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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Colorado Republicans are getting (rightfully) blasted for proposing legislation that would jail Colorado teachers for escalating their push to increase education funding. Mother Jones is just one of numerous national news outlets to pick up this story:
The bill, which is seen as a long shot to make it through the state Legislature, came just days after hundreds of Colorado educators rallied in Denver, joining educators in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona in protesting for better pay and funding for public schools. Gardner told the Denver Post on Monday that the idea for the proposed legislation emerged after the strike in West Virginia, and he noted he was open to changes in the penalty for teachers who strike, adding it was “probably most important” that unions are penalized for sponsoring a strike.
“It’s a wise thing to do, in some shape or form, in the state of Colorado because we have one district that’s already voted to strike. We have others discussing a strike,” Gardner told the Post. “Strikes are not good for children.” On Twitter, Colorado Senate Democrats slammed the bill as “anti-worker trash.”
Colorado teachers are among the lowest-paid in the entire country. 9News has a list of school districts that will be closed for students at the end of this week because of planned teacher protests.
► The White House is defending President Trump’s nominee for VA Secretary amid what looks to be an uphill battle for confirmation. From the Washington Post:
Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician and a former combat surgeon, was scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Wednesday. But the hearing has been delayed because of concerns about his qualifications and oversight of the White House medical staff, as well as other allegations about Jackson’s conduct that have been shared with the committee.
“We’re gonna have a hearing at some time in the future, but not Wednesday,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), the chairman of the panel.
Should Jackson’s nomination fail, perhaps Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman can be a nominee so that he can later call on himself to resign. In the meantime, perhaps Trump’s administration can come up with some sort of vetting process.
► If you’re having a difficult time keeping track of the number of sexual harassment allegations now levied against Sen. Randy Baumgardner, you are not alone. If you believe that Senate President Kevin Grantham or Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert are ever going to actually do something about these allegations…well, you might be on your own there.
► Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) may be finishing out his political career in 2018 after a Colorado State Supreme Court ruling tossed his name off of the June Primary ballot. Lamborn is apparently appealing the decision to a federal court, but it is unclear whether a higher court will consider his arguments. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office is supposed to finalize the Primary ballot by Friday, April 27.
This is a complete embarrassment for Lamborn even if he ultimately makes it onto the Primary ballot. Lamborn is a six-term Congressman, yet his re-election campaign struggled to collect 1,000 valid petition signatures.
Get even more smarter after the jump…