Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: I’m a state environment-protection employee. Our workload is not sustainable.

The pandemic made clear for many Coloradans what state employees already knew: state services and infrastructure are underfunded, under-resourced, and understaffed. That’s why the recent negotiation of the first contract between state employees and the state was such an important win for both state workers and the Colorado families that depend on public services, from […]

Posted inCOVID, News, Politics and Government

Unvaccinated Colorado state employees will be required to undergo twice-weekly coronavirus testing

Days after saying he has no intention of ordering a vaccination mandate, Gov. Jared Polis on Friday announced that state employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will have to take twice-weekly coronavirus tests and wear masks at the office. In a statement, Polis called the decision a “middle road” approach that respects the concerns […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: The pandemic revealed how little we invest in government employees

After reading a recent article by Colorado Sun reporter Tamara Chuang about the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the thousands of desperate families that couldn’t access housing assistance during a pandemic, and one state employee who was responsible for fielding those calls, it’s hard to feel anything other than shock and outrage. No doubt Stephanie […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

Before coronavirus, PERA had one of its best years in decades. Here are 3 concerns going forward.

Buoyed by stellar investment returns and the ongoing implementation of a legislative rescue package, Colorado’s state pension system in 2019 had one of its best years in decades. But — pension officials acknowledged with Friday’s release of the system’s annual finance report — the topline numbers belie the depths of the challenges the Public Employees’ […]

Posted inCOVID, Health, Politics and Government

How Colorado lawmakers closed a $3 billion shortfall to balance the budget and why it led to tears

To address a $3 billion shortfall, Colorado lawmakers made a series of drastic spending cuts Thursday and moved close to finalizing a state budget battered by the coronavirus and the paralyzed economy. The legislative budget committee cut $448 million from K-12 education — a 10% cut compared to a year ago. The actual cut is […]

Posted inBusiness, Politics and Government

To balance budget, Colorado lawmakers add to PERA’s long-term debt and backtrack from landmark deal

Just two years after Colorado approved sweeping pension reforms aimed at wiping out what was then an unfunded $32 billion debt to public sector retirees, state budget writers — facing a financial catastrophe of their own — have temporarily undone a portion of the landmark rescue package. The Joint Budget Committee tentatively decided to eliminate […]

Posted inCOVID, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers began slashing the budget and state employees are bracing for the worst

Two weeks after she tested positive for COVID-19, Brandi Axelsen is still waiting for her symptoms to subside so she can return to work. The licensed psychiatric technician works for the state of Colorado and contracted the disease on the job helping clients with developmental disabilities.  Her state-paid sick days expired and she now must […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Politics and Government

What PERA’s bad year means for public workers, retirees and taxpayers in Colorado, explained in charts

A bad investment year at a precarious time for Colorado’s public workers’ pension will mean more sacrifices than state lawmakers expected when they approved a sweeping deal to stabilize the retirement system’s finances in 2018. The good news: Unlike the legislature’s prior attempts to fix the Public Employees’ Retirement Association’s funding woes, safeguards are kicking […]