Juvenile and Criminal Justice:
- I hope to make ‘Driving Under the Influence’ (DUI) a felony for those who are repeatedly charged with the offense. I have seen the devastation caused to families by those who continue to drive while drunk; it is time to give our prosecutors and judges more options when dealing with these repeat offenders We must be more forceful in our efforts to get chronic repeat offenders off the road. A fourth DUI in a lifetime would be elevated to a felony offense. A third DUI within seven years of a prior conviction would be a felony if aggravating circumstances were present. Aggravating circumstances include whether a child was in the car or a very high blood alcohol level or if there was property damage or personal injury or a hit and run accident. The bill passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously and now will go to the Finance Committee..
- A juvenile petty ticket bill will offer law enforcement an intermediate tool in managing low-level juvenile offenders. A petty ticket could be issued to juveniles whose offense requires a more serious intervention than a lecture, but does not warrant a charge. A petty ticket would trigger a ‘contract’ between the juvenile and law enforcement to complete community restitution. I believe strongly that we need to do all we can to keep kids from getting into the criminal justice system. I am happy to report that this bill passed the House and is now scheduled for its first hearing in the Senate committee.
- I am co-sponsoring a bill that will require all youth in foster care or on probation who run away or go missing to be reported immediately to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and to law enforcement. Statistics show that an alarming number of youth who get involved in human trafficking have been in the foster care system. We hope this bill will help keep some of those youth from being trafficked and help them avoid other dangerous situations. This bill passed the House 64-0.
- When an individual commits an act of retaliation against a judge it is a class 4 felony, there is currently no equivalent charge when an individual retaliates against a prosecutor. My bill would make the charge for targeting a prosecutor the same as threatening or harming a judge.
Health and Wellness:
- Deaths due to prescription drug overdoses are a growing problem in our state. The drug Naloxone is an antidote to prescription drug overdose that has been used for many years in hospitals. My bill would allow lay people such as friends, family and first responders to have a prescription for this antidote so that they can administer the drug quickly in an emergency. In other states where a similar bill has passed, many lives have been saved through quick administration of this drug to someone suffering an overdose.
- Currently pharmacists can substitute chemical drugs of the same generic drug type if the substitute provides the same therapy. This is not true of biological drugs made from human or animal materials. My bill would allow the substitution of ‘biosimilar’ drugs. Patients being treated with biologically based drugs should have the same access to generic drugs as patients treated with chemically based drugs.
- I hope to make permanent two important commissions that currently have only temporary status. The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Commission does important work to warn women of the dangers of drinking while pregnant. The Maternal Mortality Prevention Commission studies and makes recommendations to prevent maternal death during and one year after pregnancy.
- I will sponsor a bill, originating in the Senate, to implement child sex-abuse and assault education in schools.
Finance and Economic Development:
- I continue to work on the complicated issue of home foreclosure. One bill would allow electronic online sales of homes, and another bill will simplify the language that the Public Trustees send out when they get notice of a foreclosure.
- Another bill I am working on would give tenants the same amount of time to file a counterclaim when a landlord sues them as a landlord currently has to sue a tenant.
- In an effort to grow the clean energy sector, I am also working on a bill involving tax credits for renewable energy companies that reinvest in Colorado.