We are 80 days into the 2017 legislative session! Budget week is almost upon us and the Colorado House of Representatives has been hard at work preparing for the week ahead. This week we worked late into the day on some of the most talked about bills of the session. We passed the Colorado Freedom Defense Act through our chamber as well as the bipartisan multi-modal transportation funding bill that will allow Coloradans weigh in on how to fund our transportation infrastructure.
As we buckle down to pass our state budget, some of my colleagues and I are still working to write and pass our own legislation. It is that time of year where the days are long and we are hard at work finalizing our policy proposals. I’ve introduced twelve bills so far, with a few still to come, it is always exciting to usher them through the democratic process. As we comb through our state budget I am vigilantly working to ensure that Southern Colorado gets its fair share.
Please continue to reach out to me as a resource in our community! I look forward to more emails, calls, and meetings about the issues that matter to you. Thank you for all of your support!
Talking Health Care
Thank you to all who attended my health care town hall last weekend! Sen. Garcia and I were thrilled to have the Colorado Health Institute present on the proposed federal health care plan. On the state level, there will be a number of bills in the coming weeks that dig into transparency and affordability of our health care in Colorado. I’m honored to be one of the legislators working on this policy. I partnered with Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne to introduce a bill that aims to invigorate the health care market in Colorado to ensure that everyone has a spectrum of options of affordable health care plans. It will soon be presented in committee. I am excited to share more about it with you as it moves through the legislative process!
Make sure you stay tuned for announcements for future town halls both in person and on facebook live!
HB17-1122: Transgender Birth Certificates
This week the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee killed my bill that would have simplified the lives of transgender Coloradans. This is the third year in a row that the Senate has sent this bill to the “kill committee” to postpone the bill before it could make it to the Senate floor. I am disappointed that Colorado continues to fall short in supporting our transgender neighbors and friends, but the stories I heard from people all over our state have inspired me to keep fighting for this important policy.
HB17-1230: Colorado Freedom Defense Act
This bill is the first of its kind and I am thrilled to be a prime sponsor of it. If you didn’t catch Jo Ann Fujioka’s op ed in the Chieftain, this is an important bill that would protect Coloradans from any illegal and unconstitutional Federal oversight such as religious registries or internment camps. This legislation passed the House this week and is now headed to the Senate where if faces an uphill battle towards passage so making your voice heard will help it on its way.
HB17-1210: Pueblo Chile License Plate
The Pueblo Chile License Plate bill has been awaiting consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Although this is my favorite bill, the Senators of the Appropriations Committee have been focused on passing the state budget. Now that they are resuming normal business, I expect this bill will start moving again soon. Make sure you have signed the petition below to make chile license plates a reality!
SB17-105: Consumer Right to Know Utility Charges
We all know that our utility bills can be confusing and we aren’t always sure what we are paying for. I am proud to partner with Sen. Garcia and Majority Leader Becker to increase transparency in our monthly bills. This bill will be heard in the House Transportation and Energy Committee in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for ways to get involved in the passage of this important bill.
Preparing for budget week
This week the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget made its way through the Colorado State Senate. After several long days and late nights, the bill is headed to the House for consideration. I will be spending this weekend digging into the 625 page bill that we be working on. Next week is “budget week” and our time will be almost entirely devoted to amending the long bill. This is a tough budget year and our constitutional restraints don’t make it any easier. Unlike the Federal Government, we are constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget. As we are seeking solutions to fit our growing state we are working together. Like all policy that comes from the state house, it will be bi-partisan.
Honoring César Chávez
This Friday, the Colorado General Assembly honored César Chávez and the indelible impact he made on the world. Many distinguished guests joined us, like the honorable Ken Salazar. With the tough policy work we do at the Capitol, opportunities to reflect on the lives of good people like César Chávez are a much needed reminder that invested people can change the world.