News, September 4th

COLORADO EDUCATION TAX APPROVED FOR BALLOT

DENVER (AP) – A proposal to increase Colorado income taxes to pay for school upgrades will appear on the November ballot after election officials determined that there were enough signatures for the petition.  But supporters of the tax increase barely got enough valid signatures even though they turned in nearly double the number that was required. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced Wednesday that 89,820 signatures were valid. That’s 3,715 more than what’s needed to get on the ballot.
Supporters of the tax increased had turned in 165,710 signatures, but many were invalid.
The tax proposed would raise nearly $1 billion a year for education upgrades including expanded kindergarten and preschool and more attention for disabled students and students learning English. Voter approval of the tax is required before a new school-funding overhaul law takes effect.

COLORADO / KANSAS RAIL ROUTE DISCUSSED

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) – Community leaders from Kansas are meeting with their counterparts from Colorado and New Mexico next week to look for ways to save an Amtrak route through Kansas and Colorado. The Colorado Rail Passenger Association is sponsoring the Sept. 14 meeting in Pueblo, Colo., to discuss the future of the Southwest Chief.  Amtrak has indicated that it will reroute the line when its contract with BNSF Railway expires in 2015 if track conditions aren’t improved in south-central and southwest Kansas.  Deteriorating conditions force the Southwest Chief to slow in Kansas on its run between Chicago and Los Angeles.  Garden City state Rep. John Doll, Garden City Commissioner Janet Doll and Dodge City Mayor Kent Small are expected to represent Kansas at the meeting.

GUN RIGHTS, RECALL CAMPAIGNS CLASH

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) – Relatives of some of those killed in the Aurora theater shooting and Newtown are campaigning for one of two Colorado senators facing a recall election for passing stricter gun control laws. Tom Sullivan and Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, whose children were killed in Aurora, and Jane Dougherty, whose sister was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, spoke with volunteers for Sen. John Morse in Colorado Springs Wednesday. Sandy and Lonnie Phillips of San Antonio, Texas also joined the volunteers in going door-to-door, something they plan to continue until the election ends Tuesday. Meanwhile, six of the Colorado sheriffs who oppose the new guns laws held a rally in Colorado Springs. Colorado was the only state outside the East Coast to tighten its gun laws after last year’s mass shootings.

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