Jul 19, 2023

Biden shades Boebert, Colorado youth advisory council calls for bills to support transgender youth

President Joe Biden walks off Air Force One after arriving at Peterson Air Force Base Wednesday. The president will speak Thursday at the Air Force Academy graduation.

Today is Aug. 10, 2023, and here's what you need to know:

President Joe Biden needled U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert on Wednesday during a speech at a wind power manufacturing plant in Albuquerque, where he called out the Silt Republican for voting against a bill that could add hundreds of jobs to her district in Colorado.

On a tour of the Southwest to tout his administration's legislative record, Biden attributed new investments in clean energy production at Arcosa Wind Towers to provisions in last year's Democratic-sponsored Inflation Reduction Act, which included nearly $400 billion to address climate change.

"What Arcosa is doing here is part of a much broader clean energy manufacturing (revival)," Biden said. "It's going to happen in big cities and rural communities, as well, like in Colorado, where CS Wind broke ground on what will be the world's largest wind tower manufacturing plant."

That's when Biden got in a dig at Boebert, whose 3rd Congressional District includes Pueblo, where South Korea-based CS Wind took over the Vestas wind tower factory — already the world's largest — two years ago. The company broke ground this spring on an expansion it says will double manufacturing capacity and bring 850 new jobs to the plant by 2026.

“Coincidentally, CS Wind is Congresswoman Lauren Boebert — you know, the very quiet Republican lady? — it’s in her district,” Biden said, drawing laughter from audience members.

Added Biden: “Who, along with every other Republican, voted against this bill. And it’s making all this possible. And she railed against its passage. But, that’s OK, she’s welcoming it now.”

Teenagers from the Colorado Youth Advisory Council want to make Colorado a more supportive state for transgender youth.

The council presented six policy recommendations to state legislators on Wednesday, two of which targeted issues facing young members of the transgender community. Three of the recommendations will eventually be sent to the Colorado General Assembly for legislators to consider as state policy.

The laws could mean life or death for young transgender Coloradans, the teenagers argued, detailing first- and second-hand accounts of transgender youth struggling with suicidal ideations due to issues they say have policy solutions.

"I don't want anyone to have to lay awake at night worrying that they won't see their trans friends the next day," said Leigh Schmidt, an 18-year-old from Lakewood. "Helping to take away one barrier ... will help immensely."

A Denver District Court judge Wednesday dismissed a state motion to toss a lawsuit filed against a 2021 law setting up a series of transportation fees.

The lawsuit was filed in April 2022 by Advance Colorado Institute, two individual plaintiffs and Americans for Prosperity.

It challenged the General Assembly's passage of Senate Bill 21-260, which established four state enterprises and modified a fifth to pay for transportation projects. The measure, which Gov. Jared Polis signed into law, is a $5.4 billion, 10-year plan to build out roads and bridges, create electric vehicle charging stations, boost mass transit and mitigate air pollution.

The plaintiffs said the law violates the state constitution’s single-subject requirement and was an attempt to get around Proposition 117, a 2020 ballot measure that requires voter approval for any new fees for enterprises that generate more than $100 million in revenue in the first five years.

Judge Andrew J. Kuken orally denied the state's motion Wednesday.

As more people pay attention to the water crisis in the West, Colorado business leaders are being asked to take on a larger role.

One effort, led by Colorado Concern and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, began on Tuesday night in a forum at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where panelists, who included U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper and Alan Salazar, the newly-appointed CEO of Denver Water, were asked how the business community can get involved.

About 100 business leaders attended the event.

Firefighter and paramedic Mike Camilleri once had no trouble hauling heavy gear up ladders. Now battling long COVID, he gingerly steps onto a treadmill to learn how his heart handles a simple walk.

“This is, like, not a tough-guy test so don’t fake it,” warned Beth Hughes, a physical therapist at Washington University in St. Louis.

Somehow, a mild case of COVID-19 set off a chain reaction that eventually left Camilleri with dangerous blood pressure spikes, a heartbeat that raced with slight exertion, and episodes of intense chest pain. Doctors were stumped until Camilleri found a Washington University cardiologist who'd treated patients with similar post-COVID heart trouble.

“Finally a turn in the right direction,” said the 43-year-old Camilleri.

He started to see a little improvement –- only to have a recent reinfection knock him down again.

Well into the pandemic's fourth year, how profound a toll COVID-19 has taken on the nation’s heart health is only starting to emerge.

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