How Longmont Students Helped Avert a Government Shutdown, and Why the Colorado Legislature Might Need Their Help

April 11 2011, 6:37 AM

There's plenty to see in Washington, D.C., but for most first-time visitors, national monuments and federal buildings usually top the list. The same goes for 50 Longmont eighth graders, who had begun to worry that their trip to the nation's capital would become a casualty of government shutdown (7News). When the situation was resolved Friday, President Obama credited the students with helping to break the deadlock, quoting an e-mail from Longmont mom Shalini Schane (video below via the Wall Street Journal). The students have scored a special visit to the White House this week, and Obama may have scored some brownie points with Colorado's sought-after female voters (Elevated Voices). 

As our elected officials on the Hill sound off on the final deal (Denver Post), the state budget measure is bumping into some backlash on its way through the Legislature. On Friday, some Senate Democrats expressed anguish over the remaining cuts to K-12 education, while a group of Republicans proposed an amendment that echoed attempts in D.C. by trying to keep funding from local branches of Planned Parenthood. Another state GOP proposal would have permitted concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses (Denver Post). The Senate is expected to pass the budget bill along to the state House sometime today (KJCT8), with funding for cancer screenings looking bleak (9News).

Guns and abortion might have nothing on education and a dilapidated prison once the budget reaches the state House. The Pueblo Chieftain warns haggling in the Senate has been a "pillow fight" compared to what's about to ignite in the other chamber, where Minority Leader Sal Pace is leading the charge and has emerged as a hero and an "obstructionist"—depending on your perspective—when it comes to the K-12 cuts.