The Constitution gives citizens the direct means to rein in federal power and cure federal dysfunction through a “Convention for proposing Amendments.” This Issue Backgrounder explains the reasons why the Founders created the process and how it works. The Backgrounder also corrects common misunderstandings and explains how citizens may participate.
The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ObamaCare) encourages each state to set up an American Health Benefits Exchange. States received $1 million federal grants to work on exchange development. The exchanges will broker individual and small group plans offered by insurers and health benefit plans. They do not buy or develop health insurance and must be self-supporting by January 1, 2015.
Our research found that information on local government debt IS available to the public â€¦ on two conditions. First, citizens must have Sherlock Holmes-like instincts. Information about local debt can be found, but plan on digging for it. And, second, the results of your search may yield information that is considerably outdated.
This Issue Backgrounder describes the increase in the number of governments in Colorado. It uses historical data to outline the increased rate of growth, and paints a picture of where Colorado is headed if this growth continues. Colorado is compared to other states and their growth rates using population per government as a common measure. Because the rate of growth in Colorado governments has outpaced population since 1998, Colorado has found itself adding governments at a rate faster than most other states. This is the first in a series of Backgrounders that will deal with governmental growth. The subsequent papers will explore the how and the why Colorado has experienced this increase.
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) recently updated its Metro Vision 2020 Regional Transportation Plan. Although their transportation agenda is not directly stated, hints are revealed in their rhetoric. One stated mission is to offer a ‘variety of travel opportunities.’ As with all rhetoric this is a nice and non-agitating statement that no one would readily disagree with. But what does it really mean? A close look at their report reveals facts seen by few and understood by fewer.
This Issue Backgrounder details the two Colorado forfeiture statutes and Denver property confiscation ordinances. The Backgrounder explains how the Colorado statutes violate basic norms for due process and fairness. The Denver ordinances are even worse.
Synopsis: House Bill 1312 allows electricians to hire three apprentices. Current law allows only one.
Synopsis: House Bill 1301 forbids the state government from forcing licensed professionals (such as doctors, lawyers, and architects) to donate their services for free.
The Colorado Constitution: The Colorado Constitution: Forcing someone to work for someone else, for free, is involuntary servitude, which is outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the Article II, section 26 of the Colorado Constitution. The Colorado Constitution allows slavery or involuntary servitude only as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Receiving a license to practice law or medicine is not the same as being convicted of a crime; therefore, imposing involuntary servitude on doctors, lawyers, and other professionals violates the Constitution.
Synopsis: If there is any area of the law that needs clarifying and rationalization it is the law of domestic violence restraining orders.
On the surface HB 1204 attempts to do just that. Its bill summary states that it Consolidates the various types of civil restraining orders into a single type of restraining order. But alas it does not consolidate. Rather, on a procedural level it adds to the clutter and confusion plaguing the area of domestic restraining orders. More importantly, on a substantive level it takes a very large step in the wrong direction: It blends the concept of physical violence with that of emotional harm. It allows a person to be ejected from his own home, without a prior opportunity to present his side to the court.