As we adjusted our clocks forward last weekend, the Colorado General Assembly hit the mid-session point. Let me tell you, these 120 days are a marathon, not a sprint. I can attest to this, I have been busy presenting bills, hosting virtual town halls, and meeting with constituents all while thinking about the miles ahead.
I have no plans of slowing down. You will see that the vast majority of my legislation is still moving through the legislative process, and I have even more bills that I am still working on introducing. I hope that you will check out all of the policies that I’m sponsoring this year, I have included them below.
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!
I was excited to test out a new way to reach my constituents this week, a Facebook Live Town Hall. I am so grateful for all of you that tuned in and asked questions to make it a success. I am looking for ways to use this medium to interact with my Pueblo constituents while I am in Denver for legislative business.
For those of you who watched my live town hall, you heard that I am hosting a town hall in Pueblo on March 25th. The Colorado Health Institute will be coming to present on health care policy federally and within our state. As vice-chair of the House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee, I know how important health care policy is to all Coloradans. I hope that you all will join me and Sen. Garcia for this important presentation, Q&A, and good conversation.
Saturday, March 25th
Rawlings Library, Ryals Room
Transgender Birth Certificates Bill Passes the House
Since the 2017 legislative session began, our country has witnessed the murders of seven transgender women. Seven people had their lives taken for being who they are. Thankfully, Colorado has been a leader on LGBTQ issues for many years. The protection of our transgender community is one place where we are lacking. HB17-1122 is a bill that prioritizes the safety and privacy of transgender Coloradans. Although this is my first time sponsoring this bill, it is the third year in a row that it has been introduced. I am so proud to carry this bill and I am hopeful that my colleagues in the Senate will thoughtfully consider this bill and the impact it will have in our state.
Digging into my legislation
Every year I pride myself on the wide spectrum of issues that I work on and this year is no different. As you can see, the 11 bills are all very different. I love getting to learn about so many different kinds of policy and address so many problems that we see in our state. Here are the bills I am proud to be sponsoring and where they are in the process:
What has passed:
- SB17-030: Exempt Injectable Anabolic Steroids for Cattle (Passed Senate 35-0, Passed House 61-4)
What is still moving:
- HB17-1012: Pueblo Chile License Plate (Passed House 46-19)
- HB17-1122: Gender Identification on Birth Certificates (Passed House 37-26)
- HB17-1144: Amend Capital Construction Automatic Funding Mechanism (Passed House 65-0)
- HB17-1230: Protect Colorado Residents from Federal Overreach (Passed House Judiciary 8-3)
- SB17-074: Create Medication-assisted Treatment Pilot Program (Passed Senate Appropriations 6-1)
- SB17-105: Consumer Right to Know Electric Utility Charges (Passed Senate 26-9)
- SB17-153: Southwest Chief and Front Range Rail Commission (Passed Senate 24-11)
- SB17-180: Public Utilities Commission Streamlined Enforcements of Motor Carriers (Passed Senate Appropriations 10-1)
- SB17-202: Species Conservation Trust Fund Projects (awaiting a hearing in Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy)
What has been postponed indefinitely:
- SB17-084: Coverage For Drugs in a Health Coverage Plan (Killed in Senate Health and Human Services 2-3)
Constituent visits, speaking opportunities, and shadows!
For someone who represents a district outside of the Denver Metro Area, I am honored to have so many constituents visit me at the Capitol. Since my last newsletter, I’ve been lucky enough to meet with steel workers and seniors advocating on senior day. Thank you to all who took the time to visit me, especially Ms. Ruby Fries who came to shadow me over two days of her spring break! Make sure you stop by my office if you are ever at the Capitol.
I’ve also had many opportunities to speak at various events in Denver and Pueblo. Recently, I was the keynote speaker at the American Heart Association Vestido Rojo event at the Pueblo Convention Center. Heart health is so important, especially for women, so it was an honor to lend my voice to this cause. My work in Denver allowed me to be featured at Arts Advocacy Day to talk to young artists about the impact art has made in my community, it was such a treat. I also went to the NARAL Pro-Choice Lobby Day event to celebrate Colorado’s history as a pro-choice state.
Presenting the Ralph Carr Act
The Ralph Carr Act is one of the biggest bills of the legislative session. It is a bill that evokes Colorado’s state rights to protect populations in our state. It states loud and clear that fear-driven, xenophobic policy from the Federal Government will not be executed by any Colorado local governments. I am honored to sponsor this bill with my well-respected colleagues, Rep. Salazar, Sen. Guzman, and Sen. Kagan. Yesterday this legislation cleared its first hurdle by passing the House Judiciary Committee. I am so grateful to those who waited for hours to share their important testimony and gave a face to the issues our country is facing.
Move over for Cody
In the last two years Colorado has lost two phenomenal public servants, Jaimie Jursevics and Cody Donahue, who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Today we honored them on the House and Senate floors with their families. The most frustrating aspect of their deaths is that they could have easily been avoided. As someone who frequently drives the stretch of road that they lost their lives on, the message to move over for emergency responders is so important to me. You can save a life simply by slowing down and moving over. Do your part to ensure that we don’t have to do any more tributes for public servants who are killed in the line of duty.