The Colorado House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday to exempt period products and diapers from sales tax, sending it to the state Senate for consideration.
If enacted, House Bill 1055 would expand sales tax exemptions for period products — including tampons, pads, menstrual cups, sponges, sanitary napkins and panty liners — and for adult and youth diapers starting next year.
“Too many Coloradans are going without necessary hygiene products and something needs to be done,” said bill sponsor Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “This bill also paves the way towards destigmatizing hygiene products so everyone can feel comfortable and confident in their bodies.”
Nationally, one in four teenagers reported missing school because they did not have access to period products, according to a 2019 study commissioned by Thinx and PERIOD. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three American families could not afford needed diapers, said the baby gear nonprofit WeeCycle.
The bill passed in a 50-13 vote Thursday. All 13 representatives who voted against the bill are Republicans, with some saying they opposed the bill because it does not provide tax exemptions for baby formula. An amendment was proposed to add formula to the bill’s tax exemption, but it was incorrectly submitted and could not be considered.
“Diapers and formula were the largest expense that we had in raising our young children,” said Rep. Richard Holtorf, R-Akron. “I am in support of the bill with the amendment, which I know because of technical reasons cannot be offered. … This bill is a start, but it is not enough. More actions are needed to help curb this incredibly high inflation that is going to cripple and put an enormous burden on these young families.”
Herod said she supported the effort to exempt formula from sales tax and wants to work on it in the future in a separate bill.
Colorado families spend an average of $15 per month on period products per family member who needs them, according to the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. For diapers, families spend approximately $75 per month per child. If the sales tax exemption was implemented, the state estimates it would save Colorado consumers approximately $9.1 million annually.
Other products currently exempt from sales tax in Colorado are unprepared food, corrective eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and medications, including Viagra.
Original Article: gazette.com
Fire Under Control Near Fountain Creek Park
Update 11:12 a.m.
Firefighters put out a wildland fire early Thursday in the Fountain area, officials said.
The blaze was reported about 3:45 a.m. on the east side of Fountain Creek and south of Duckwood Park, Fountain police said in news release. Crews from fire departments in Security, Stratmoor Hills, Fort Carson and Hanover responded to heavy smoke and flames.
The fire was about a mile west of Colorado 85.
“The mild weather conditions this morning made it easier for fire crews to get this fire under control quickly,” police said.
The fire burned less than an acre before it was fully contained, officials said. As of Thursday morning, officials said the area is being monitored and might take several hours before the scene is cleared.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but officials said a lightning strike Wednesday afternoon might have ignited it.
Update 11 a.m.: The fire is 100% contained and burned less than one acre. No structures were threatened and no reported injuries.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however, officials think it possibly started from a lightning strike due to later afternoon storms on Wednesday.
Fountain fire department battled a wildland fire near Fountain Creek Regional Park Thursday morning, Fountain police said.
The fire ignited around 3:30 a.m. between Hwy 85 and Comanche Village Drive and crews managed to get the fire under control, police said.
Containment was 50% as of 7 a.m. but police did not give any estimates of the fire’s size.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, police said.
Original Post: gazette.com
911 Lines Down in Fremont and Custer Counties, Officials Say
Fremont and Custer counties have been without 911 services since Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
According to the Fremont County Emergency Management, the lines have been down since 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. The public is asked to not call 911 “to test or check your phone.”
Calls will be be routed to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, officials said. From there, they will be transferred back to Fremont County dispatchers.
This is a developing story. Check with gazette.com for updates.
Original Source: gazette.com
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