With less than a month left of the 2017 legislative session, things are really ramping up. Since last week’s approval of the budget I’ve jumped right back into my legislative work. Just this week I presented 4 different bills to 3 different committees. Next week I will be ushering 5 more bills through committees. It is definitely a busy time of year, but I am really proud of the 16 bills I am sponsoring and I am looking forward to voting on them with my colleagues in the House.
As we sprint through these last days of the session I am tirelessly working to lift up my district and uphold our values at the Capitol. To be a successful Representative of House District 46, I need your input. Whether it is a quick phone call or email or a visit to my office, hearing from you is integral to my performance so keep up the contact!
Thank you for your continued support, I am so proud to represent you.
Fighting for Southern Colorado in the Budget Talks
Last week we spent the majority of our time debating and amending the state budget for fiscal year 17-18. There were more than 95 amendments proposed during our budget talks last Thursday which kept us on the House Floor late into the night.
I fought really hard to shut down a bill that would have shifted more costs of the Colorado State Fair away from the state and onto the shoulders of the City and County of Pueblo. I worked with the bill sponsors to find a compromise and get that amendment withdrawn.
After our 11 hour debate on Thursday, we faced even more amendments to the budget on Friday. During debate on one amendment, one of my colleagues continuously used one survivor’s story to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment, during sexual assault awareness month no less. His argument used one survivors story to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month no less. Well, Rep. Faith Winter and I had enough and we spoke out against his exploitation of one woman’s trauma for his own political gain. We will not allow this damaging rhetoric to happen in our State House, click here to see my response.
Pueblo Chile license plates coming to a road near you!
This week the Senate approved HB17-1012, the bill to create Pueblo Chile license plates! Seeing how excited our community is about these plates makes the passage of this bill so satisfying. It feels good to be able to pass legislation that lifts up our region and our beloved chiles. Though they won’t be available for purchase until next year, I know our momentum won’t slow down. I look forward to the continued expansion of the Pueblo Chile brand because it is truly Colorado’s chile. Stay tuned for this bill to cross the finish line when the Governor officially signs this into law.
Digging into policy
As I mentioned, I presented four different bills in committee this week. I continue to introduce bills that address incredibly varied topics.
The first bill up this week, SB17-074, regarded the creation of a medically-assisted treatment pilot program in Pueblo and Routt Counties. Sen. Garcia already carried this bill through the Senate, so I am looking forward to presenting it to my colleagues in the House for final approval. It will be an important step in addressing the complex issue of addiction that is being felt by families across our state.
I also presented SB17-105 which creates clear requirements for the information that must be included on investor owned utility bills. It’s all about transparency for customers, you should know what you’re paying for.
Then I brought SB17-153, which will create the Southwest Chief Front Range Passenger Rail Commission. This builds upon the work the current SW Chief Commission has done to preserve rail in our state and expands upon it to address our growing state and the transportation problems we are experiencing.
Lastly, I moved a bill that aims to increase the options available to consumers on our state exchange. It leverages the buying power of the state to ensure that more insurers have plans available through Connect for Health Colorado.
All four bills made it out of committee, stay tuned for what happens next. Next week I am moving five bills that address: the Public Utilities Commission, victim’s rights, species conservation, motor carriers in our state and Capital Development Committee work with the Colorado Historical Society. Make sure you check my facebook and twitter for updates on bills that are important to you!
First Bill Signing of the Year!
My first bill of the year has been signed by Gov. Hickenlooper! HB17-1144 is a bill from the Capital Development Committee, which I serve as chair of, and it makes a statutory fix to the way we fund projects. Though it isn’t my most exciting bill of the year, I am really proud of it because it illustrates all of the hard work my colleagues and I have been doing this session on this committee.