Colorado State Senate

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The environment at the Colorado State Capitol has been turbulent over the past few months as sexual harassment allegations have surfaced against several legislators.

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Rocky Mountain Community Radio reporter Bente Birkeland has been following allegations of sexual harassment among Colorado state lawmakers in Denver.

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Colorado State Senator Don Coram, who represents southwestern Colorado, voted yes on the 2017 budget even though it makes significant cuts to state hospital funding. But Coram says he hopes to maintain funding for rural hospitals by supporting a separate bill introduced in the Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 267 would restructure a fee hospitals pay to help fund healthcare for low-income patients.

Colorado’s budget handily passed the state Senate on March 29. It has bipartisan support and increased four percent compared to the previous year. In many ways the debate was a microcosm of the entire legislative session. It showed lawmakers working together, complex policy issues,  partisan fights and political statements. It is balanced, as required by the state constitution, but reflects how Colorado lacks enough money to fully fund schools, health care and roads.

Many lawmakers are not happy with how the bill turned out.

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Cortez-based health provider Southwest Health System is supporting a bipartisan bill introduced Monday in the Colorado State Senate that would avoid proposed funding cuts to hospitals in the state.