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GOP wants to axe bike path funding in 2014 budget

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Under budget measures proposed by the GOP, federal funding for bike and pedestrian paths would

Update: The transportation spending bill was pulled July 31 by the GOP house leadership, possibly until September, when it could be voted on during renewed budget wrangling. Transportation watchdog groups are taking some credit, saying the GOP pulled the measure because they couldn’t get enough support. Many members of Congress heard from constituents that they want a robust, multimodal transportation future.

FRISCO — After taking aim at public lands and environmental agency budgets last week, GOP lawmakers are now swinging their budget-cutting axe at government investments in transportation. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, wants to strip all funding for transportation alternatives from the 2014 budget.

The League of American Bicyclists is watch-dogging the Congressional antics, and is asking cyclists to contact lawmakers to express their views.

The latest attack follows on the heels of last year’s drastic cuts that combined Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails into one line item and slashed the funding by 30 percent.

The cycling group is asking its members to launch a social media blitz to let lawmakers know how they feel about any efforts to cut an already tiny budget. Follow the League of American Bicyclists on Twitter to get dialed in.

Here’s part of the post from the group’s blog:

“We are asking you to be prepared on Tuesday evening to tweet your member of Congress asking them to vote NO on any amendment that will harm funding for biking and walking.  We will send you the amendment number, the name of the sponsor and the content of the amendment, as soon as we hear an amendment has been introduced.  Please retweet that message using your Representative’s handle – and send it through your networks.

“We want to make sure Congress knows we’re watching, and that any late night attempt to cut Transportation Alternatives or otherwise harm biking and walking, will be protested by their constituents. Both the House and Senate go on a month-long recess on Friday so they need to finish this week.

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Saturday mail delivery to continue — for now

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Look for increased fees as U.S. Postal Service strives for financial viability.

U.S. Postal Service board says it will continue to push for service cuts in order to trim costs

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A plan by the U.S. Postal Service to cut Saturday mail deliveries has been blocked by Congress. “Restrictive language” in the budget prohibits the service cuts, according to a statement from the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.

The new delivery schedule, which which would consist of package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday, and which would have taken effect the week of Aug. 5, 2013. Continue reading

Colorado: Economic recovery brightens budget picture

Hickenlooper continues push to streamline state government

Increased revenues will bolster funding for education and social services.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — State lawmakers got a first look at Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposed FY 2013-14 budget last week, including increased funding for K-12 education, as well as restoration of funding to other critical programs that saw cuts in recent year.

The FY 2013-14 proposed budget is $21.9 billion, of which $8.1 billion is from the General Fund. Relative to the FY 2012-13 appropriation, these amounts represent increases of $1.1 billion (5.4 percent) in total funds and 5 percent ($387 million) in the General Fund.

“Colorado’s economy is outperforming other states,” Hickenlooper said. “This gives us the ability to restore some cuts and modestly increase funding in critical areas of the state’s budget. But we still have a long way to go to fully recover from this recession.” Continue reading

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