Enjoy the last big weekend of summer. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
*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.
► Extended unemployment benefits for thousands of Coloradans will run out on Saturday, as CBS4 Denver reports:
Standard UI benefits are only available for 26 weeks. But with the pandemic came enhanced benefits, providing a temporary boost. That boost is over on Sept. 4.
Claimants on regular state unemployment will still receive their weekly benefits, but the extra $300 provided by Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation every week will end.
About 107,000 Coloradans had come to rely on those extended benefits, though some employers struggling to find workers have claimed that the benefits were preventing many people from applying for jobs. Research has shown that extended UI benefits had no impact on job growth.
As The New York Times explains, the real threat to the American economy is still the COVID-19 pandemic:
The American economy slowed abruptly last month, adding 235,000 jobs, a sharp drop from the huge gains recorded earlier in the summer and an indication that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is putting a damper on hiring.
The Labor Department report on Friday follows a sharp increase in coronavirus cases and deaths that has undermined hopes that restrictions on daily activities were nearing an end.
The unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, compared with 5.4 percent in July. Economists polled by Bloomberg has been looking for gain of 725,000 jobs.
Here in Colorado, the economy is stable enough that residents can actually expect the largest tax refunds in two decades. From The Denver Post:
The savings are split among three categories: a sales tax refund, a temporary cut to the state’s flat income tax rate (in this case, from 4.55% to 4.5%), and reimbursements to local governments.
For the sales tax refund, the average single filer is expected to get $69 on average, the state controller estimates, and joint filers on average should see refunds of $166. Those would be the largest TABOR refunds in 20 years.
► Republicans across the country are now facing the flip-side of the story related to the draconian new abortion ban in Texas. Republican candidates for 2022 and 2024 won’t be able to avoid answering questions about whether or not they support the Texas law, which is a particular problem in places (such as Colorado) where voters are overwhelmingly pro-choice. Here in Colorado, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer responded to an inquiry on the subject by saying that he “wasn’t comfortable” answering questions about the Texas law.
In related news, Denver7 reports on how the Texas abortion ban is likely to impact Colorado:
Already, Planned Parenthood in Texas is encouraging women to travel to Colorado and other surrounding states to have their abortions after six weeks. Colorado for Life exists to protect and defend every unborn life, which includes ending “abortion tourism” in Colorado.
Karen Middleton is the president of Cobalt, a pro-choice group, that, in part, helps women financially come from more conservative states to Colorado.
“We are already starting to get calls. What will happen is if they can’t get legal access to abortions in Texas, they will go to another state and legally access that elsewhere. Colorado’s doors are open,” Middleton said.
Upwards of 15% of the abortions in Colorado are for women coming from other states, according to Middleton. Many fly in to get the procedure and fly right back the same day.
► The all-Republican Mesa County Board of Commissioners allowed right-wing activist Sherronna Bishop to present her “proof” of 2020 election fraud this week. Bishop, who was Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s campaign manager in 2020, sat down in front of the Mesa County Commissioners and offered ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that would even begin to corroborate her election fraud clams.
► As Charles Ashby reports for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is insisting that she is doing her job remotely…from wherever she is at the moment:
There is nothing wrong with working remotely, whether it’s from her home office or at some undisclosed location in the nation, according to an email Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters sent to several county officials Wednesday evening.
In a response to the Mesa County Attorney’s Office over a Colorado Open Records Act request from a county resident, Peters scolded Commissioners Janet Rowland and Scott McInnis for implying that she’s not doing her job.
“For the others copied in to this email, I am working starting at 7 a.m. everyday with stand ups and direction for my staff as well as during the day,” Peters wrote. “Regarding the ‘rudderless’ office Scott has asserted, and me being accused by Janet of being ‘MIA,’ I can assure everyone, that is not the case.”
You’ll forgive us if we aren’t inclined to take the word of someone who is hiding out in an unknown location and is currently under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, the Mesa County District Attorney, the Colorado Attorney General’s office, and the FBI.
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