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Navarro Appointment to Opioid Interim Committee

Pueblo, CO…State Representative Navarro has officially been appointed to serve on Colorado's Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Study Committee.  The Committee will consist of ten members of the General Assembly.  Representative Navarro was selected by Minority Leader Patrick Neville who stated, "Representative Navarro will be an impactful member of this Committee.  The areas of Colorado that she represents have been hard hit by the substance use disorder problem that all of Colorado faces, and I'm thankful someone of her caliber is willing to serve our state in this capacity."
State Representative Navarro stated, "I'm looking forward to working on this Committee to help address the issues Colorado, especially Southern Colorado, is facing regarding opioid and other substance abuse disorders.  I've seen firsthand what this is doing to our communities in Fremont, Otero and Pueblo Counties, and I know we can do more to ensure safe communities for our family, friends and neighbors."

The policy issues to be studied are:

  • a review of data and statistics on the scope of the substance use disorder problem in Colorado, including trends in rates of substance abuse, treatment admissions, and deaths from substance use;
  • an overview of the current prevention, intervention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery resources, including substance abuse prevention outreach and education, available to Coloradans, as well as public and private insurance coverage and other sources of support for treatment and recovery resources;
  • a review of the availability of medication-assisted treatment and whether pharmacists can prescribe those medications through the development of collaborative pharmacy practice agreements with physicians;
  • an examination of what other states and countries are doing to address substance use disorders, including evidence-based best practices and the use of evidence in determining strategies to treat substance use disorders, and best practices on the use of prescription drug monitoring programs;
  • identification of the gaps in prevention, intervention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery resources available to Coloradans and hurdles to accessing those resources; and
  • identification of possible legislative options to address gaps and hurdles to accessing prevention, intervention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery resources.

Navarro to serve on legislative panel studying drug abuse

From the Chieftain:  http://www.chieftain.com/news/pueblo/navarro-to-serve-on-legislative-panel-studying-drug-abuse/article_1be3a8a4-34af-51d1-b653-c83b51886251.amp.html

State Rep. Clarice Navarro, R-Pueblo, will serve this summer and fall on a committee created to examine policy issues in regards to opioid and other drug use.

Navarro recently was appointed to serve on Colorado's Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders Interim Study Committee, which will consist of 10 members of the General Assembly.

The committee will meet at least six times from July through October.

"My primary goal by serving on this committee is to come out with tangibles to address the opioid and substance abuse crisis our state is facing," Navarro said.

The study committee will look at a number of issues, including reviewing data on the scope of the substance use problem in Colorado, compiling an overview of the resources available to Coloradans, reviewing the availability of medication-assisted treatment options and whether pharmacists can prescribe those medications. The panel also examine what other states and countries are doing to address substance abuse, identifying gaps in prevention, intervention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery resources and identifying possible legislative options to address any gaps.

Navarro said she is very concerned about the opioid epidemic in Southern Colorado.

"With the rise in use and abuse, we see a rise in crime and opioid-related deaths," she said. "The use and abuse can be attributed to many things, including cost, over-prescribing and, especially, mental illness.

"As with other drugs that are abused, there are all of the negatives that follow, and our communities are seeing it firsthand. Our law enforcement agencies are overwhelmed; our hospitals must cope; and we see a rise in crime rates."

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Olympic medalists catch a tax break in Colorado after governor signs bill

From ColoradoPolitics.com:  http://coloradopolitics.com/olympic-medals-catch-tax-break-colorado-governor-signs-bill/

Governor Signs Bill Allowing Olympic Medal to be Tax Exempt

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper enacted House Bill 1104, exempting most Team USA athletes from state taxes on medals and bonuses won at the Olympic and Paralympic Games the United States Olympic Committee announced today. The new state-based legislation reinforces the federal law – the United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act – that was enacted in October 2016, and exempts federal taxes for all Games medal-related income in 2018 and beyond.

"America's athletes and their families dedicate much of their lives and make considerable financial sacrifices to represent the United States on the world stage," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "Unlike athletes in virtually all other countries, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians do not receive federal funding and must rely on the generous support of the American public and private sponsors for support. This legislation will provide much needed financial support to some of Colorado’s most dedicated amateur athletes and ensure their achievements are not devalued, but celebrated. The USOC is proud to be based in Colorado, a state that recognizes the unique sacrifices of Team USA athletes.”

In addition to medals, the bill also exempts taxes on monetary awards given to athletes for winning medals that may be granted by the USOC, or any sport-specific National Governing Body or Paralympic sport organization.

A bipartisan effort sponsored by Representative Clarice Navarro (R-Pueblo) and State Sen. Kevin Priola (R-Henderson), the state tax exemption does not apply to athletes who make an adjusted annual gross income exceeding $1 million or $500,000 if married and filing individually.

“With no federal funding, many athletes make financial sacrifices in order to represent our country at the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Mikaela Shiffrin, Colorado native and 2014 Olympic gold medalist in alpine skiing. “The Colorado initiative to eliminate taxes on medal earnings will have a positive impact on the many local athletes who compete for Team USA. Thank you, Colorado!”

“Most U.S. Olympians and Paralympians endure significant financial sacrifices for the honor to represent Team USA on some of the world’s biggest sporting stages,” said Amy Purdy, 2014 Paralympic snowboarding bronze medalist, who resides in Summit County, Colorado. “This legislation provides important financial support to some of Colorado’s most dedicated amateur athletes and their families.”

Gov. Hickenlooper joined members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family for a celebratory signing of the bill today at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Among those in attendance were several U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes who reside and train in Colorado. 

Representative Navarro’s Statement on the Passage of SB17-267

I don’t like the bill, and it is certainly not perfect.  I was a yes vote for rural Colorado today, and it was a tough yes for me to get to.  There is a serious lack of prioritization in the Colorado State Legislature.  However, it has started a serious conversation about where we go from here instead of the Band-Aid fix this bill provides. Rural schools needed this bill, rural roads needed this bill, and our rural hospitals needed this bill.

SB17-267 Protecting Rural CO - Statement by Rep Navarro

May 8, 2017 - I made the following statement on the House Floor this evening:


I rise this evening to speak in support of Senate Bill 267.  Am I pleased with everything in this bill, absolutely not.  Am I pleased with the prioritization that has taken place this Session, absolutely not.  However, this bill gets us closer than we have been all Session to a place that protects and supports rural Colorado. 

I want to thank Senator Sonnenberg and Representative Becker for bringing this bill forward, and there are aspects of this bill that get me to a YES vote. 

Members, this bill addresses the needs of rural Colorado in a way that I can live with at this time.  I can live with prioritizing rural transportation issues, I can live with prioritizing education funding in rural areas of our state, I can live with the accountability this bill will bring to the Department of Health Care Policy and Finance, I can live with the small steps toward Medicaid reform, and I can live with the protections this bill offers to the Senior Homestead Property Tax Exemption.

The financial stability in rural Colorado is important to me, and that is why I rise in support of this bill.  Our rural schools need this bill, our rural roads need this bill, and our rural hospitals need this bill.

While not perfect, I strongly urge a yes vote.

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