Happy Friday! This weekend, Colorado celebrates 303 day, a nod to our state's very first area code. I hope you find this occasion a good excuse to get out and enjoy your Sunday! Without further ado;
HB19-1143- Distribute Plastic Straws Only Upon Request was killed in committee this week. One concern raised with this bill is the preemption that would prevent any local communities from passing their own, perhaps stronger, regulations on single-use plastics. Environmental advocates felt this could hinder efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastics. I care deeply about protecting our environment and will look for opportunities to support bills that address single-use plastics in the future.
Wednesday was the lobby day for Habitat for Humanity. I met with a member of Habitat for Humanity in the afternoon and we had a fantastic conversation. I have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in the past and am a huge fan of their work. Creating opportunities for affordable home ownership is an important part of solving an affordable housing crisis. I know there is a lot of need for this in my district and I am looking forward to working with Habitat for Humanity this summer.
On Thursday we heard testimony in the Education Committee on HB19-1134, which addresses the best ways to support students with dyslexia. It is a good bill that works to solve an important issue. Many young students testified, and they were phenomenal. I love that they are learning at a young age the importance of advocating for themselves. Thanks to Representatives Buckner and Wilson for working so hard on this bipartisan bill.
Wednesday marked Intellectual and Developmental Disability Awareness Day at the Capitol. I attended a lunch hosted by The Arc, Colorado Alliance, and JFK Partners — organizations doing great things in our community. I want to thank those self-advocates who came to the Capitol to teach us more about the issues they deal with daily and how we can support them.
On Monday, Representatives Galindo and Melton introduced their Local Wage Option bill. This bill would allow local jurisdictions to set their minimum wage. Hard working Coloradans should not be forced out of their communities in because wages are failing to keep up with the rising cost of living. I’m pleased to support this so cities can set a minimum wage that makes sense for their communities.
This bill, SB19-068 provides for additional transparency in electioneering communications, defined by the state constitution as communication that unambiguously refers to a candidate, that is disseminated to the public within 30 days before a primary election or within 60 days before a general election. I was thrilled to work with Representative Weissman on this bill. As a PR and communications advisor for 25 years, I am a strong advocate for fair and ethical communication. Everything behind a campaign or communications piece is essential information we can use to make an informed decision.
Our bill would increase transparency in such communications by requiring any person spending $1,000 or more per year to disclose the name of the person making the communication. It is our duty to shine a light on the dark places, and this gap in current electioneering laws has created a dark place for voters. A healthy democracy depends upon transparency, so let’s do everything we can to create an informed electorate. This bill is a great start.
One last thought: This week we’ve seen heartbreaking testimony in both Public Health and Education committees, as well as powerful testimony on the House floor. It is a real honor to hear their stories, bare witness, and hopefully help them create that change they seek. Thank you for the opportunity to be here.
Representative Lisa Cutter