Shay Castle Profile picture
Mar 2 39 tweets 6 min read
Next up: Some updates on the city's lobbying agenda for the state leg. No presentation, but I've got a few notes so you know what Boulder is advocating for.
First up: Support expansion of behavioral health
No specific legislation yet, but Boulder likely to support
whatever gets proposed. Recommendations from a task force report introduced to the state leg.

They are as follows:
- Address the residential behavioral health needs of Colorado’s Native American Tribes. ($5 to $10M)

- Meet the needs of children, youth, and families through residential care, community services, and school and pediatric behavioral health care integrations. ($110.5 to $141.5M)
- Invest in increased adult inpatient and residential care. ($65 to $71M)

- Integrate primary care and behavioral health. ($35 to $37.6M)

- Address gaps in the continuum of care through grants to local governments and community-based organizations. ($35 to $37.6M)
- Ensure people aren’t arrested and jailed for their behavioral health conditions by using diversion, early interventions, & competency restoration. ($65 to $70M)

- Expand and support Colorado’s behavioral health workforce. ($80.3 to $82.7M)
- Invest in Colorado’s behavioral health system through care navigation & coordination, and immediate pandemic relief. ($44.2 to $50.7M)
Again, those are recommendations of a state-level task force that may eventually end up in some Colorado legislation, which Boulder will probably support.

I don't usually report on stuff that's this far from actually happening, but I thought it was interesting.
Moving on to other legislation that Boulder may/will support:

Ranked choice voting
HB21-1071: Requires Secretary of State to provide support, guidance to cities doing RCV
Bill in joint budget committee
Greenhouse gas rules for transportation sector
All statewide and regional transportation plans can’t be approved without emissions reduction goals
Building energy
Require local gov’t to adopt “enhanced building energy codes” (2021 standards) by 2025 and near carbon zero energy code by 2030

Rep Bennet D- Longmont expected to introduce legislation soon
Lastly, 3 pending bills related to air pollution

HB22-1026 – Alternative Transportation Options Tax Credit - Replaces existing income tax deduction for employers when providing alternative transportation options to employees with a refundable credit of 50% of expenses
HB22-1138 – Clean Commuting Bill – The bill creates an income tax credit for any employer that:
Creates a clean commuting plan to implement strategies to increase the use of alternative transportation options and reduce the number of measurable vehicle miles driven by its ...
... employees in single-occupancy vehicles when commuting to and from their work site for the purpose of reducing automobile-related air pollution, traffic congestion, and transportation costs, particularly for essential workers and workers earning under $40,000 per year;
Conducts an employer commuter survey to determine how its employees commute to and from their work site; and
Offers two or more alternative transportation options to some or all of its employees in furtherance of the employer's clean commuting plan.
In offering a tax credit of 50% of the amount spent by the employer to provide alternative transportation options, this bill creates an conflict with HB22-1026 which will need to be reconciled.
and HB22-1244 – Public Protections from Toxic Air Contaminants - Creates a new program to regulate "toxic air contaminants," defined as hazardous air pollutants, covered air toxics, and all other air pollutants that the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission designates ....
as a toxic air contaminant based on its adverse health effects "
Well of course after I tweeted all that.... 1138 is dead. So it's just those 2 bills.

And these 2 possible proposals:
Changes to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment – Expected to be introduced by Senator Fenberg and Rep. Bernett, would increase CDPHE modelling and monitoring of EPA criterion pollutants and make other changes to the operations of the agency.
and Free Transit Passes During High Ozone Season - Governor budget proposal suggests using one-time general funds to establish a program to provide free transit during high ozone periods of the year (e.g., May through Sept.)
"Legislation is expected to be introduced to allocate these funds to CDOT to then redistribute them to transit agencies willing to support such free transit programs. The city has been working with the MCC to encourage RTD to support this measure and to participate."
So those are the bills Boulder's lobbyist is watching that align with the city's priorities.
Some others that aren't Boulder priorities but that it's keeping an eye on anyway:

A bill to incentivize compact development. CO is trying to encourage cities to do that, and would give $$ upfront and after success was demonstrated.
"That's a bill I believe Boulder would support and should support," Carl Castillo, city lobbyist says. Bc it's $$ from the state.
Density obviously a contentious issue in Boulder, so no guarantee Boulder would support. Under this council, though, it likely would.
Other bills Boulder is watching:
- Rent control for mobile home parks, or at least allow cities to do so (current state law bans local rent control)
Expert and academic opinion on rent control has changed in recent years. They now believe new forms (not just straight-up rent caps) can be helpful IF AND WHEN combined with adding a lot more housing.
Believe I've linked to this before, but here you go:…
State lobbyists are here to give council some updates and answer questions. Headwater Strategies, which has been the city's lobbying firm for quite some time. (At least as long as I've been here)
Adam Eichberg and Will Coyne
Day 50 of the legislative session, ~480 bills introduced. Typically, there's 600-700 so there could be 200-250 more coming, Eichberg says.
Boulder has outsize influence at the capitol.…
Joseph: There's a bill coming forward to ban flavored marijuana, I believe. Do you have any info?

