A controversial public guardianship program created to make health and legal decisions for people with no family or friends will expand beyond Denver this summer, a legislative committee decided Wednesday.
The vote by the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee settles a tumultuous few weeks of debate about the Office of Public Guardianship, which had asked for an extra $770,000 to hire additional guardians and expand operations to La Junta and Montrose.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers argued that the office didn’t deserve more funding, citing 14 deaths of wards in the last two years and conflict between Denver Health staff and guardians who were assigned to hospitalized patients.
The House had stripped money for the expansion to two additional judicial districts, the Senate…
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