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KUNC's Colorado Edition: Big Money Goes Around The State

Ken Lund
CC BY-SA 2.0

On this week's Colorado Edition, we dive into a few of the bills state lawmakers are debating, including one that could change the way Colorado awards its nine electoral votes. We also talk with Rep. Jason Crow about the effort to rein in the role of money in politics, and check in on a year-old initiative to fund mental health services in Eagle County.

This time last year, Eagle County had just started taxing recreational marijuana. The revenue was going to be used to pay for mental health services for its residents. This rural area on the Western Slope has higher rates of mental illness and suicide than the rest of the state. Matt Bloom recently returned to Eagle to see how things are going, and what challenges lie ahead.

Military service is one thing freshman congressman Jason Crow shares with Mike Coffman, the Republican he ousted in the 2018 midterm. Michael de Yoanna spoke to Rep. Crow about the possibility of peace in Afghanistan, his role on the Armed Services Committee and his party's push to clean up money in politics.

Nationally, health care has been a partisan issue for the last few years. But in Colorado, it's emerging as a top priority for both Democrats and Republicans at the State Capitol. As Scott Franz reports, some of the early legislation being proposed this session is already packing legislative hearing rooms.

Also at the capitol, Democrats are one step closer to changing the way Colorado's nine electoral votes are awarded in presidential elections — to ensure that if a presidential candidate wins the popular vote but loses the electoral vote, they would win the election. Colorado Sun political reporter Jesse Paul has been following Senate Bill 42, and joins Erin O'Toole to talk about the effort.

The 23rd Denver Jewish Film Festival is Feb. 6 through Feb. 18, with a schedule that includes 29 features. KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches film and television at CU-Denver, is especially fond of two films in the festival.

In the headlines:

  • In their first week back on the job after the record 35-day government shutdown, federal employees are playing catch-up to aid farmers. At the Farm Service Agency in Greeley, farmers were eager to sign up for crucial safety net programs — as federal workers sifted through a backlog of paperwork.

  • It's expensive to live in Fort Collins, and a new study finds one of the factors may be the "U-plus-2" housing ordinance, which limits occupancy to no more than three unrelated people per household. CSU and the mayor have proposed a "right-sized" approach, but city council has no plans to revisit the policy.

  • Hamilton fans in Colorado will have another shot at seeing the popular Broadway show. It will return to Denver for a seven-week run at the Buell Theatre in August 2020, but there's no word yet on when tickets will go on sale.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our intro music is "Remember Me" by Colorado musician Kalatana. The midshow break is "Bling Bong" by Robbie Reverb. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Lamplist"
  • "The Zeppelin"
  • "Black Ballots"

This episode was hosted and produced by assistant news director Erin O'Toole and managing editor Brian Larson. Digital editor Jackie Hai handled the web. News director Catherine Welch contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a weekly look at the top stories from our newsroom. It's available every Friday on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or wherever (RSS) you get your podcasts. You can hear it on the air every Sunday at 9 p.m. on KUNC.

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