Colorado Public Radio

Voters are dissatisfied with both major political parties. Nearly 70 percent say the Republicans and Democrats fail to adequately represent the American people, according to a recent survey from the nonpartisan Democracy Fund.

Like many in rural America, Allen Coyne has multiple jobs. He’s Julesburg’s town manager. He can string utility poles and bring power to people’s homes. He knows how to operate the wastewater treatment plant in a pinch. He even can act as a real estate agent.

“This is the only place that I know of that you can buy the ground from the town and we are actually the real estate agent,” explained Coyne.

Mark Twain was reputed to have said “too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Colorado seems to agree.

State tax records show spirit sales up 35 percent since 2010, meaning hard liquor sales have grown three times faster than beer in that time. That’s not a knock against the state’s love affair with craft beer. Beer sales, which grew 9 percent, are weighed down by weak domestic brand sales.

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Colorado’s prison population has increased seven-fold since 1980 and the number of felony cases filed by prosecutors has jumped 50 percent in just five years — sparking a statewide incarceration boom that costs Coloradans almost $1 billion a year, according to an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

Almost 300 mentally ill people across the state have been in jail for months — before being convicted of anything — because state officials say there is not enough room at the mental health hospital to treat them before they stand trial.

Some of those people, many of whom face low-level charges like trespassing, have been in a county jail cell for more than 100 days. At least one man has been there more than 200 days.

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is being criticized by some for his veto of a pot bill that some think could boost the black market for pot.

As The Denver Post reports, Hickenlooper, a term-limited Democrat, vetoed a bill that would have opened up the cannabis industry to investment by public companies. Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said help proliferate the black market for pot.

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The Colorado governor’s campaign is being pegged as the most expensive campaign in the state’s history but because of the way candidates are spending their money, it may not be information that is readily available. contracts, the level of spending likely won’t be made public.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, many of the state’s gubernatorial candidates have super PACs raising money to buy ads, much of them on TV. Because TV stations aren’t required by the FCC to disclose those.

Child poverty in Colorado

Apr 1, 2015
Colorado Public Radio / Colorado Public Radio

  Child poverty is a major concern in Colorado, officials are contending with the issue by addressing teen pregnancies, food stamp use, and much more. In a report published last month government leaders can see the wide variety of concerns and take measures to alleviate the problem.