Gov. Hickenlooper orders flags lowered in honor of Deputy Zackari Parrish

DENVER — Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags be lowered to half-staff statewide on all public buildings Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, from sunrise until sunset to honor Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish as he is laid to rest.

Parrish, 29, died in the line of duty on Dec. 31, 2017, of injuries sustained while responding to an incident in Highlands Ranch. He has been with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for seven months. Before joining the Sheriff’s Office, he worked for the Castle Rock Police Department.

Parrish is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the State Medical Assistance and Services Advisory Council.

The State Medical Assistance and Services Advisory Council assists the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing in the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive medical plan for low-income families.

For terms expiring Nov. 12, 2021:

Theresa G. Buxton, RN, PhD of Centennial, to serve as a professional nurse, reappointed;

Sean Raymond Whalen, DDS, of Denver, a dentist licensed in this state, appointed.

Governor submits plan for new revenue with focus on transportation and education

DENVER — Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today submitted budget amendments for both the current year and next year’s budgets. The State is expecting new revenue above the September 2017 projections, from both improving economic conditions and investor income, but also the newly adopted federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The new federal law will increase the amount of taxable income, which is the basis of Colorado’s income tax.

“It’s not often we find ourselves in a position where resources are available to actually go beyond our initial budget request,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Education and transportation are grossly underfunded. This new revenue should go to these priorities. We also must acknowledge that we have a long way to go with each for long-term solutions.”

FY 2017-18 Supplemental Budget Request

In addition to the plan for new revenue, the request includes supplemental budget requests for the current year for important priorities in the Departments of Corrections, Education, Health Care Policy and Financing, Human Services, and others. The request reflects a total funds increase from the original appropriation of $221.0 million (0.8 percent), including $18.5 million (0.2 percent) from the General Fund, $5.1 million (0.3 percent) from reappropriated funds, a reduction of $81.4 million (-1.0 percent) from cash funds, and $278.8 million (3.2 percent) from federal funds.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints Kim Bimestefer as executive director of Colorado’s Department of Health Care Policy & Financing

DENVER — Tuesday, Jan. 02, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Kim Bimestefer will be the next executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.  Health Care Policy & Financing administers Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) and the Child Health Plan Plus as well as a variety of other programs serving more than 1.3 million Coloradans.     

“Kim is an experienced health care leader and innovator,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “We are fortunate to have someone with Kim’s tenure of leading health care organizations join our team.”

Bimestefer most recently ran her own consulting company, helping organizations navigate the many changes facing the health care industry.  She was president and general manager of Cigna Mountain States and chair of Cigna Healthcare of Colorado from 2012-2016. Bimestefer also founded and then spent 10 years as president and general manager for Cigna’s Taft-Hartley & Federal Business Segment. She began her health care career at a nonprofit insurance company in 1988, rising to a board-appointed officer overseeing about half the company’s membership and revenue.

Gov. Hickenlooper orders flags lowered in honor of Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy killed in the line of duty

DENVER — Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags be lowered to half-staff statewide on all public buildings immediately until sunset Tuesday, Jan. 02, 2018, in honor of Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish.  

Parrish, 29, died in the line of duty on Dec. 31, 2017, of injuries sustained while responding to an incident in Highlands Ranch.

Gov. Hickenlooper statement on Douglas County sheriff’s deputy killed in line of duty

DENVER — Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper’s statement following the death of Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachariah Parrish.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the family and friends of Deputy Parrish. We can only imagine the depth of grief they are experiencing.

“We also hope for a speedy recovery for the Douglas County deputies and the Castle Rock police officer injured in the incident, as well as the residents who also were affected.

“The call to protect and serve too often leads to this ultimate sacrifice. We are grateful for the service of Deputy Parrish, his fellow deputies, and that of the Castle Rock police officer.  We pray for their and their families’ strength and resolve in the days and months ahead.”

Report examines strategies for strengthening Colorado’s talent pipeline

DENVER — Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 — The Colorado Workforce Development Council today released its annual Colorado Talent Pipeline Report, which assesses issues related to the supply and demand of talent in Colorado and strategies for strengthening the state’s talent pipeline.

The report focuses on high-demand, high-growth jobs, that pay a good wage in two earnings tiers: one including jobs meeting a living wage for a family of three with one working adult, and a second including jobs meeting a living wage for an individual.

Job openings in the higher earnings tier are largely concentrated in health care practitioners and technical roles, business/finance, IT occupations, and in management positions. Job openings in the earnings tier that meet a living wage for an individual are largely concentrated in construction, office and administrative support, health care support, and food preparation and serving occupations.

Joint Budget Committee approves Gov. Hickenlooper’s request for emergency CHP+ funding

Denver — Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 — The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) today approved Gov. John Hickenlooper’s request for emergency funding to continue Colorado’s Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) program through Feb. 28, 2018. This supplemental funding provides additional time for Congress to authorize federal funding and prevents cancellation notices from being sent to Colorado CHP+ members next week.

“We appreciate today’s bipartisan action by the JBC as it gives CHP+ families peace of mind through the holidays. Still,this funding is only temporary,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Congress needs to stop playing politics and renew funding for the program.”

Funding for the emergency CHP+ budget request will come from the Children’s Basic Health Plan Trust which was created using monies from the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement. No General Funds will be used in this request. Congress can act at any time. If they act quickly and reauthorize the federal Child Health Insurance Program in January - and barring any further gap in federal funding – it is expected today’s emergency funding will not be needed. Regular updates can be found at Colorado.gov/hcpf/FutureCHP.

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational and Occupational Education and Judicial Nominating Commissions.

The State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education is the governing body for the state community college system and the coordinating board for local district colleges. It also coordinates the activities of area vocational schools.

For terms expiring Dec. 31, 2021:

Daniel Villanueva of Pagosa Springs, an Unaffiliated from the Third Congressional District, appointed;

Maria Vittoria-Carminati of Centennial, a Democrat from the Sixth Congressional District, appointed.

There is a Judicial District Nominating Commission for each of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts that selects nominees for district and county judicial vacancies. Each district nominating commission is chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court, who is a non-voting member of the commission.

Gov. Hickenlooper joins bipartisan group of governors calling on Congress to renew DACA funding

DENVER — Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper along with 10 other governors today sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging action on behalf of Dreamers. They called for a bipartisan resolution to continue funding for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA.

“This holiday hostage situation has gone on too long,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Like CHIP participants, DACA recipients sit in fear as their futures are used as bargaining chips. Lawmakers appear more concerned with personal agendas rather than advancing good policy.”

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