A Mixed Bag for the First 100 Days – Finish Strong
Created on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 18:28
We have finally reached the 100th
day of the 1st
Session of the 70th
Colorado General Assembly. This has been a very prosperous legislative session, and you will see more about those events below. I was able to successfully accomplish some good work for the people of Colorado, and that makes me very proud. I am both grateful and honored to serve the people of House District 47, which includes Fremont, Otero, and Pueblo counties.
There are many times during a session that I think it is too long, but not because the work isn’t rewarding. Purely because it is my worry that every day the Colorado State Legislature is in session, the people of Colorado become more burdened with unnecessary laws and regulations that impede on their freedoms and make it more difficult to do business. Although, we have seen a great deal of burdensome legislation this session, we have also made boundless amounts of progress; we have passed bills that will provide nothing but benefits for Coloradoans.
It is such a relief to have a State Senate controlled by a majority of Republicans. It is only one seat, but that seat has made a difference. Due to that Senate control, we have seen much more moderation from a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. A balance of power is critical in protecting the people of Colorado. The Senate has done an incredible job ensuring there are no “blank checks”; majorities matter and votes have consequences. The budget is a wonderful example of pumping the breaks on unchecked, reckless spending. Having served through the process of three budgets, this is the best I have seen so far. Now that does not mean I am completely satisfied with it, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. I was a 'no' vote due to what I perceive as unnecessary increases in spending; however, the Colorado State Senate did their job at “pumping the breaks”.
The following are a list of the bills, resolutions, and amendments that I sponsored and cosponsored in these first 100 days. They directly resolve problems and concerns from constituents within district 47, as well as all Coloradans statewide. While there is a brief description of each bill listed, more information can always be found on the Colorado General Assembly website. · Veterans HB 15-1136
- Gives veterans the option to get two handicap license plates and placards, instead of current legislation that limits them to only one license plate and placard. This balances the benefits given to veterans and non-veterans, because our veterans always deserve the best. HJR 15-1008
- The U.S.S. Pueblo, named after the city of Pueblo, Colorado, was attacked and captured by the North Korean military on January 23, 1968. Although, it is still commissioned by the U.S. Navy, currently it is being held captive in a museum in North Korea. HJR15-1008 calls for the return of the U.S.S. Pueblo and designates January 23 as “U.S.S. Pueblo Day” in honor of its brave crew. SJR 15-008
- Senate Joint Resolution 15-008 will establish a national medical treatment facility to diagnose, treat, and research conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic chemicals. They will be eligible for long-term medical treatment. Lastly, the bill requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Secretary of Defense to jointly conduct a national outreach and education campaign directed at service members, veterans and their families. Our veterans have sacrificed too much not to be well taken care of! · At-Risk Youth SB 15-182
- Provide the Executive Director of the Department of Corrections (DOC) the ability to transfer certain inmates, age 24 years old and younger from the Department of Corrections to the Youthful Offender System (YOS), in order for them to participate in age appropriate rehabilitation. If we can prevent recidivism, we should! · Domestic Violence HB 15-1174
- Concerns the protection of personal information on the internet of individuals involved in the address protection programs, as well as protecting individuals affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This bill helps to protect our law enforcement officers along with individuals affected by the aforementioned crimes. Crime prevention is just as effective as being tough on crime. · Roadways SB 15-234 Amendment J.124
- The Amendment adds a footnote to part of the budget, directed at the Department of Transportation. Stating it is the General Assembly’s intent that the Colorado Department of Transportation will work with local communities to study the economic development benefits of improving Highway 50 between the Kansas State line and Salida, CO. This Amendment positively impacts the following counties: Prowers, Bent, Otero, Pueblo, Fremont, and Chaffee counties. Amendment J.124 passed with a 46/19 vote and will be added to SB15-234. · Education HB 15-1104
- This bill will provide eligible educators a state tax deduction of $250.00 per fiscal year on school supply expenses, in the instance that the tax deduction is not renewed at the federal level. This bill will help protect our teachers by assuring them a deduction for their out-of-pocket expenses. It is a win for both our educators and our students.
As we wrap things up here at the State Capitol, I cannot tell you how anxious I am to get back to my district. There is no place like home, and I am always happy to be surrounded by the hardworking and honest people of District 47, where a rural way of life is preferred. I look forward to what the General Assembly can accomplish next session; I intend to keep fighting the good fight for the great people of Colorado, and the constituents I represent.
Please take a look at some of the highlights I’ve experienced this session. More information may be found here on my site
. As always, I like to remain accessible to the people of Colorado. Please feel free to contact me
at any time. It is a pleasure to serve you.