to view 2012 legislation
2013 Legislative Session:
Productive, Exciting, and Awesome
Gun Safety - two gun safety bills I sponsored all
passed and were signed by the Governor: HB 1229 establishes universal
background checks; SB 197 - takes guns away from domestic violence
offenders. I also sponsored HB 1306 which would have established
a taskforce to examine the issue of mental health and access to
firearms. Despite a lot of support and passage in the House, this
bill died in the Senate Committee
Health Care - I sponsored several bills
relating to health care. All passed and were signed into law. SB
8 eliminates the three month waiting period for a child to begin
coverage under the Childrens' Health Care Plan Plus. HB 1266 is
a long, detailed bill that aligns our state statutes with the federal
Affordable Care Act which will be fully effective Jan. 1, 2014.
This bill was a great collaborative process with many stakeholders
and enjoyed wide bipartisan support. HB 1115 phases out the Cover
Colorado high risk insurance pool which will no longer be needed
with the advent of the health insurance exchange. HB 1245 provides
funding mechanisms for the Health Benefit Exchange, Connect for
Health Colorado, once the federal money runs out in 2015. HB 1290
will help support the Health Insurance Exchange by putting some
limits on the ability of businesses to use stop loss insurance.
SB 39continues the licensing and regulation of audiologists which
was due to sunset this year.
Spousal Maintenance - HB 1058 establishes guidelines
for judges to use when entering orders for permanent maintenance
(alimony) in domestic relations cases. This will increase consistency
and predictability for those going through this difficult time in
their lives. This bill passed and has been signed into law.
Domestic Violence - A coalition
of multiple stakeholders met for 18 months and recommended several
changes to the way the law currently reads regarding parental rights
and protective order proceedings. The bill, HB 1259, will make sure
that the courts put the safety of the children and any former domestic
violence victims first when considering parenting responsibilities
and visitation. This bill was just signed into law after passing
Youth Development Plan
- HB 1239 requires the development of a statewide youth development
plan the Tony Grampsas Board for youth between the ages of 9-21.
The plan will identify duplicative services and gaps in service
for this age group. I am President of this Board so I look forward
to working on this issue as well. The bill has been or will be signed
Foreclosure - HB 1249
was an important bill to provide consumers with more rights when
facing foreclosure proceedings. It would have allowed the borrower
to challenge whether the party that was bringing the foreclosure
was the proper party, It would also have prohibited "dual tracking"
which occurs when a person is making payments on a loan modification
program and the lender forecloses on the house anyway. The bill
also required a lender to establish a single point of contact when
a borrower seeks a loan modification. It was a good bill for consumers,
but unfortunately, it was defeated in the House Business Affairs
Oral Health - This
bill, SB 261 , allows funding to help communities provide fluoride
in their drinking water to help protect the oral health of their
residents. It also allows funding for sealants to be put on the
teeth of low income children in school settings. This bill is contingent
on finding funding, but it passed and should be signed by the governor.
Authority of Secret Service-
SB 13 passed and has been signed by the governor. It allows Secret
Service agents to assist local law enforcement officers in financial
Medical Marijuana enforcement
- HB 1238 clarifies some of the procedures surrounding the state
issuance of a medical marijuana dispensary license and allows the
state to collect the state licensing fee at an earlier stage of
Civil Unions - SB
011 allows all loving couples to enter into civil unions, providing
important benefits and responsibilities similar to married couples.
Education Reform -
SB 213 redesigns Colorado's school finance formula to increase the
fairness of school funding throughout the state subject to future
revenues. The budget this year increases funding for K-12 by $127
million, including funding for 3200 new preschool slots, and additional
money for special education and gifted and talented students.
Election Reform -
HB 1303 simplifies and standardizes the voting process by eliminating
the "inactive" status and providing for mail ballots for
all voters. It allows same day voter registration and will save
counties approximately $9.5 million per year.
- SB 200 will provide health care to more individuals by expanding
access to Medicaid. This will also cut state spending on uncompensated
care. Medicaid coverage will expand from 100 to 133 percent of the
federal poverty income level, which is $31,332 for a family of four
and $15,282 for an individual. The Department of Health Care Policy
and Financing (HCPF) estimates that the expansion will allow more
than 160,000 Coloradans to gain access to health coverage. Another
bill provides funding for a dental benefit for those on Medicaid.
Colorado ASSET - SB
033 allows graduates of Colorado high schools (at least 3 years
in attendance) to pay in-state tuition rates attend a Colorado higher
education institution, regardless of immigration status. This will
allow Colorado to take advantage of their talents and skills in
a productive way.
Renewable Energy -
SB 252 requires the cooperative electric associations to obtain
20% of their energy resources from renewable energy by 2020. It
also expands the list of eligible energy resources to include innovative
new companies and technologies. IT includes methane gas collected
at wells and reused as a renewable energy source
- HB 1317 and SB 283 establish a regulatory framework for the cultivation
and sale of recreational marijuana as authorized in Amendment 64.
