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Study: Kids in conservative parts of country more depressed, suicidal

Teenagers who live in politically conservative parts of the country are more depressed and suicidal than teens who live in politically progressive parts of the country, according to a study by Columbia University psychologist Mark Hatzenbuehler published this week. The study comes as the nation, spurred by media coverage of recent tragic youth deaths, reckons with the fact that school harassment drives gay young people in particular to depression and suicide. It also comes in the wake of competing days dedicated to drawing attention to school bullying, the Day of Silence organized by gay rights groups and the Day of Dialogue organized by Colorado Springs-based Christian group Focus on the Family.

Colorado school bullying bill passes out of committee; Bennet championing cause...

After hours of emotional testimony at the capitol Wednesday, the Colorado House Education Committee Wednesday voted 9 to 4 in favor of school-bullying prevention House Bill 1254 (pdf). The bill would revise anti-bullying guidelines and establish a board within the state Department of Education to revise rules of conduct and reporting and to raise money to pay for anti-bullying research and programs.

Ferrandino wins key battle in payday loan war

DENVER-- Denver Democrat Mark Ferrandino's effort to rein in the payday loan industry came under heavy fire on the House floor Thursday by Democrats and Republicans who say they fear the regulations the bill would impose would destroy the payday loan industry and throw workers unto the unemployment rolls, a line of attack advanced defiantly by payday lobbyists here for weeks. On the floor today, more lawmakers thought the payday industry, which offers short-term loans characterized by high interest and fast-rising fees, should be regulated. Ferrandino's bloc prevailed by just one vote.

Colorado payday loan regulation battle moves backstage

DENVER-- The war to regulate payday loans in Colorado continues behind the scenes at the capitol here. Lobbyists and lawmakers are working hard to shore up votes for and against legislation introduced by Denver Democrats Rep. Mark Ferrandino and Sen. Chris Romer weeks ago. The bill is stalled for now as negotiations over proposed amendments continue. "We are working the bill hard," Ferrandino told the Colorado Independent. "And, as you know, the other side is definitely working it hard, too."

Swalm takes last swipe at gender equality insurance bill

DENVER-- The House easily passed a bill this morning to end health-insurance gender rating over the objections of Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, who argued today as he has throughout the session, that the bill would unfairly raise rates for men.

Swalm leads defense of men at health insurance hearing

Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, led the charge Thursday defending the rights of men to continue to pay less as a group on the individual...

Lawmakers tussle over bill that would ease health insurance gender discrimination

DENVER-- A packed hearing Thursday for a bill that seeks to address wide differences in cost based on gender in the individual health insurance market in Colorado saw clashes erupt between male and female members of the committee. House Bill 1008, sponsored by Reps Beth McCann, D-Denver, and Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, seeks to distribute and lower those costs for women who don't have employer or state health plans. The motion ultimately passed out of committee on an 8 to 2 vote.

Colorado health insurance lobby vows to fight mandatory maternity coverage

Insurance industry lobbyists have pulled back on the fight to charge women higher insurance rates across the board and have redrawn the battle lines, vowing to oppose legislation this coming sessions that would force insurers to offer individual plans that would cover maternity care.

Lamborn rejects move to end health insurance gender discrimination

Colorado’s U.S. congressional delegation expressed support this week for the move to end gender discrimination in the current health care insurance market through regulatory legislation — the entire delegation, that is, except 5th District Republican Doug Lamborn, a free-market Colorado Springs ideologist who appears to be looking past the modern history of the health insurance industry to see consumer choice as the way to create more equitable rates. That's not good enough for lawmakers responding to calls from the increasing numbers of American women frustrated by years of uneven rates and inadequate biased coverage.