Vision for 2013
Rep. McCann with President Obama
Gov. Hickenlooper shakes Rep. McCann's hand after he signed HB 1266, an important bill which moves Colorado forward in health care reform
With Olympic gold medal winner Missy Franklin on the House floor. She is an amazing athlete and so gracious!
Governor Hickenlooper signs a bill sponsored by Rep. McCann that provides local law enforcement personnel investigating financial fraud with assistance from Secret Service agents.
Here, the women of the House are dressed in pink to support Senate Bill 197, which keeps firearms from domestic violence offenders. I am proud to have sponsored this bill with Rep. Fields. Photo by Ray Rodriguez
The Colorado General Assembly is now in Session! With the pounding of his gavel, newly elected Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino, called us to order on Wednesday, January 9! Our opening day speeches encouraged cooperation and consensus. On January 10, Governor Hickenlooper delivered the State of the State address with a message of optimism despite Colorado's year of tragedies including devastating wild fires and the massacre in Aurora. He encouraged us to be a "light in the darkness." Justice Michael Bender delivered the State of the Judiciary speech on Friday, January 11 emphasizing America's commitment to the rule of law.
Photo by Evan Semon
This should be an exciting session. I am honored to have been elected as Majority Whip and have been appointed as Chair of the Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee. We will be working on legislation to continue to improve our economy, create jobs, support education, and lower health care costs. Our primary concern is to help the Colorado economy continue to grow and help get people back to work. We also look forward to passing the civil unions bill and the ASSET bill which will allow the children of undocumented workers to attend our public universities and colleges at the in-state tuition rate. Let me tell you about some of the legislation I am working on this session.
I, along with all of you, am saddened by the recent rash of shootings, and my heart aches for every victim of gun violence. I am working with Representative Rhonda Fields to explore various options for gun safety measures that would decrease the likelihood of guns falling into the hands of people who should not have them. We are considering what measures will most contribute to keeping our communities safe.
I'm bringing this bill back to a Democratic House and am working with lenders and bankers to get their support. The bill will require foreclosing lenders to prove their right to foreclose on someone's home. The bill also protects borrowers from the trap of "Dual Tracking" which occurs when a borrower is attempting to modify a loan but the bank is simultaneously proceeding with foreclosure.
Currently, there are no guidelines for permanent alimony ordered by the courts in divorce cases. This bill will increase predictability and consistency by providing guidelines for the courts to use in determining the appropriate amount of maintenance to order, if any.
Health Insurance Bills
One bill that I am carrying will align our Colorado health laws with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act so the ACA can be implemented seamlessly in our state. Two bills I will introduce will make the Colorado Health Insurance Exchange, the entity responsible for managing access to subsidized health insurance, self sustaining after federal funding is withdrawn in 2016.
Civil Remedies for Domestic Violence
This bill will give the public more options to seek protective orders in cases of domestic abuse. It creates a simplified civil process and a mandatory criminal process, as well as expands the categories of intimidation and abuse that can trigger a protective order.
Medical Marijuana Enforcement Funds
State enforcement of medical marijuana laws continues to be woefully underfunded. Once again, I will try to move unused moneys from marijuana patient card fees to the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division to fund inspectors. I also hope to use some of these excess funds for substance abuse programs aimed at youth.
Involuntary Civil Commitment
This bill will consolidate various provisions for civil involuntary commitments due to mental illness or substance abuse problems, and broaden the basis for commitments.
I am also the House sponsor for some bills that are starting in the Senate. These include elimination of the waiting period for children's eligibility for coverage under CHP+, renewal of licensing of audiologists, giving firefighters the authority to inspect marijuana grows in private houses, and supporting oral health. I am also working on our review of the child welfare system in Colorado.