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Floor debate will begin tomorrow in the Colorado House on the $14.2 billion state budget and a $4.4 billion school finance bill. The Joint Budget Committee drafted the $14.2 billion state budget which went for review to the house republican and democratic caucuses yesterday. The two measures will be debated together because the school finance bill suspends a scheduled school cost-of-living adjustment which would free up $16 million to help balance the next state budget. Another proposal that is intertwined with the budget is a JBC bill which would eliminate $39 million of allocations from the tobacco settlement fund, freeing that amount so that the JBC doesnâ€™t have to cut programs that it prefers. Both Republicans and Democrats are preparing amendments for the budget that will be debated on the house floor.
Saying that the crowded field made fundraising difficult, State Senator Ken Chlouber of Leadville yesterday announced that he is dropping out of the race for 3rd District Representative to replace U.S. Rep. Scott Mcinnis who has decided not to run for another term. Chlouber did not offer any endorsement of any other fellow republicans in the running yesterday. He did say that the focus of other campaigns should be the quality of life in Colorado and jobs. Chlouber said that he was not declaring an end to his political career, but he said that this was not the right tome or the proper race for him to continue his public service.
Alamosa District Judge O. John Kuenhold on Monday denied defense motions to suppress evidence in the murder case against Krystal Voss, 29. Voss is being tried for the first-degree murder of her son Kyran Gaston-Voss, who was 19-months-old when he died on March 23rd of last year from injuries believed to have been caused by shaken baby syndrome. Kuenhold denied a motion to suppress evidence items that were taken in a search of Vossâ€™ home shortly after her son was injured except for a towel that officers took from the scene. He also ruled that the legislature had the discretion to determine that child abuse causing death should be treated equally and punished as if it were first-degree murder. Vossâ€™ attorneys had argued that the 2-year-old statute on child abuse causing death was unconstitutional because it was too vague. Vossâ€™ trial is scheduled to begin on July 26th.
Stephen Miceli, 32, and Robert Bly, also 32 and both of Alamosa, were sentenced on Monday to a year in prison on felony attempted escape charges. Both men walked away from Community Corrections in Alamosa last June 30th. Both men plead guilty to attempted escape charges eventhough both actually did escape from community corrections. Neither man committed any new crimes while they were out from community corrections, so they were only sentenced to one year in prison on top of their current sentences.
Trinidad State Junior College will hold a tailgate party on Saturday beginning at 11am prior to the TSJC baseball game at Central Park. The game is scheduled for 12:30. There will be free hotdogs, chips, brownies and drinks. The TSJC Student Government Association will also be giving away free popcorn, cotton candy and baseball tattoos for the kids. Call 846-5625 for more information.
Raymond J. Valdez, 65, announced yesterday that he will run as a Democrat for Conejos County Commissioner District 3. Valdez is a life-long Conejos County resident who was raised on a family farm and sheep ranch. He graduated from Capulin High School in 1956 and earned a B.S. Degree in Agriculture from Colorado State in 1960 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1973. He is married with four children.