Tribune reports. “The investigative report, posted as part of the Board of Weld County Commissioners’ Monday agenda packet, centers on whether Conway released a complaint filed by an employee after a Nov. 23, 2016, incident and whether Conway did it as an act of retaliation against the employee who filed the complaint.”