HB 1318 refers to the citizens a ballot proposal to provide for
a 15% excise tax and up to 10% sales tax on the sale of marijuana.
Mental Health System Reforms
- SB 266 provides for a more robust crisis intervention system for
those experiencing serious mental health issues and provides funding
for this purpose. HB 1296 creates a task force to explore combining
the various forms of involuntary holds (mental health and alcohol,
substance abuse) and adopting clearer definitions for these holds.
Child Welfare System Reforms
- HB 1271 establishes a statewide child abuse reporting hotline.
SB 255 directs local public health agencies to create child fatality
prevention teams which will coordinate with the state agencies to
review child deaths, near deaths, and egregious abuse of children
to help prevent these tragedies in the future. SB 220 and SB 012
add emergency medical providers and youth sports organization personnel
to the list of those required to report suspected child abuse or
Rights of Workers
- HB 1136 expands the rights of workers who have been discriminated
against to bring a lawsuit and recover certain damages from their
employers. SB 25 increases the rights of firefighters to form collective
bargaining groups to negotiate with their employers. HB 1046 prohibits
employers from requiring or requesting access to personal accounts
such as Facebook.
Tax Reform - SB 1
expands the reach of the Earned Income Tax Credit to help those
working poor who are at or near the poverty level. It only goes
into effect if the state revenue reaches a certain point. HB 1295
allows the state to collect state and local sales tax for Internet
sales should the U.S. Congress pass a law allowing the collection
of sales tax from those who sell on the internet. This will help
level the playing field for small businesses.
Wildfire Safety -
HB 1012 continues a tax deduction for landowners who perform wildfire
mitigation measures; SB 273 incentivizes the beneficial use of forest
biomass; SB 269 creates a new grant program for wildfire risk reduction;
SB 270 authorizes the governor to transfer funds to the Wildfire
Emergency Response Fund in the case of imminent disaster; HB 1225
will provide better protection for homeowners from fire damage through
their insurance coverage.
Greywater - HB 1044
directs the Water Quality Control Commission to authorize and create
standards for the use of grey water, the slightly used wastewater
from bathtubs, showers and sinks.
Budget - For the first
time in several years, our revenue picture is brighter. We passed
a balanced budget that increases K-12 funding by $127.1 million
and adds $36 million to the higher education budget. The senior
property tax exemption will continue. We also were able to increase
the general fund reserve to 5%.
Jobs - Several bills
were passed to help create jobs and provide vocational training.
HB 1193 promotes the growth of advanced manufacturing industries
by encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to
early - stage capital, and creating a strong infrastructure to bring
innovative ideas out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.
HB 1002 provides additional funding for Small Business Development
Centers. HB 1003 creates an economic gardening project for companies
that are in their second stage of development. HB 1004 matches skills
training programs with available jobs and provides funding for on-the-job
training. HB 1005 directs the community college system to create
pilot programs of career and technical education certificate courses.
HB 1292 requires state agencies to weigh "best value"
when awarding contracts, including the use of Colorado workers and
products. HB 1287 extends the job growth incentive tax credit. HB
1301 funds the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to help
businesses navigate the procurement process. Another bill limits
the enterprise zone credit yp $750,000 a year for a single company.
- HB 1241 provides funding so victims of crimes can obtain information
on the custody status of inmates. HB 1154 gives prosecutors a new
law to prosecute those who cause the loss of a woman's pregnancy
through intentional or reckless criminal behavior. HB 1163 creates
a fund to ensure that victims of sexual assault don't have to pay
for medical treatment costs associated with an attack. SB 111 requires
mandatory reporting of suspected abuse of at-risk elders.
Oil and Gas -HB 1278
requires oil and gas operators to report spills to the Oil and Gas
Commission and the local municipality or county within 24 hours.
Home Ownership - HB
1017 requires that the terms of an approved loan modification agreement
be honored when a new servicer takes over the loan. Several bills
also were passed that increase the rights of homeowners who belong
to Homeowner Associations.
Health Care - SB 008
eliminates the waiting period for children who become eligible for
the Children's Basic Health Plan (CHP+) after having been on a private
insurance policy. HB 1115 phases out Cover Colorado, Colorado's
current high risk insurance pool because health insurance carriers
will no longer be able to deny coverage based on a pre-existing
condition. HB 1245 provides for continued funding for the Health
Benefit Exchange after the federal money is no longer available
in 2015. The Exchange will be operational by October 1, 2014 and
will be called "Connect for Health Colorado".
Criminal Law - SB
250 is a drug sentencing reform bill recommended by the Colorado
Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. HB 1082 provides an
avenue for juveniles to have their records expunged based on the
severity of the crime and other factors.
Ft. Lyon Repurposing -
A bill was ultimately passed that included the repurposing of the
Ft. Lyon Correctional facility into a facility for housing homeless
persons in order to provide housing, mental health and substance
abuse treatment, and job training for homeless folks from across
the state. Preference will be given to homeless veterans. The bill
was initially defeated in the Senate but was then revived as an
attachment to a different bill.
Colorado State Representative
House District 8