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Axios Denver

What Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade reversal means for Colorado

Data: Axios research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/AxiosThe U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday effectively repeals the right to an abortion for millions — but it won't have an immediate impact on Colorado. Driving the news: "The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the 6-3 Dobbs v. Jackson ruling.What to know: Colorado lawmakers codified unrestricted access to abortion into state law earlier this year, a month before a SCOTUS draft opinion leak in...
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Colorado welcomes the U.S. women's national team

The U.S. women's national soccer team will play Colombia Saturday in an exhibition game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.Why it matters: It's the first game the American team will play since a landmark equal pay agreement that guaranteed them the same prize money awarded to the far less successful men’s team.The game also comes days after the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which helped increase girls' participation in U.S. sports nearly 12-fold.State of play: The friendly match against Colombia is the first of two that the national team will play before beginning 2023 Women’s World Cup qualifying...
DENVER, CO
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Six can't-miss festivals to catch this weekend in Colorado

🏳️‍🌈 Denver PrideFest, hosted by the Center on Colfax, will take over Civic Center Park on Saturday and Sunday for a colorful celebration featuring more than 250 exhibitors, food trucks, a rally at the State Capitol and more. 🍺 Head to Evergreen on Saturday for the Hops Drops Evergreen Music and Beer Festival, showcasing over a dozen bands, including the California Honeydrops, and some of the state's best breweries. 🎭 The third annual Denver Fringe Festival is back this weekend, offering more than 40 improv, magic, cabaret and comedy shows across 10 venues in the Rino Art District and Five Points.🌸 Celebrate Japanese heritage and culture with live entertainment, food and drink at the Cherry Blossom Festival, hosted by the Sakura Foundation and Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple, which is back for its 48th year at Sakura Square this Saturday and Sunday. 🌮 Bring your appetite to the Denver Taco Festival at the Stockyards Event Center this Saturday and Sunday, with dozens of street taco vendors, chihuahua races, live music and Lucha libre. 🦄 Magic is in the air this Saturday and Sunday at the Unicorn Festival in Littleton, including real-life unicorns, famous princesses, a castle obstacle course and more.
DENVER, CO

Colorado's COVID cases wane but rates remain elevated

Data: Household Pulse Survey; Map: Jared Whalen/AxiosCOVID cases in Colorado are beginning to fall, but how long this downturn will last remains anyone's guess. Why it matters: Over two years into the pandemic, the disease continues to wreak havoc on the health of thousands of Coloradans.By the numbers: The state is averaging a new low of 1,800 cases a day, with a rolling positivity average of 11%, Colorado health officials said at a briefing Thursday. Hospitalizations also have dipped slightly, with 304 people hospitalized as of Thursday, compared with 323 people the week before. About 16% of Colorado adults say...
COLORADO STATE

1-minute voter guide: Republicans fight in Colorado's 7th District for chance at open seat

In the wake of U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter's decision to retire, Republicans see a moment to capture his district.State of play: The rare open-seat race for Colorado's competitive 7th Congressional District could be a tossup, given the political winds of the midterm elections.Three Republicans with varying visions are competing to challenge a well-known Democratic state lawmaker with deep pockets. Meet the candidates:Erik Aadland is an Army veteran and a former oil and gas executive who lives in Pine. He withdrew from the U.S. Senate primary in December to run in the congressional race. His contributions total about $340,000, according to...
COLORADO STATE

1-minute voter guide: GOP primary for U.S. Senate will speak volumes

Only two candidates from a massive field of contenders made the ballot in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, and they are staking out different turf. Why it matters: Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is one of the most vulnerable incumbents facing reelection in November, but the Republicans' odds of beating him depends on who they nominate.
CONGRESS & COURTS

1-minute voter guide: GOP governor candidates battle against long odds

Two Republicans are competing for a chance to do the improbable: Defeat an incumbent with tens of millions to spend and become their party's first governor in Colorado in 15 years.What to know: Heidi Ganahl, a University of Colorado regent, and Greg Lopez, a former Parker mayor, are the GOP's two options in the June primary election. Ganahl called a bid to defeat Gov. Jared Polis a "moonshot." Polis spent $23 million of his own money to get elected in 2018.Neither Republican is mounting a high-profile campaign at this point. Meet the candidates: Ganahl, who lives in Lone Tree, is...
COLORADO STATE

Denver-Boulder area bolsters status as growing life sciences hub

Data: CBRE; Chart: Axios VisualsThe life sciences talent pool between Denver and Boulder ranks among the top 25 in the U.S., according to a report published earlier this month by the CBRE, an investment management firm.Driving the news: The Denver-Boulder area ranked No. 11 on CBRE's listing of life sciences clusters. The evaluation was based on available jobs, local wages, cost of living and other factors.Cities were ranked by how their scores compared to national averages for these variables, with Denver/Boulder earning 106.9. Boston came out on top with a score of 138, followed by San Francisco (129.8) and Washington,...
DENVER, CO

1-minute voter guide: Four Republicans compete in Colorado's newly drawn 8th District

Four Republicans are running in their party's primary to be the candidate for a new congressional seat added to Colorado following the 2020 census. On the map: The 8th Congressional District encompasses the suburbs north of Denver, including sections of Adams, Larimer and Weld counties. Meet the candidates: The options are Army veteran Tyler Allcorn, state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann and Weld County Commissioner Lori SaineOf note: Saine has the top line (meaning her name will appear first on the ballot) because she qualified through the party assembly. The other candidates submitted petitions. Between the lines: All...
COLORADO STATE

1-minute voter guide: 1st Congressional District race features progressive challenge to Diana DeGette

