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The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, has filed a federal lawsuit in Denver after the Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to approve a panhandling ban. The lawsuit seeks to block the new ordinance, and also seeks an immediate injunction against the rules, which are set to go into effect next week. Plaintiffs include advocacy organizations, a street musician, and a nonprofit theater group. The rules passed by a vote of 8-1, with councilman Val Snider as the lone ‘no’ vote. The ACLU argues the ‘no solicitation’ rules are too broad and violate free speech rights. City Attorney Chris Melcher yesterday said the ordinance is modeled after another city’s panhandling ban that has survived court challenges.
While Washington lawmakers wrestle with the fiscal cliff, Colorado Senator Mark Udall continues to press fellow members of Congress for an extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit. Udall says recent layoffs in the wind industry, including jobs in Colorado at Vestas Wind Systems, do little to help the economy and create jobs…
“For me enough is enough. These layoffs should be a wakeup call for all or our colleagues who oppose extending the PTC or are content to just let it lapse.”
The American Wind Energy Association estimates 37,000 jobs, including hundreds in Colorado, would be lost if the credit expires at the end of the year. Military veterans who’ve found careers in the wind energy industry are also joining Udall in calling for the tax extension. Some Republicans also support extending the tax credit, but others, including Rep. Doug Lamborn, see it as wasteful spending.