Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday February 6, 2013

A new survey by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group shows Colorado lost $504 million to offshore tax dodging in 2012, enough money to increase funding for education, chop the state's sales tax, improve road and bridge funding and other programs. CoPIRG says the state should not wait for federal action, but look for changes at home.  By using off-shore tax havens, the extremely wealthy and corporations are shifting their tax burden to the rest of the citizens of the state.

Democrats in the state legislature and Governor Hickenlooper are announcing a plan today to protect children from child abuse and neglect. 5 state senators, 4 representatives, and the Governor introducing the plan they call a collaborative legislative/executive child protection plan at the State Capitol.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is out with snowpack numbers, and even with huge snows in the mountains last week, the snowpack is still below average.  As of February 1st, statewide snowpack was at 72% of normal, and 90% of last year's readings.  The NRCS says snowpack in the Colorado River Basin is 67% of average, behind only the South Platte and Arkansas River Basins for totals.

Grand Junction's Police and Fire Chiefs are being paid a monthly stipend for driving their personal vehicles, but they say the money would be better spent by city leasing official vehicles for them. According to the Daily Sentinel, both say they would likely respond to more emergencies.   The two will go before the city council tonight asking for the new 4x4s.

The lawyer for Heather Jensen says prosecutors and other agencies involved in the case placed under a gag order.  Ed Nugent filed the motion citing a "lynch mob" mentality about the defendant.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Nugent says much of the information reported about Jensen is "immaterial and irrelevant" and could hurt the chances of finding an impartial jury.  Jensen is accused in the deaths of her two young sons who died after being left inside an overheated SUV on the Grand Mesa.

Utah lawmakers are considering a proposal to make it illegal for a driver to smoke with a child as a passenger in the car.  It would be a secondary offense, meaning a car could not be pulled over for that, but a driver could be ticketed if stopped for another reason.  One representative said child safety trumps adults' personal freedoms.

A state task force helping create rules for marijuana legalization is endorsing a policy that would allow employers to fire workers for smoking pot off-the-job.  The Denver Post says the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force was split, those opposed saying the amendment changed the statusquo to give off-the-job pot use the same kind of protection as alcohol use.