Things have been ramping up here at the Capitol, we officially have only 23 days left in this session. This means more long sessions and late nights. We have a lot of work left to do! As things speed up it has been incredibly rewarding to see our dedication and effort come to fruition. Just last week we had our second bill signed into law, with three more scheduled. Stay tuned for more to come, as many of bills are still moving through the legislative process.
As the 70th Assembly of the House of Representatives approaches its end I am happy with the fight we have put up for Pueblo and for the Colorado way of life. These next 23 days will be incredibly full but I am excited to tie up our session and finish it with the same voracity that we started with. Below I’ve detailed some recent victories and some recent defeats as well as ways I’ve worked to honor and showcase our wonderful part of the state.
Your continued support is so meaningful to me, I am grateful for each and every one of you. As always, we’re on this journey together, so if you need anything please contact my office.
Hunters, get your pink ready!
Our first bill of the year, SB16-068, allowing hunters to wear fluorescent pink hunting safety clothing, was signed into law this past week by Gov. Hickenlooper. Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) was the Senate sponsor of this bill, and I co-sponsored it with Rep. Yeulin Willett (R-Grand Junction) in the House. Passing bipartisan legislation is very important to me in my work at the General Assembly, and I know that this bill will be great for all Coloradans. Studies have shown that fluorescent pink is easier for our eyes to detect, especially in autumn, which is a big reason I was interested in this bill. For me, safety is a top priority. If a person feels more comfortable in pink hunting clothing, for style or safety, they will now be able to wear it! This bill also helps businesses be able to develop new pink clothing lines.
Contraception Equality and Conversion Therapy Ban Dead on Arrival in Senate
HB16-1294, a contraceptive equality bill that I was co-sponsoring with Rep. Susan Lontine (D-Denver), passed the House a few weeks ago with strong backing from my colleagues and moved on to the Senate. Unfortunately, this bill was postponed indefinitely by the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on April 11. Colorado’s women need to be able to access the form of contraceptive that they feel is right for them and I will continue working on this important issue. I want to thank Senators Irene Aguilar (D-Denver) and Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) for their support of this bill in the committee hearing, as well as Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman (D-Denver) for sponsoring it in the Senate.
HB16-1210, a bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D-Denver) to outlaw the harmful practice of conversion therapy, is a bill that I feel particularly passionate about. I was a strong supporter of the version of this bill that was introduced last year and I was glad to support it again this year. This bill passed the House with a huge wave of support and, unfortunately, was also postponed indefinitely by the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on April 11. Conversion therapy is a practice that has time and time again been proven to be dangerous for Colorado’s LGBT youth. LGBT Coloradans deserve to safely explore their identities without fear of psychological or mental harm from those who believe that being LGBT is a choice. I want to thank Rep. Rosenthal for continuing his work on this issue and continue to support this legislation.
Colorado Ready for Work Bills
This session a bipartisan package of bills was introduced to help get Colorado ready for work. Out of ten bills, I am the proud sponsor of two. And both of these bills were passed by the House! HB16-1289 is a bill I am sponsoring with Majority Leader Crisanta Duran (D-Denver). It will create incentives for schools who encourage their students to successfully complete career development courses that prepare them for in-demand jobs. HB16-1290 is a bill I’ve been working on with Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Arvada). This extends the ReHire Colorado program for five more years. I wanted to support this legislation because of the positive impact it has made in Pueblo. It has been proven to be a successful program, since it was created it has gotten over a thousand Coloradans in permanent positions. Both of these bills are headed to the Senate where they have bipartisan sponsors.
Resolving to Buy American
It was a great honor to invite hardworking steel workers–current, retired, and laid off–to the Capitol last week. Rep. Ed Vigil (D-Alamosa), Sen. Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo), and I introduced a joint resolution to buy American. I loved sharing the morning with representatives of the Steel City and celebrating their hard work. Click the image below to see the speech I gave on why it matters to buy American.
Southern Colorado Day at the Capitol
I was recently lucky enough to welcome many Southern Coloradans to the Capitol with my colleagues. Hearing from many agencies and interested parties is always a rich opportunity. From water to education we had a diverse group with a lot of knowledge to share. We hosted sessions on a variety of topics from the budget to children for the attendees to sit in on. We celebrated this group in both the House and Senate as well as used the opportunity to give the General Assembly a taste of Pueblo salsa which they greatly appreciated.
Continuing to Fight for Consumers
The Office of Consumer Counsel was designed to stand up for the rights of consumers and a bill I have introduced with Rep. Faith Winter (D-Westminster) aims to expand the scope of the Office to protect more consumers. This bill, HB16-1376, has cleared the House Transportation and Energy Committee and will be heard in the House Finance Committee later this week.
Upcoming Town Hall!
Join me, Senator Garcia, and the Colorado Fiscal Institute for a town hall on Saturday, April 23rd from 10-11AM at El Pueblo Museum, 301 N.Union Avenue. Hope to see you there!