This Week in Colorado History: New year, new legislation

This week in 1915, “The Colorado Transcript” reported on two bills introduced in the state legislature pertaining to the Colorado School of Mines. The first established a chair of Highway Engineering position and “a short course in the construction and care of highways in connection with such chair.” This course was to be for engineers, road foreman, and anyone who built or maintained highways in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, or New Mexico so that good roads would fill Colorado and continue across state lines. The second bill appropriated $20,000 “for the further equipment and operation of the experimental ore dressing and metallurgical plant at the Colorado School of Mines,” effective immediately.

In an effort to minimize corruption, Representative Spencer of Cheyenne Wells presented a bill which made “it a felony for any treasurer to profit directly or indirectly by the placing of public money.” The suggested consequences were twenty years in prison and a $5000 fine. The bill made depositing the money of cities, counties, and school districts the duty of the county commissioners, mayor, or council.

The county commissioners of Colorado at their convention recommended “an increase in salary from $5 a day to $2400 yearly.” This represented an increase in pay of about thirty percent. The commissioners also suggested five different salary classes instead of a single class. As of this week in 1915, the bill had not yet been presented to the Colorado legislature.

Also this week in 1915, the annual Colorado Farmers’ congress concluded. The congress covered a variety of topics according to “The Colorado Transcript,” including recommendations that Colorado mine more coal, “that the legislature be asked for an appropriation to provide a course of study in marketing and the investigating of marketing problems,” an endorsement of the beet grower’s association’s attempt to raise prices, and an appropriation of $5,000 for a potato disease research. The congress also discussed the seed and milling and various budget issues.

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