Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This Week
January 11-17, 2016 ~ Karly Malpiede Andrus
Legal Memo Complicates Hickenlooper’s Hospital Provider Fee Effort
- A nonbinding legal memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Legal Services cited a state Supreme Court case to assert the current hospital provider fee program cannot qualify as an enterprise fund because it does not meet the requirements for a government-owned business. This memo is nearly identical to a March 16, 2015 opinion provided to the Democrats. Despite Senate President Cadman’s assertion the move is unconstitutional Governor Hickenlooper still contends the move is legal and is asking the Attorney General for a decision. http://goo.gl/95f2bX
- The fee, estimated at $750 million, is pushing the state above the revenue cap resulting in taxpayer refunds under TABOR. Should the hospital provider fee be reclassified the state could avoid TABOR payout and other budget cuts.
RedRover & SAF-T Grant Helps Domestic Violence Victims and Their Pets
- Together with Sheltering Animals and Families Together (SAF-T), RedRover is providing Domestic Violence Safe Housing grants. These grants enable organizations providing emergency shelter for domestic violence victims to create space to house their pets on site. The Grants are up to $6,000 and the goal is to have at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in each state in 2016. https://goo.gl/CjazDM
- There are an estimated 1.3 million victims of domestic violence annually, 48% of victims will delay or refuse leaving an abusive home out of fear of leaving pets/livestock behind, up to 85% of victims entering shelters reported their partner threatened, injured or killed their pet. http://goo.gl/80Wkyu This program aims to save lives by addressing this huge unmet need.
Feds Scuttle Unique Land-For-Lab Deal in Lakewood
- The unique proposed deal on 59 acres along the W Line had presented a TOD neighborhood opportunity to Lakewood in exchange for building a new federal lab. The outgoing City Council, seeking more community feedback, tabled this issue in their October meeting until the March 28, 2016 meeting; they acknowledge they did not immediately notify the General Services Administration (GSA). When GSA learned of this 6 month delay and explained their deadline of January 22 it became clear that the deal cannot work in its current structure and varied timeframes. GSA announced its desire to move forward with an open process starting with a request for qualifications. Lakewood will continue to be involved in the process but no longer in charge of a master planning effort. http://goo.gl/F0blOI
- This tale from the field shows how partnerships and ideas can emerge to find the best solutions but communication and shared expectations are key to success.