Gov. Hickenlooper orders flags lowered to honor the victims of Sutherland Springs attack

DENVER — Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags lowered to half-staff on all public buildings until sunset Nov. 9 to honor the victims of the attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas and as proclaimed by President Donald Trump.

The full text of the president’s proclamation:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2017

HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS SHOOTING

Governor proposes Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget request, includes plan to address unfunded pension liabilities

DENVER — Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 — Today Gov. John Hickenlooper delivered the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 State budget request to the Joint Budget Committee of the General Assembly. Relative to expected FY 2017-18 appropriations, the request reflects a total funds budget of $30.5 billion, an increase of just under $1.09 billion or 3.7 percent. In the General Fund, the request totals $11.5 billion, an increase of $292.1 million or 2.6 percent.

The Governor wrote that the passage of Senate Bill 17-267 materially and positively changed the State’s financial outlook compared with one year ago, when the budget request closed a $500 million funding gap in the General Fund.

“Significant progress was made last year to address critical needs in Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “This new budget supports education and public safety needs across the state. But history tells us to be ready for when times are not as good. By building up reserves and shoring our pension plan, this proposal meets the needs of today and provides a buffer for tomorrow.”

The budget request sets aside a sufficient amount of expected collections to grow the State’s General Fund budget reserve to 7.0 percent of spending from the current 6.5 percent target.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints new district court judge in Second Judicial District

DENVER — Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today appointed Christopher Baumann as a District Court Judge in the Second Judicial District. He fills a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Sheila Rappaport.

Baumann is currently the Office Head and Deputy State Public Defender for the Colorado Public Defenders Office in Denver, a role he has held since 2010. During his time with the Public Defenders Office, Baumann has specialized in death penalty litigation. He has worked with the Colorado Public Defender's Office since 2002. From 2004-2005, he served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Litigation/Employment Law Section. From 2001-2002, he was an associate with the law firm of Levy, Morse & Wheeler, P.C. His first job out of law school was as a staff attorney in the Supreme Court of Louisiana from 2000-2001. He was a member of the United States Army Reserve from 1994-2002, and served in the Ready Reserve in Boulder from 1994-1997. He earned his B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1997, and his J.D. from Tulane University in 2000.

Baumann’s appointment is effective Dec. 31, 2017.

Gov. Hickenlooper announces resignation of Executive Director Sue Birch from Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

DENVER — Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 — Gov. Hickenlooper today announced Sue Birch will leave her role as Executive Director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to become the Health Care Authority Director for Washington State.

“Sue has ushered Colorado through incredible changes to our health care system,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “With her guidance, we’ve expanded coverage for all Coloradans, streamlined services and worked to contain costs. She has been an integral part of my Cabinet and will be missed.”

Hickenlooper appointed Birch to lead HCPF in January of 2011. She was among the first of the Governor's Cabinet appointees.

“It’s been an honor to serve Coloradans over the past six and a half years,” said Executive Director Susan E. Birch, MBA, BSN, RN. “I’m proud of the steps our state has taken collaboratively with partners, providers and other stakeholders to be the healthiest state in the nation. I’ll miss Colorado but am excited to continue working toward health system transformation.”

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointment

DENVER — Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced a Boards and Commissions appointment to the State Board of Human Services.

The State Board of Human Services adopts policies, rules and regulations for the administration of the Department of Human Services. The Board adjusts the minimum award for old age pensions for changes in the cost of living. The Board also adopts rules and regulations concerning foster care and adoption procedures, mental health programs, alcohol and drug abuse programs and developmental disabilities programs.

For a term expiring March 1, 2021:
Desta Meklit Taye-Channell of Denver, to serve as a member of the public, and occasioned by the resignation of Dennis Edward Swain of Northglenn, appointed.

Gov. Hickenlooper and Skillful launch statewide career coaching professional development program to help Colorado job seekers prepare for digital economy

DENVER — Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Skillful announced today the launch of the Governor’s Coaching Corps, a program designed to bring together talented career coaching professionals. The Corps is an innovative investment in frontline career coaching professionals to develop new practices that will help Colorado job seekers navigate the challenges of a labor market being rapidly transformed by technology.

“We’re proud of the fact that Colorado has the strongest economy in the country. Still, we have plenty of work to do and that starts with ensuring every Coloradan is prepared to succeed in the new jobs that will drive our future,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Skillful offers enormous promise when it comes to empowering job seekers, coaches, and employers alike. The Coaching Corps takes this work one step further, ensuring our workforce professionals have the resources and support necessary to support Colorado as a leader in the national digital economy.”

Gov. Hickenlooper announces resignation of Executive Director Shailen Bhatt from Department of Transportation

DENVER — Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 — Gov. Hickenlooper today announced Shailen Bhatt will be leaving his role as Executive Director of the Department of Transportation (CDOT).

“Shailen’s innovation and drive has pushed the Department of Transportation to work tirelessly to stand up a transportation network that can meet the needs of Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “We wish him the best and can only say ‘watch out’ as he brings his expertise and creativity to a new set of challenges.”

Gov. Hickenlooper appointed Bhatt in February of 2015. During his tenure, Bhatt focused on public safety and worked to better the lives of Coloradans through an improved transportation system.

Gov. Hickenlooper announces 2017 Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal Recipients

DENVER — Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 — Gov. Hickenlooper today announced the recipients of the 2017 Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medals. Inaugurated by Executive Order and supported by all living Colorado Governors, the Medal is one of the highest honors bestowed upon citizens and organizations of Colorado for their meritorious contributions to the strength and vitality of the state. Gov. Hickenlooper and Quarterly Forum (QF) will present the Medals at the Governor’s Leadership Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 at the History Colorado Center.

“The Governor’s Citizenship Medal is a tribute to the idea that each of us, no matter our path, has the opportunity to make a significant impact on our state,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “These individuals and companies have helped push Colorado forward, inspiring others along the way.”

The 2017 Medal categories and recipients are:

1. Emerging Community Leader Taylor Phinney, American Cyclist, Boulder - This award recognizes a young community leader who has demonstrated professional excellence and positive impact on the community and serves as an example for future generations. Taylor Phinney is renowned for his laid back persona, tenacity on the bike and leadership among his international teammates.

The Colorado native is the son of two Olympians. His father Davis Phinney was the first American to win a road stage at the Tour de France. His mother Connie Carpenter won the first Olympic women's road race in 1984. Phinney followed in his family footsteps early in his career, making his Olympic debut at the age of 18 in Beijing. Four years later, Phinney won the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia, Italy's biggest race, and wore the coveted maglia rosa donned by the Giro's race leader. He's raced in the stars and stripes of the US national time trial champion. He's won bike races in Poland, Holland and UAE, Colorado, California and Utah.

A crash at 60 miles an hour during the U.S. National Road Championships left Phinney with a potentially career-ending fractured leg. Phinney was told by doctors he might never ride again. He rode. And he raced.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints new county court judge in El Paso County

DENVER — Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today appointed Jessica Curtis to the El Paso County Court in the 4th Judicial District. She fills a vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Daniel Wilson.

Curtis currently serves as a magistrate judge for the 4th Judicial District, a position she has held since 2011. In this capacity, Curtis has presided over civil and juvenile dockets. Prior to her current employment, she worked as a partner at Hoffecker & Curtis, L.L.P. (2010-2011); in the Office of the Guardian Ad Litem (2005-2010); and as a State Public Defender in Colorado Springs (2003-2005). Curtis earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2000, and her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 2003.

Curtis’ appointment is effective immediately.

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