My colleagues and I from Jefferson County went to the well on Friday morning to share a moment of mourning for the victims and those injured in the horrific crash that occurred in Lakewood last Thursday, and honor the first responders. Tragedies such as this one are a reminder of the fleeting and fragile nature of human life. I know I join many of you in affirming and appreciating the value of our family, friends and colleagues in light of this incident.
This week is our last week of the 72nd session of the General Assembly. We expect a busy week wrapping up all of the legislation in process, and came in on Saturday to ensure we are caught up and ready to be as productive as possible as the legislation session comes to a close. We’ve accomplished so much this year to help hardworking Coloradans, and I’m eager to meet and talk with constituents in the interim to hear their impressions and discuss issues we need to tackle next session.
Computer Science Grant Program (HB19-1277), Licensing Behavioral Health Entities (HB19-1237), and Media Literacy (HB19-1110) were heard in the Senate Appropriations committee last Friday and will be hopefully be moving through the Senate this week. Crossing my fingers these terrific bills do not die on the calendar! There was a great article written by Chalkbeat outlining what exactly the Computer Science Grant Program would mean for young girls and students of color, and outlining how it will create a more diverse workforce in computer science within Colorado. Additionally, the Lobbyist Transparency Act (HB19-1248), was heard on the Senate floor last Friday and will be up for final passage this week before being sent to the Governor’s office.
HB19-1269, Mental Health Parity Insurance Medicaid, passed out of the Senate last Thursday and the House concurred with amendments added by the Senate. Now this bill, along with Physician Assistants Supervision And Liability (HB19-1095), are headed to the Governor's desk for his signature.
HB19-1324, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, had broad bipartisan support, and moved through the House quickly last week. Colorado Politics did a great job of explaining it in this article. This issue has impacted many Coloradans, and I’m grateful to the supporters who came to share their stories with the committee. Protecting free speech and facilitating access to democracy are critical in creating a high-functioning society. I’m really proud to be sponsoring this bill, suggested to me by a constituent, with my good friend and colleague Representative Shannon Bird. Senator Foote will now carry this bill in the Senate.
I am also proud to be sponsoring SB19-243, Prohibit Food Establishments' Use Of Polystyrene, which will be heard for final passage on the Senate floor early this week before coming to the House for deliberation. And SB19-192, the Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise Grant Program, was passed on third reading in the House on Saturday. We have a moral obligation to be better stewards of our planet, and any amount of progress matters.
I’m so happy that this bill is on it’s way to the Governor’s desk.
On Wednesday April 12th, members of both sides of the aisle came together in nonpartisan support of sexual assault survivors. Across Colorado, more than 1,200 people took a stand on this day that has been marked to raise awareness of misconceptions regarding sexual violence.
Unfortunately ‘FAMLI’, the Family Medical Leave Insurance Program bill, did not have the support to pass the Senate as originally drafted. The bill has been amended to create a series of studies on how the state should go about establishing a new insurance fund for Colorado workers to use when they or a family member are sick. I know this may be disappointing to some, and I hope the information gathered in future studies will help inform a successful paid leave bill next year. I do believe Colorado supports paid family leave, and the amended version will allow for further studies to confirm what we already know; this is a crisis that needs to be addressed.