Voters in Colorado's blue-bent 1st Congressional District, which primarily covers Denver, will decide this month whether to stick with the status quo or head down a more progressive path.State of play: Democrat Diana DeGette, the Colorado delegation's longest-serving member who is pursuing a 14th term, faces a primary challenge from first-time candidate Neal Walia.Walia is a political organizer, son of Indian immigrants and self-proclaimed "grassroots progressive candidate." He says he will be a champion for Colorado's most vulnerable communities. He is also an alumnus of the University of Colorado Boulder and CU Denver, and has worked for former Gov. John...
DENVER, CO

1- minute voter guide: CU Regent race in 1st District features prominent Democrats

The University of Colorado Board of Regents has four of its nine seats up for grabs this November, including in Denver's 1st Congressional District.Why it matters: The Democratic primary winner will likely serve on the board, given Denver's political bent.State of play: Democratic incumbent Jack Kroll is not seeking reelection after a six-year term, leaving the door open for two ambitious first-generation CU alums. Meet the candidates: Wanda James is known for her business and political leadership, including working for Gov. Jared Polis' transition team and serving on the CU Alumni Board of Directors. She's also founder and CEO...
DENVER, CO

A 1-minute voter guide: Democrats debate progressive bonafides in Denver's State House District 6

You've probably seen yard signs for Democrats Elisabeth Epps and Katie March if you live in the east Denver district that they both want to represent. State of play: Both women call themselves progressives — a tag that essentially means candidates who are more left-of-center than traditional Democrats. They are battling over who better embodies the label.By the numbers: When all's said and done, this could be one of this year's most expensive statehouse races, the Denver Post suggests. On the map: House District 6 includes the neighborhoods of Capital Hill, Cheesman Park, Congress Park, Hale, Lowry and...
DENVER, CO

Colorado won't meet Biden's demand for state gas tax holiday, leaders say

President Biden is asking states to suspend gas taxes, but Colorado won't immediately join the effort.Driving the news: Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday praised Biden's call for a three-month federal gas tax suspension, but stopped short of endorsing the move at the state level.Polis spokesperson Conor Cahill told Axios Denver that the governor is "open to additional ways to save people money, including suspending gas fees and taxes, so long as the state legislature didn’t take the money from needed road repairs."To implement a gas tax holiday, Polis or lawmakers would need to call a special legislative session and pass...
COLORADO STATE

Colorado's attorney general leads organization facing pay-to-play allegations

The Attorney General Alliance, an organization led by Colorado's Phil Weiser, is facing criticism for courting $50,000 donations from lobbyists and corporate partners to pay for its lavish conferences and foreign junkets.Why it matters: State attorneys general wield immense influence over public safety and consumer matters with huge financial implications for corporate America, Axios' Lachlan Markay and John Frank report.Driving the news: Chris Toth, former executive director of the National Association of Attorneys General, contended in his recent retirement letter that the Attorney General Alliance — a competitor — is selling access to lobbyists and corporate patrons.Toth wrote that he's...
COLORADO STATE

New study reveals Denver's police-alternative program lowered crime and costs

As Denver's Support Team Assisted Response program expands citywide, a new academic study shows sending mental health specialists instead of uniformed police to some low-level 911 calls has made a "dramatic difference" in reducing low-level crime and costs. Why it matters: The research comes at a time when major cities across the U.S. are looking for ways to divert 911 calls from law enforcement amid continued nationwide scrutiny over racially biased policing and excessive use of force. The study provides the most comprehensive analysis available linking a police-alternative program to drops in crime and city spending, according to Thomas Dee,...
DENVER, CO

Colorado celebrates Bike to Work Day

Time to ditch your car again. Bike to Work Day is here. Why it matters: Cycling has health and environmental benefits you won't get from sitting in a driver's seat. Details: Several businesses and organizations across the Denver metro are hosting events Wednesday. You can find a full list online,...
DENVER, CO

Colorado taxpayer refunds will nearly double as state tax revenue surges

Colorado taxpayers will see a $750 refund this summer, an increase from initial projections of $400, according to a legislative economic forecast released Tuesday.Driving the news: An unexpected surge in income tax collections led to a 21.8% increase in discretionary revenue available in the state budget — the greatest one-year increase in at least two decades.Be smart: Much of the surplus revenue exceeds the limits in the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights — meaning it must go back to taxpayers through refund checks and an extension of the temporary decrease in the state's income tax to 4.5%.TABOR refunds will total...
COLORADO STATE

Denver adds rules for HOA-led foreclosures

Foreclosures initiated by homeowners associations in the city are set to face additional regulations.Catch up quick: The Denver City Council approved new rules on Monday for what HOAs need to do before they can try to foreclose on a property.Driving the news: The Master Homeowners Association for Green Valley Ranch in far northeast Denver faced scrutiny earlier this year when it was revealed that nearly half of all foreclosures in the city were initiated by the HOA.Council president Stacie Gilmore, who introduced the bill, called this a "disproportionate" figure last month.She added that many of the homeowners facing these foreclosures hadn't been informed of their rights or resources, and called some of their violations "small." For example, one house had a car parked on a concrete pad, which led to a GVR homeowner being threatened with foreclosure, Denverite reported.Details: The bill will require HOAs to give homeowners a 30-day notice before starting a foreclosure. The associations must also provide resources, like legal or housing assistance programs, to help people stay in their homes.What's next: The bill will go into effect in August.
DENVER, CO

Colorado prepares thousands of COVID shots for kids under 5

Colorado children as young as 6 months can get their COVID-19 shots starting Wednesday, after both the Pfizer and Moderna doses were recommended by the CDC. Why it matters: The coronavirus is one of the five leading causes of death in children in the U.S., according to CDC advisers. State...
COLORADO STATE