Colorado alcohol deaths surged 60% in 4 years, but there’s been no public outcry or push to save lives
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Meg Wingerter
3M ago
Fatal drug overdoses had been slowly rising for a decade, but when the number of Coloradans killed by fentanyl soared during the first two years of the pandemic, state leaders, law enforcement officials, public health managers — even ordinary people — called for drastic action. Hoping to stem the loss of life, lawmakers took the controversial step in 2022 of making it a felony to possess even a small amount of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid responsible for most of the state’s fatal overdoses. Schools and colleges began stocking the overdose-reversal medication naloxone. Families and friends of ..read more
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Proposition II results: Colorado voters approve measure allowing state to keep excess tobacco taxes
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Nick Coltrain
5M ago
Colorado’s tobacco and nicotine taxes will remain unchanged and the state will reap an extra $23.65 million in preschool program funding after voters on Tuesday night approved Proposition II. As of midnight, about nearly 67% of voters were supporting Proposition II while 33% voted against it, out of nearly 1.4 million votes counted. Prop. II is a tax-retention measure that asked voters to allow the state to keep excess tax collections under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. It’s a sequel to 2020’s Proposition EE, which raised taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products and created a new tax on ..read more
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Election Day is here in Colorado. Here’s what to know and how to vote.
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Seth Klamann
5M ago
Tuesday is Election Day in Colorado, as voters weigh in on a property tax relief measure backed by Gov. Jared Polis and whether to use excess tobacco tax money to help fund preschools. Besides the state’s propositions HH and II, many cities and towns are holding elections in municipal races, and some school board seats also are on the ballot. Voting centers are open for in-person voting statewide from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you’re in line to vote by 7 p.m., you’ll be able to cast your ballot. If you’re still holding onto a mail ballot, it must be dropped off at a box or voting center by 7 p.m. Yo ..read more
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More than 650,000 Coloradans have cast ballots as election approaches — a fraction of possible voters
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Seth Klamann
5M ago
Fewer than 17% of active Colorado voters have cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s election as Coloradans weigh preschool funding and Gov. Jared Polis’ plan to blunt property tax increases. Five days before Election Day, 654,449 ballots had been returned as of Friday, according to data from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Unaffiliated voters make up 247,453 of that total, the most of any group. Registered Republicans are second with 209,660, followed by Democrats with 190,639. Nearly all of the votes cast thus far have been through mail ballots, whether returned through the mail or ..read more
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Here’s how Colorado Proposition II would affect tobacco taxes and preschools
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Nick Coltrain
6M ago
Proposition II poses a simple question to Colorado voters, or at least as simple as a tax measure can be: Can the state keep nearly $23.7 million to pay mostly for preschool programs, or does it need to return that money to tobacco wholesalers and distributors? The money was collected from taxes on tobacco and nicotine products that voters approved with 2020’s Proposition EE. State analysts projected that Prop. EE would generate about $186.5 million in new taxes during the first year; instead, the state collected $208 million. The taxes included higher tax rates for cigarettes and other tobacc ..read more
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Denver Referred Question 2P asks voters to make the city’s preschool tax permanent
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Joe Rubino
6M ago
If Denver Referred Question 2P look familiar, that’s because Denver voters twice before have had their say on a sales tax that provides tuition support for families seeking to enroll 4-year-olds in preschool. The new measure on ballots for the Nov. 7 election is aimed at authorizing the now-17-year-old tax in perpetuity, without a need to ask voters to renew it. A narrow margin of Denverites in 2006 approved the initial 0.12% sales tax that launched the Denver Preschool Program, setting a rate that amounts to 12 cents on a $100 purchase. That tax came with an expiration date 10 years later. In ..read more
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Editorial: The Denver Post’s endorsement on Proposition II
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by The Denver Post Editorial Board
6M ago
A quirk of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requires that even if voters agree to a tax increase – in this case about $176 million in new tobacco and nicotine taxes approved by voters in 2020 – if it generates more money than estimated, the state has to refund the excess. The question in Proposition II is whether the state can keep the $23 million in tobacco and nicotine sales tax revenue that was generated above the $176 million estimate. If voters say no on Nov. 7, the state will be forced to refund that money to the stores that collected it from smokers, chewers, and vapers and lower the sales ..read more
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Sober seating bill for Colorado sports, concert venues would set national precedent
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by John Wenzel
1y ago
State legislators plan to vote on a bill this week that would require “substance-free seating” for Colorado sporting events and concerts at venues with more than 7,000 seats, including stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters. Senate Bill 23-171, introduced Feb. 27 by Colorado Sen. Kevin Priola and Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy, would require venues such as Ball Arena, Coors Field, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Empower Field at Mile High to offer 4% of their audience capacity as “substance free seating,” where alcohol, tobacco and other substances would be banned. The bill addresses the need for families a ..read more
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How crime, Polis, and a workforce shortage shaped Colorado lawmaking in 2022
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Nick Coltrain, Alex Burness
2y ago
Wednesday marked the 120th and final day of Colorado’s 2022 legislative session, and the fourth straight year of total Democratic control of state government. It may also have marked an end of an era: polling suggests Republicans have a real chance to flip the state Senate in November, even as their odds are much longer for a flipped House or governor’s office. With that election looming over everything this year, it turned out to be a fascinating session in Colorado. Here are some of the major takeaways from the past 120 days: A boomerang on law enforcement In mid-2020, as protestors flooded ..read more
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Flavored vapes, menthol cigarettes could soon be banned in Colorado
The Denver Post » Tobacco
by Meg Wingerter, Nick Coltrain
2y ago
The nicotine landscape in Colorado is likely to change in the near future, but how much depends on what lawmakers do in the final days of this year’s legislative session. Late last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed banning menthol in cigarettes and all non-tobacco flavors in cigars. A bill in the Colorado legislature would go further, prohibiting retailers from selling any tobacco product that’s flavored, and outlawing products made with lab-created nicotine. That wider definition would include e-cigarette liquid and most products, other than “premium cigars” and hookah tob ..read more
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