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*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
*Coloradans can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at one of six locations without a prior appointment.
Colorado on Sunday sat atop a New York Times tracker for national hotspots, recording the worst 7-day average rate for new coronavirus cases in the nation. (It first rose to the top spot on Friday.)
Measurements of how well the virus is under control are near the lowest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic. An estimated one out of every 81 people in the state is currently contagious with the virus. In March, that number was one out of every 350 people.
The most recent modeling projections produced by health experts at several Colorado universities estimate more virus will be in circulation this coming summer than last summer. And the virus that is circulating will be predominantly from more infectious variants — most of the cases in the state now come from the B.1.1.7 variant, which is believed to be 50% more transmissible than older strains.
We are not doctors here at Colorado Pols, so take our advice with the appropriate grains of salt: You should probably keep wearing a mask in public even if you are vaccinated, but DEFINITELY if you are unvaccinated. Colorado businesses can also set their own requirements for wearing masks inside stores.
In related news, President Biden is announcing plans for the U.S. to share 20 million COVID-19 vaccines with the rest of the world.
► The U.S. Supreme Court will consider an abortion law from Mississippi that could mark a path toward the dissolution of Roe v. Wade. As The Washington Post explains:
The Supreme Court on Monday said it will review a restrictive Mississippi abortion law that opponents of the procedure say provides a clear path to diminish Roe v. Wade’s establishment of the right of women to choose an abortion.
Abortion opponents for months have urged the court’s conservatives to seize the chance to reexamine the 1973 precedent. Mississippi is one among many Republican-led states that have passed restrictions that conflict with the court’s precedents protecting a woman’s right to choose before fetal viability.
In accepting the case, the court said it would examine whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” That has been a key component of the court’s jurisprudence.
The Mississippi law would ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But both a district judge and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit said that could not be squared with decades of Supreme Court precedents.
The Court could hear the case as soon as Fall 2021.
► The editorial board of The Denver Post hopes that Republicans will field a decent candidate to oust Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) in 2022:
Congressman Doug Lamborn should be in trouble. But there have been many times that he should have been in trouble before and yet has eked out many tough primary victories in Colorado’s safely Republican 5th Congressional District.
We hope this time the evidence that he is mismanaging his office and misspending government funds will result in voters ousting him from the post.
The complaints filed in a lawsuit against Lamborn last week by a former staffer (some of which are backed up by emails obtained by The Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson) are just embarrassing…
…We’ve long heard Republicans were going to mount a strong challenger to Lamborn, but often the vote gets split between multiple challengers. This year, we hope someone steps up for the primary and the folks are able to coalesce behind the challenger.
Here’s more background on the lawsuit filed against Rep. Lamborn by a former staffer. For further reading, check these stories from The Denver Post; Colorado Public Radio; The Colorado Times Recorder; Denver7; CNN; POLITICO; and The Associated Press.
► Let’s get caught up on more news from the state legislature, which has just a few weeks left in the 2021 session…
Governor Jared Polis will sign the “long bill” today (SB21-205), otherwise known as the 2021-22 Appropriations Bill.
Colorado Democrats killed a bill on policing and jails after much discussion.
As The Denver Post reports, legislation dealing with marijuana potency has also been altered significantly.
Colorado Newsline reports on a watered-down bill advocating for tenant rights.
Denver7 looks at a couple of bills aimed at improving pre-natal care in Colorado.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on the progress of legislation that would offer discounted state park passes for motorists obtaining or renewing vehicle registration in Colorado.
Legislation dealing with alcohol-to-go is moving along in both chambers.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► As The Washington Post reports, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is definitely not having a good Monday:
A Florida politician considered key to the investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz formally pleaded guilty Monday to sex trafficking of a minor and a host of other crimes, agreeing to cooperate fully with prosecutors and testify in court in hopes of leniency for himself.
Appearing in court Monday, Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector for Seminole County, Fla., repeatedly said, “I do” in response to questions from the judge, affirming what he had already admitted in a written plea agreement made public last week. His plea and deal to cooperate is a potentially ominous sign for Gaetz, as it signals prosecutors have lined up a critical witness as they continue to investigate the congressman.
Today’s news comes after another bad weekend of press for Gaetz, including a widespread story about Gaetz allegedly snorting cocaine with a paid escort.
In related news, you would think Gaetz would be pretty radioactive to other Republicans at the moment…but Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert was not deterred from sharing a stage at a right-wing speaking event in Ohio over the weekend.
► Aurora Mayor “Homeless” Mike Coffman is the same guy who pulled a silly political stunt earlier this year in which he tried living on the street himself:
Oh how far we’ve come from Homeless Mike. https://t.co/c4flLq6kcC
— Logan M. Davis (@LoganMDavis) May 17, 2021
► Republicans are generally the loudest voices warning of largely non-existent voter fraud. It’s (sorta) amazing that the few examples of actual fraudulent voting we ever come across are almost always from Republicans.
► The first monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit will be issued in July. The program is a longtime idea of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) that was included in the American Recovery Plan passed in February.
► Sidney Powell, one of many disgraced former attorneys for Donald Trump, is apparently using a nonprofit fund to pay for personal expenses.
► As CNN reports, Republican governors across the country are refusing federal aid in order to make some sort of stupid political point:
In little more than a week, 17 governors have announced they’ll be cutting off pandemic unemployment benefits early, the latest being West Virginia on Friday. This could cost nearly 2 million people as much as $10.8 billion in payments, according to a recent analysis by The Century Foundation.
The moves echo the refusal by GOP-led states to participate in Medicaid expansion under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act — a resistance that persists, as Missouri’s Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that his state would not implement a voter-approved Medicaid expansion on July 1 for budget reasons.
He and other Republican officials in the dozen red-led states that have yet to expand Medicaid aren’t stepping up to take advantage of a big sweetener that Democrats included in their recent $1.9 trillion relief package. Those states that broaden Medicaid will receive a 5-percentage-point boost in their federal matching funds for two years.
► Colorado officials would like big companies to help address Climate Change by discouraging commutes by car.
► As The Washington Post reports, prospects look dim for action on a broad bill supporting election reforms in Congress.
► Some Arizona Republicans are speaking out about the folly of continuing to insist that the 2020 Presidential election was rife with voter fraud.
► POLITICO explains why Republicans are having a hard time trying to brand President Biden as a villain.
Say What, Now?
► It’s fun to ridicule people trying to be safe.
People who wear a mask after being vaccinated are the same crew who wear a mask while driving alone.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) May 17, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► “Theodore” was one of the most popular baby names in Colorado in 2020.
► As The Colorado Times Recorder reports, conservative “scholar” and attorney John Eastman hung up on radio host Peter Boyles when the latter challenged Eastman’s claims about proof of 2020 election fraud.
► These are not happy times for the National Rifle Association.
► Here’s another good diary from longtime Colorado Pols reader and commenter Michael Bowman.
► Don’t miss the latest episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Jake Williams, Executive Director of Healthier Colorado, on why you should be excited about the big health care bill moving through the state legislature: