Gov. Hickenlooper announces ‘Call for Innovation’ to help underserved Colorado youth

DENVER — Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the “Colorado Call for Innovation,” soliciting innovative approaches from nonprofits, local governments and service providers to improve outcomes for Colorado underserved youth and their families.

“The Colorado Call for Innovation is an ambitious statewide effort to catalyze collaboration to move the needle on measurable outcomes for children and their families,” Gov. Hickenlooper said.

The Call for Innovation (CFI), released by the Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB), is focused primarily on two groups: child welfare-involved youth with low on-time high school graduation rates, and young first-time offenders who are briefly admitted to secure detention and then return to their families and communities.  

OSPB is interested in innovative approaches to boost high school graduations and reduce juvenile justice involvement, among other key outcomes of focus. OSPB is also interested in upstream preventive approaches for these youth, and in “two-generation” interventions that consider the needs of both youths and their families.

The Call for Innovation is connected to a Pay for Success feasibility study OSPB is conducting. Pay for Success is an innovative financing model linking funding for services to measurable outcomes and impact. OSPB received a federal grant via the Sorenson Impact Center, a Utah-based organization dedicated to innovative and evidence-based policymaking, in July last year to pursue this study. Additional background on the model and this OSPB project is available here.

OSPB will consider compelling ideas collected through the CFI for possible funding, either through a Pay for Success project or through the regular budgetary cycle.

To complete a CFI submission, organizations and local governments should provide responses to the questions in the “CFI Application” attachment by March 21, 2017. The full Call for Innovation is available here.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints Mesa County Court judge

DENVER — Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today appointed Michael Grattan III to the Mesa County Court in the 21st Judicial District. He will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Gretchen Larson to the district court in the 21st Judicial District.

Grattan is currently a sole practitioner in Grand Junction, where he focuses on contract law, corporate law, and real estate law. He is also the hearing officer for the liquor licensing authority for Grand Junction. Grattan was previously an attorney with Younge & Hockensmith, P.C., a sole practitioner and Deputy City Attorney in the City of Elkhart, Indiana, and an associate at Warrick & Boyn in Elkhart. Grattan earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1986 and his J.D. from the College of William& Mary in 1990.  

His appointment is effective January 1, 2017.

Voting starts today for 2017 One Book 4 Colorado selection

DENVER — Friday, Jan. 6 , 2017 — Online voting starts today to choose the book that every 4-year-old in the state will be reading this spring, along with a little help from parents, siblings, friends and family. Coloradans can visit to cast their vote for one of the three finalists: What Will We Build Today? by Katherine Durgin-Bruce, Worms for Lunch? by Leonid Gore, and Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley.

In its sixth year, One Book 4 Colorado is a statewide collaboration between Lt. Governor Donna Lynne’s office, Serve Colorado, the Colorado Office of Early Literacy, the Colorado State Library, the Colorado Department of Education, the Denver Preschool Program, public and military libraries statewide, the private sector, and the nonprofit and foundation communities. The program provides every 4-year-old in Colorado with a free copy of the same book -- in English or Spanish -- in order to promote early literacy skills, help families serve as their child’s first and most important teachers, and foster a culture of reading.  

Andrew Freedman to leave position as State Director of Marijuana Coordination

DENVER — Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Andrew Freedman, Director of Marijuana Coordination, will be transitioning out of the administration. Freedman will be launching a consulting firm, Freedman & Koski, LLC which specializes in advising state and local governments on how to best implement marijuana legalization.

Freedman was first hired in January 2011 by Lieutenant Governor Joseph Garcia to be chief of staff. He left that position in July of 2013 to become the campaign director for Yes on 66: Colorado Commits to Kids. In January of 2014 he was hired by Hickenlooper to be the State’s Director of Marijuana Coordination.  He was charged with coordinating the State's efforts to implement the effective regulation of Colorado’s recreational and medical marijuana while promoting public health, maintaining public safety, and keeping marijuana out of the hands of children.

Task force releases recommendations to protect the rights of Coloradans experiencing mental health crises

DENVER — Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017 — A task force created to evaluate the legality of ‘mental health holds’ provided recommendations today to ensure people who are experiencing a mental health crisis receive proper treatment and constitutional protections.

The task force was created at the direction of Gov. John Hickenlooper last year after he vetoed SB 16-169, citing concerns about the due process rights of individuals experiencing mental health crisis.

Primary among the recommendations is that the General Assembly pursue legislation prohibiting the use of jails to hold persons with mental health issues who have not been accused of crimes.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints Colorado Court of Appeals judge

DENVER — Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the appointment of Craig R. Welling to serve as a judge for the Colorado Court of Appeals. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Gale Miller.

Welling currently serves as a District Court Judge for the 17th Judicial District where he presides over a criminal docket. Previously, he presided over a juvenile docket including dependency and neglect cases, juvenile delinquency cases, contested and uncontested adoption cases, and paternity and maternity determinations. He also presided over a domestic relations docket, and handled appeals from municipal and county court cases. Prior to being appointed as a District Court Judge, Welling served in Gov. Bill Ritter's Office of Legal Counsel and as an associate at Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP.  

Welling earned his B.S. from Colorado State University in 1995, an M.A. in engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2001, and a J.D. from the University of Colorado in 2001.​

His appointment is effective January 16, 2017.

Many state offices closed on Monday, Jan. 2

DENVER — Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 — In observance of New Year’s Day, many state offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

State driver’s license offices, the Department of Public Health and Environment’s vital records office and executive branch departments will be among the facilities closed Monday.

Many of Colorado’s state parks will be open but the visitor centers and administrative offices will be closed. State troopers will be patrolling the highways and Department of Transportation maintenance crews will be working as necessary.

Gov. Hickenlooper appoints judge in 17th Judicial District

DENVER — Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today appointed Tomee Crespin as district court judge for the 17th Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield counties). She will fill a vacancy created by the non-retention of the Honorable Jill-Ellyn Straus.

Crespin is currently a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Tomee Crespin, LLC where she focuses on family and criminal law litigation. She also serves as an Associate Judge in Commerce City Municipal Court, Brighton Municipal Court, and Lakewood Municipal Court. Prior to her current employment, Crespin was an associate attorney at the Law Office of Marion McBain, P.C., an associate attorney at Donelson Ciancio Goodwin & Juarez, P.C., and a Senior Trial Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District.  

Crespin earned her undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1996 and her J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law in 2000.

Her appointment is effective January 10, 2017.