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U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is asking the senate energy appropriations subcommittee to provide additional funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit. The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District had asked the bureau of reclamation for $15 million to keep the project moving forward, however the conduit’s funding stream hit a snag in the 2014 budget request by President Barack Obama, which only allocates $1 million for the project. The southeastern board learned that reclamation projects across the board had been slashed, including some already under construction, at its April meeting. Southeastern executive director Jim Broderick said that he didn’t know what will happen. He said, “We are going to Washington in a couple of weeks to try to learn more”.
A late-night repeal effort for recreational marijuana in Colorado came last night on the final possible day for the legislation to get a vote by the full senate. Colorado lawmakers conclude work for the year tomorrow. Last night a bipartisan group of state senators advanced a plan to open the door to a possible repeal of retail pot legalization in Colorado. If approved, the measure would ask voters in the fall whether or not retail pot sales should be repealed without an accompanying vote to tax pot about 30%. The repeal possibility came after the senate gave initial approval to a marijuana blood-limit standard that senators have rejected several times before, including twice this year. The marijuana uncertainty reigned as the legislature entered its final hours. Separate regulation rules and tax rates awaited senate votes last night.
Colorado State Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo said last night that she was “elated” when the senate passed SB210, a bill to create a transitional community for the homeless at Fort Lyon. SB210 passed the state senate on a 21-14 bipartisan vote last night. Earlier yesterday, the house passed the same legislation on a 38-27 vote. The bill now goes to Governor John Hickenlooper for his signature. The Fort Lyon legislation was attached to an amended version of senate bill 210, which concerns conditions for employment of correctional officers. The house amended SB210 Friday after the senate appropriations committee rejected HB1261, which would have repurposed the former prison at Fort Lyon. Giron sponsored SB210 and added the Fort Lyon provision to it last week after HB1261 was defeated.
Alamosa Sheriff’s deputies arrested Ryan Lopez, 30, of Alamosa, on Saturday in connection with the stabbing of a woman who was a passenger in the Jeep in which the pair were riding. According to authorities, Lopez was riding in the back seat of the Jeep with three other passengers when he allegedly attacked Amber Garcia, who was riding in the front passenger seat. Both the driver of the Jeep and Garcia told authorities that Lopez had stabbed her, according to Lopez’s arrest affidavit. Lopez is being held in the Alamosa County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
The New Elk Coal Company, the company that owns a coal mine west of Trinidad where scores of workers were laid off last summer, is denying that it violated a federal law that requires 60 days’ advance notice of mass layoffs. The company’s denial is part of a recent court filing in response to a lawsuit that was filed on February 1st of this year by workers who lost their jobs. The mine suspended operations in July, citing a low demand for the mine’s coal. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, seeks 60 days of wages and fringe benefits for at least 225 former workers at the mine near Weston. New Elk Coal Company contends that the law, called the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, and also known as W.A.R.N., does not apply to the layoffs.