Gov. Hickenlooper declares disaster emergency for Lightner Creek fire

DENVER — Thursday, June 29, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper has given a verbal declaration of disaster emergency to help efforts to fight the Lightner Creek Fire near Durango.

La Plata County officials have given the state control of the firefighting effort. The fire is burning north of Highway 160 in La Plata County. Currently 170 homes have been evacuated. The fire began when a home caught fire. The state’s multi-mission aircraft has been deployed to help assess the fire’s size which has grown to more than 250 acres.

The declaration includes authorization for the Colorado National Guard to provide support if requested.

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Tuesday, June 27, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments to the State Board of Parole, Sales and Use Tax Task Force, Securities Board and Transportation Commission.

The State Board of Parole holds hearings and considers applicants for parole, and conducts all proceedings involving revocation of parole.

For terms expiring July 1, 2020:

Denise Katherine Balazic of Aurora, to serve as a parole or probation representative, reappointed;
Brandon W. Matthews, DM of Colorado Springs, to serve as a citizen representative, reappointed;
Alfredo Enrique Pena of Denver, to serve as a citizen representative, reappointed.
The Sales and Use Task Force studies sales and use tax simplification between the state and local governments, including home rule municipalities, to identify opportunities and challenges within existing fiscal frameworks to adopt innovative revenue-neutral solutions that do not require constitutional amendments or voter approval.

For terms expiring July 1, 2020:

Paul D. Archer of Centennial, to serve as a representative of a statewide association of small businesses that is addressing the simplification of sales and use tax, appointed;
Bruce M. Nelson, MA, CPA of Fort Collins, to serve as a representative of a statewide chamber of commerce, appointed;
Neil I. Pomerantz, JD of Denver, to serve as a state or local sales and use tax law practitioner who is not employed by a home rule or statutory city or city and county, appointed;
Judith Birch Vorndran, CPA, JD of Denver, to serve as an individual with state and local sales and use tax accounting experience, appointed.

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Friday, June 23, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the State Capitol Building Advisory Committee, Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority Board of Directors, Human Trafficking Council and Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Board.

The State Capitol Building Advisory Committee reviews, advises and makes recommendations to the capitol development committee with respect to plans to restore, redecorate and reconstruct space within the public and ceremonial areas of the state capitol.

For terms expiring July 1, 2019:

David Fridtjof Halaas of Elizabeth, reappointed;
Kurtis Todd Morrison of Denver, reappointed;
Gerhard J. Petri of Denver, appointed.
The Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority Board of Directors issues bonds to provide affordable financing for educational and cultural buildings and equipment owned by nonprofit institutions.

For terms expiring June 30, 2021:

Gov. Hickenlooper signs executive order that redesigns the state’s Education Leadership Council

DENVER — Thursday, June 22, 2017 — Gov. Hickenlooper signed an executive order this week to redesign the state’s Education Leadership Council (ELC). The ELC was first established in 2011 to provide a forum to discuss statewide education issues.

“We’re pulling together many of the best minds in education, government and workforce to create a broad strategic vision that includes all levels of education - from preschool through college and beyond - in the state of Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.

The ELC will develop a vision, strategic plan and recommendations for consideration by the Governor and General Assembly. It will utilize existing work from the Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Department of Higher Education; will benchmark Colorado’s performance against other states and countries; will create a structure to gather feedback from a broad array of stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students, special needs populations, community leaders and education interest groups; and develop potential legislative and budgetary recommendations for consideration by the Governor and General Assembly.

The ELC will be housed under the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

“Children are our greatest resource. We owe it to them to ensure they have every chance to succeed and that means closing our education attainment gaps which will improve graduation rates and ensure we have a highly trained workforce,” said Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne.

Nominations now being accepted for the Governor’s Service Awards

DENVER — Thursday, June 22, 2017 — Serve Colorado, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Governor’s Service Awards. These awards are presented in appreciation to individuals, community and civic leaders, various organizations, and AmeriCorps members for outstanding contributions to volunteerism and service throughout the State of Colorado.

Nominations will be accepted through Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at 5 p.m. The awards will be presented during a special awards ceremony at the State Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017.

