Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Thursday, April 29.
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Wednesday, both Colorado University and Colorado State University announced they will require vaccines for the Fall 2021 semester at all of their campuses. Both school systems will require vaccines for faculty, staff, and students.
A condition of the requirement is a full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CSU said in its announcement.
CU said further information will be provided by individual campuses and system administration "in the near future." CSU said further details will be forthcoming from each campus following the May 6 meeting of the Board of Governors.
Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Fort Lewis College in Durango, and the University of Denver have already announced plans to require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the upcoming fall semester.
President Joe Biden used his address to Congress Wednesday to pitch his American Jobs Plan and a new $1.8 trillion American Families Plan that invests in families, children and the education system.
Biden proposed spending billions of dollars on education funding. Some of that will be used to provide free preschool for all three- and four-year-old children. He also wants to make two years of community college free.
In addition, the plan includes $225 billion for a national paid family and medical leave program that would offer some support for three months of maternity/paternity leave, illness, rehabilitation and other emergencies.
The sweeping proposal is meant as the second prong to push the country forward, alongside the American Jobs Plan, which focuses on boosting employment, transportation infrastructure and U.S. innovation.
Biden is proposing to pay for the plans by hiking taxes on high-income households, those making $400,000 a year or more. Biden said it's time for "corporate America to pay their fair share" for programs that those businesses and their employees will benefit from. "I’m not looking to punish anybody. But I will not add an additional tax burden to the middle class of this country. They're already paying enough."
In addition to detailing the jobs and families plans, Biden talked about providing increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and medical research. "Let's end cancer as we know it. It's within our power. It's within our power to do it."
He also called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, urging the Senate to pass it by the first anniversary of Floyd's death on May 25. Biden urged Congress to pass the Equality Act that would add protections for LGBTQ people to civil rights laws. "To all the transgender Americans watching at home – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know your president has your back."
Last year, Colorado voters approved Proposition EE which hiked taxes on tobacco products and levied the first-ever tax on vaping. Lawmakers created the measure to accomplish three things: backfill some of the budget cuts to K-12 education, provide additional tobacco cessation and prevention services, and fund universal free preschool. That funding becomes available for preschool in the fall of 2023.
With even more funds geared toward early childhood education, local childcare providers and advocates are eager for more changes to the current system.
Diane Price, President, and CEO of Early Connections Learning Centers, is a part of the Leadership Committee for Proposition EE. While she doesn't know how Biden's proposal will impact the tax measure, she says the state is ready to handle any new funds that come into the state for early childhood education.
"It's something that we do well in Colorado, and they are good at bringing Colorado stakeholders to understand how the federal dollars flow and how the federal dollars get disbursed," said Price.
Biden's proposal requires a state match which the state will be poised to address with the passage of Proposition EE.
READ MORE on Prop EE
Cowgirl Kettle Corn and Lemonade started the 719 Food Truck Fest in 2020 as a way to give food trucks, themselves included, in Colorado Springs the opportunity to band together during a hard time, reach more customers, and continue to thrive. On top of that, the event has helped a number of new food trucks roll out for the first time.
"We need other people's food trucks around us, we need people to come and get a drink and maybe a snack for later," commented Holly Hand, co-owner of Cowgirl Kettle Corn and Lemonade.
"We do well with our food truck friends, our food truck friends do well when we all group together and create a rally," agreed Holly's husband Spence Hames, the other co-owner.
Some friends turned into more than 40 food trucks, that attend rallies on a rotation. Now each Wednesday and Saturday you can find about 15 trucks parked off of Woodmen dishing out tasty grub and bringing smiles to bellies.
Far from being the end of the road, this event is continuing to grow, the fest adding Sportsman's Warehouse to the roster of locations for Tuesdays (starting May 4th) and working to add a Friday event to that same location as well.
The weather is pretty smooth sailing over the next few days with lots of sunshine and breezy daytime conditions.
We're going to be warm with highs in the 60s and 70s in the afternoon along with gusty daytime conditions.
We'll be sunny which should make it extra nice outside. We will see calm and chilly conditions tonight with lows back in the 40s.
Friday will be warmer especially under the sunshine. The winds won't be strong enough for fire danger on Friday but we'll be a bit breezier and windier on Saturday which will elevate fire concerns.