Eichberg: It's a ban on flavored tobacco products, similar to Boulder's.…
Joseph: I thought the collective bargaining bill was gaining a lot of momentum.

Eichberg: It hasn't been introduced yet.
Castillo: Governor says he won't sign it as is.…
Joseph: How can I or other council members support this bill?

Castillo: Boulder strongly supports this, although there are some issues with it. Anything the governor may request will address those.
"At this point," Castillo says, "it seems best to let the powers at be have those convos," and when a bill is introduced, that's when to show your support.
Speer: Are there any bills that are focused on addressing uneven recovery from the pandemic and growing inequity generally?
I didn't really hear anything substantive related to income inequality in Castillo's response.
This was supposed to be a public hearing, but no one signed up. Nothing new in this lobbying agenda anyway, and council isn't actually doing anything, so it doesn't really matter.
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More from @shayshinecastle

Mar 2
Yes, I am still here. Next: When will council return to chambers for meetings? COVID transmission is still high but falling pretty quickly.…
Apparently April 5 at the very earliest for council, and May 3 for the public. As you'll see in that presentation.
That would be for regular and special meetings only; study sessions would stay virtual.

And even in-person meetings would be hybrid, with some council members, staff and public able to participate remotely.
Read 19 tweets
Mar 2
Next up: A quick review of plans for a new Fire Station No. 3
That's being relocated out of the floodplain (30th/Arap)…
It's quite pricey: Last I checked (fall 2021) the budget was $23.5M — $11M *over* budget, primarily due to the high cost of land to build on ($9M for 2751 and 2875 30th St
That $11M is coming from the CCS extension

The new Fire Station No. 3 will have: "4 apparatus bays, administration offices, exercise, meeting, dining, and living room spaces along with bunk rooms for firefighters and administrative offices"…
Read 24 tweets
Mar 2
Council passing the consent agenda, which has a few interesting things on it: First, some changes to the Boulder Junction area.
30th Street from Pearl to Goose Creek (east side) Goose Creek to Valmont (east and west)
Removing on-street parking, “trees in grates” (will be replanted in strip)
Replace with 8-ft “streetscaping planting strip” and 10-ft sidewalk, protected bike lanes

Planning Board OK’d 5-0
Secondly, 2691 30th St - city purchasing for affordable housing
$4.75M total
- $2.2M already paid to seller for 2 yrs as Path to Home, winter homeless shelter will be credited to city
City owes $2.55M more
Read 6 tweets
Mar 2
OK, our crime update.
Presentation here:…
TLDR: Boulder has a lower rate of violent crime than the U.S. and Colorado, but a higher rate of property crime.

A few crimes have increased in recent years, as we'll talk about. But again: Overall, a low violent crime rate, even with the increases.
That's important bc all these graphs show an increase in crime (except for bike thefts). But in some cases, the numbers we're talking about are literally between 0 and 10, like robbery.
Read 67 tweets
Mar 2
Judge Linda Cooke is here to give a quarterly update on the municipal court, including a super-quick run down on what muni court is and what they do.…
But mostly this update is about community court: The programs muni court runs for unhoused offenders that allow them to get rid of some tickets/charges in exchange for working toward ending homelessness.
So if participants do things like: get a Social Security card, go through coordinated entry, or applying for housing or benefits, they can get their case dropped.

This work is funded by a federal grant.
Read 35 tweets
Feb 23
Next we're talking: How to pay for the city's climate work.…
The city currently has a few mechanisms for this:
CAP tax (on electricity use)
UOT (originally to fund the muni but now the partnership work with Xcel)
Plus the disposable bag fee, trash tax and some $$ from the Energy Impact Offset fund.
All told, it's about ~$4M per year. But the CAP is expiring next year, and the UOT repurposing/extension in 2025.

Plus, as staff continually notes, current spending is not enough to keep up the growing realities of climate change.
Read 57 tweets

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