Nominations must be submitted through an online form, which can be found at this link or through the Serve Colorado website. For more information on the Governor’s Service Awards or Serve Colorado, please contact Nellie Stagg at 303-866-2119 or Nellie.Stagg@state.co.us.

Awards will be presented in the following categories:

Gov. Hickenlooper’s statement on Senate health care bill

DENVER — Thursday, June 22, 2017 — Gov. Hickenlooper issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate’s health care bill:

"The Senate’s health care bill, like the House bill, will take Colorado backward. It makes even deeper cuts to health care for the most vulnerable and shifts the costs onto hard working middle class Coloradans. It's no surprise that a bill drafted in secret, without public hearings and scrutiny, and planned for a rushed vote within days, will hurt Coloradans. We urge Senators Gardner and Bennet to vote no on this flawed bill."

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Wednesday, June 21, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the State Agricultural Commission, State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Commission on Family Medicine, State Board of Nursing, Passenger Tramway Safety Board, Public School Capital Construction Assistance Board, Colorado Racing Commission and Real Estate Commission.

The State Agricultural Commission formulates policy with respect to the management of the Department of Agriculture. The Commission also advises and makes recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly.

For a term expiring March 1, 2019:

Rebecca Lynn Larson of Longmont, an Unaffiliated, from the Second Agricultural District to serve as a member from the State at-large, and occasioned by the resignation of Susan Kay Petrocco of Brighton, appointed.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints Delta County judge

DENVER — Tuesday, June 20, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper has appointed Jin Ho Pack as a judge on the Delta County Court in the 7th Judicial District. She fills a vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Sandra Miller.

Pack currently serves as the County Attorney for Delta County, a position she has held since 2015. In that capacity, Pack manages the county's civil law proceedings, reviews and approves contracts for the county, and provides general legal advice to the County's elected officials and agency leadership. Previously, Pack worked as an Assistant County Attorney for Delta County (2014-15), as an Associate at Kaplan Law L.L.C. (2013-14), as a Child Support Enforcement Unit Attorney for Young Williams Child Support Services (2011-13), and as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu, HI (2005-06). Pack earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University in 2000 and her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 2003.

Pack’s appointment is effective Aug. 4, 2017.

Gov. Hickenlooper statement on Colorado Energy Office

DENVER — Tuesday, June 20, 2017 — Gov. Hickenlooper issued the following statement regarding the Joint Budget Committee’s vote on funding for the Colorado Energy Office.

“We are disappointed that the Joint Budget Committee, voting along party lines, denied our request to fund the Energy Office. Based on my conversations with leadership, I had hoped for a different result. The Colorado Energy Office plays a vital role in promoting innovative production and efficient consumption practices for all energy resources. The Energy Office administers a wide range of programs that save Coloradans millions in energy costs. These include weatherization services to low-income households in all 64 counties, free energy audits and technical assistance to agricultural producers, and financing for energy improvements to commercial properties. We will continue to explore all options to fund this important work.”

State revenue forecast shows strong pace of growth

​DENVER — Tuesday, June 20, 2017 — The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) today released its quarterly economic and revenue forecast.

General Fund revenue is increasing a modest 3.4 percent in FY 2016-17 and is forecast to increase at a stronger rate of 6.7 percent in FY 2017-18. Although sales taxes and individual income taxes are recovering from the oil and gas downturn and weaker economic growth during 2015 and 2016, General Fund revenue growth overall this fiscal year was weighed down by a few factors. Notably, it appears some taxpayers delayed income from investment gains in anticipation of federal tax changes. Also, the continued decline in corporate income tax revenue impacted General Fund revenue growth. However, these factors will not reduce growth in FY 2017-18, which will allow for the stronger rate of increase.

“Colorado reached two significant milestones this year - the number one economy in the country and the state’s lowest unemployment on record,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Our challenge now is maintaining this success and that requires addressing tight labor and affordable housing conditions.”

Economic activity in Colorado overall remains positive. Colorado’s technology-related sectors remain robust, and continue to fuel much of the state’s growth. Less populated areas continue to experience lower job and income growth than along the Front Range. Furthermore, regions of the state that are dependent on agriculture continue to struggle with subdued farm income and continued low commodity prices.

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