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.

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Monday, June 19, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the State Board of Psychologist Examiners.

The State Board of Psychologist Examiners reviews applicants for licensure and issues a license to those who those who meet the requirements to be a psychologist in the State of Colorado.

For terms expiring May 31, 2021:

Cheryl Prevendar Zuber, Psy.D, of Centennial, to serve as a psychologist, reappointed;
Juan Muniz of Denver, to serve as a public member, appointed.

Colorado receives $4.5 million grant to launch lab aimed at assessing and improving state programs

DENVER — Monday, June 19, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne today announced the launch of the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab (CEAL), an innovative government-research partnership that will be housed at the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver. CEAL will work with state officials to evaluate public policies, design improvements to existing programs, and pilot new interventions intended to benefit Colorado residents.   

The lab is part of the Hickenlooper Administration’s ongoing effort to make Colorado state government more effective and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. CEAL is modeled after other “policy labs” in various regions across the country, including California, Washington, D.C., Michigan, Rhode Island, and Houston, Texas. Policy labs are government-research partnerships that seek to integrate evaluation into policymaking by pairing experienced researchers with state and local officials in order to study problems and scale proven solutions.

“The lab is the first program of its kind in Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “We owe it to the citizens of our state to ensure that the programs we undertake deliver on what they set out to do.”

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Friday, June16, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the Developmental Disabilities Council, the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board, the Juvenile Parole Boad, the Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners Board, and the Mental Health Advisory Board for Service Standards and Regulations.

The Developmental Disabilities Council

The Developmental Disabilities Council is responsible for coordinating services and advocating for persons with developmental disabilities.

Effective July 1, 2017 for a term expiring July 1, 2018:

Alicia Eakins of Denver, to serve as a parent/guardian of an immediate relative with developmental disabilities, and occasioned by the resignation of Anuska Monique Ullal of Golden, appointed;

Hickenlooper joins group of governors calling for bipartisan solutions to health care

DENVER — Friday, June 16, 2017 — Governor Hickenlooper today joined six other governors in voicing concerns over the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the potential loss of health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Coloradans. They urged Congress to take a bipartisan approach to keeping health care coverage accessible and affordable. The governors - including four Democrats and three Republicans - sent a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer outlining principles to address the challenges of stabilizing the health insurance market, controlling costs, and increasing affordability.

The letter states, “H.R. 1628, as passed by the House, does not meet these challenges. It calls into question coverage for the vulnerable and fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out, while shifting significant costs to the states. Medicaid provisions included in this bill are particularly problematic. Instead, we recommend Congress address factors we can all agree need fixing.”

 The letter follows a roundtable discussion held earlier today with the Governor, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne where they invited healthcare leaders, consumer advocates and patients to share their concerns before the Senate vote on the House bill.  

Gov. Hickenlooper announces resignation of Executive Director Joe Neguse from Department of Regulatory Agencies

DENVER — Tuesday, June 13, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Joe Neguse is resigning as executive director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).

Neguse accomplished much in his two years as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet.  He was appointed in June 2015 at the age of 31 - making him one of the youngest state-Cabinet members in the U.S. (and one of the youngest ever in Colorado history). As Executive Director, Neguse applied his energy to the difficult work of reinventing government, guiding the agency through substantial reorganizations and significant regulatory accomplishments.  

“Joe may be the youngest member of my Cabinet, but his accomplishments reflect that of a veteran,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “He has been an invaluable asset to DORA as he consistently worked to cut red tape all the while championing consumer protection. We will miss his leadership, but wish him much success.”

Gov. Hickenlooper announces Boards and Commissions appointments

DENVER — Monday, June 12, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Boards and Commissions appointments to the Arapahoe County Public Trustee.

Arapahoe County Public Trustee

Public Trustees handle public transactions and foreclosures on real estate properties. They oversee the administration of Deeds of Trust including releasing them when a loan has been satisfied and foreclosing in the event of default. The Public Trustee also is responsible for the collection of tax accounts for Land Purchase Contracts for Deed within his or her county.

Effective June 14, 2017, for a term expiring Feb. 1, 2019:

Susan Kay Ryden of Aurora, to represent Arapahoe County, and occasioned by the resignation of Cynthia D. Mares of Centennial, appointed.

Gov. Hickenlooper makes final decisions on remaining bills of 2017 Legislative Session  

DENVER — Friday, June 9, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed the remaining two bills of the 2017 Legislative Session, making one law and vetoing the other. He signed HB17-1313, “concerning civil forfeiture reform” and vetoed SB17-111, “concerning measures to address the medical marijuana inventory shortfalls.”

HB17-1313 provides new reporting requirements, and places limits on asset forfeiture proceeds that Colorado law enforcement agencies may receive from partnerships with the federal government for combating criminal activity.

In signing the bill, Hickenlooper attached a statement letter that identifies additional reforms that are necessary to address fairness and protection of citizens facing civil asset forfeiture.

“Government should never keep assets seized from innocent people,” Hickenlooper said in the letter. The letter goes on to state, “House Bill 17-1313 is an important first step to address problems inherent in the civil forfeiture laws.”

Gov. Hickenlooper orders flags lowered in honor of Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Remington J. Peters

DENVER — Thursday, June 8, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags be lowered to half-staff statewide on all public buildings from sunrise until sunset on Friday, June 9, 2017, in honor of Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Remington J. Peters, a Grand Junction, Colo. native.

Peters, 27, died on May 28 of injuries sustained during an airborne demonstration at Liberty State Park for New York Fleet Week. He enlisted in the Navy in 2008 and was a veteran of two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Peters was a Navy SEAL and had been a member of the parachute team, the Leap Frogs, for more than a year.

During his career, Peters received numerous awards including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and many others.