Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, March 28

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Good morning. Today’s news roundup includes LGBT issues at the legislature, Denver’s growth rate, new toll lanes, the Nuggets’ big game, an excellent explanation of some scary budget numbers and more.

Purpose steers are locked in tent for shipment, stockyard, Denver, Colorado, Oct. 1939. (Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress/LC-USF33-003411)

Purpose steers are locked in tent for shipment, stockyard, Denver, Colorado, Oct. 1939. (Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress/LC-USF33-003411)

A $528 million cut for hospitals?

The proposed state budget takes a big chunk of change out of hospitals’ pockets. One alternative: restructure the budget in exchange for a 2 percent cut across departments. It’s a sign of just how much lawmakers are struggling to reckon with some fundamental contradictions in Colorado’s budget process, as Erica reports in this supremely helpful explanation. (Denverite)

No transgender birth certificate law this year:

Republicans in the Senate again voted down a proposal that would have allowed people to more easily amend their birth certificates, as Joey Bunch reports. They also voted down a proposal that would have banned mental health professionals from practicing “conversion therapy” that is meant to change a person’s sexuality. (Colorado Politics)

Counting on 700,000:

Denver’s population grew at its slowest rate in a decade from 2015 to 2016, but it was still good enough for an extra thousand residents a month, as Jon Murray reports. Interestingly, El Paso County added more residents than Denver County — although, keep in mind, that doesn’t account for Denver’s suburbs. (DP)

More toll lanes:

The head of CDOT tells Ed Sealover that many of the proposed highway expansions may be operated with tolls or HOV limitations. They’ll also likely be funded by taxes that will be on the ballot this November. (DBJ)

Go Nuggets:

I am so amped on basketball that I might just watch my first Nuggets game tonight, especially because Christian just laid down the “massive implications.” (Denverite)

Aurora may declare that it’s not a sanctuary city:

Just after the Trump administration threatened to defund cities that disobey the feds on immigration, the Aurora City Council pushed forward a proposal that would declare that Aurora is not a “sanctuary city,” as Quincy Snowdon reports. Still, the police chief has said that officers won’t investigate or detain people on immigration matters, and ICE “has claimed the city has enacted policies that prevent detainer requests from being honored.” (Aurora Sentinel)

Camping in Boulder:

Another forest fire has been blamed on “transient” campers in Boulder. Would it be easier to monitor the situation if there were more established campgrounds? Alex Burness reports. (Boulder Daily Camera)

Let them play on trees:

Denver’s embracing playgrounds that are more about trees and boulders than slides and monkey bars. Of course, synthetic play structures will still have their place, as Joe Vaccarelli reports. My favorite playground growing up was a truly giant (to me) castle made of wood in New Jersey. (DP)