Colorado has significantly lowered its prison population this year, but state analysts expect it’ll starting trending upward again soon. After peaking at 23,000 in 2009, the state prison population has held steady at around 20,000 in recent years. The state reports that the population has declined 16.4% since February, down to about 16,000 people, and that the vacancy rate in state prisons has gone from 1% in February to 25% in November. This is a massive shift from the previous trajectory. Just two years ago , the state expected the population to reach a record 25,000 in 2025. So urgent was state government’s perceived need to prepare for growing numbers that lawmakers in 2019 passed a bill to allow for the reopening of Centennial South, the decommissioned Cañon City prison that was built for solitary confinement. The state put more than $1 million toward renovating the prison in anticipation of population growth. Now, the state projects it to bottom out at 15,767 in 2021, … [Read more...] about Colorado’s prison population has declined during pandemic, but is projected to tick upward soon
Colorado state surplus
The first thing to know about the proposed budget for Colorado’s 2021-22 fiscal year is that it’s a whole lot bigger than anyone at the Statehouse had planned for. At $34.1 billion, it’s close to $4 billion fatter than what the state is spending in the current fiscal year. The budget, which will take effect July 1, has been workshopped for five months by the bipartisan Joint Budget Committee and began wending its way through the Statehouse this week. On Thursday, the Senate weighed — and mostly rejected — dozens of amendments. It’ll pass the Senate on Friday and head to the House next week, then eventually to the governor’s desk. Here’s a look at some of the most significant spending proposals in this year’s budget (the figures are subject to change in the coming days), which pays for every state department, and then some. Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: $13.2 billion This agency gets the biggest chunk of the budget every year, by far, as it houses … [Read more...] about Colorado’s budget is nearly $4 billion bigger than last year. Here’s how the state will likely spend your money.
The public health impact of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted calls to shift the 2020 election to a nationwide vote-by-mail system where absentee ballots are sent to every registered voter. President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his opposition to this idea and even threatened to cut off federal funding for states that make the switch. Concerns over voter fraud have cast doubt on the success of a nationwide mail-in voting, but one practice in particular could jeopardize the integrity of the election: ballot harvesting. ….living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020 Ballot harvesting refers to the practice of party volunteers or campaign workers collecting mail-in ballots from … [Read more...] about Here’s How Ballot Harvesting Could Affect Your State In November