2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION WRAP-UP
Working for You
The 2015 Colorado Legislative Session ended in Denver the first week of May. Here are the bills I sponsored that were signed into law.
- Veterans Assistance: Expand financial assistance from the state Military Family Relief Act Fund (funded through the Colorado Check-Off) for military active duty, Guard, and Reserve who deploy.
- Flood Mitigation (Waldo Canyon): Protect flood mitigation efforts and existing storm water infrastructure from costly, time-consuming water court lawsuits – this legislation was essential to protect El Paso County flood mitigation efforts in Waldo Canyon.
- Data Privacy and Domestic Violence Victims: Expand confidentiality in state/local government internet databases for domestic violence victims, including their residential address
- Regulation Exemption for Small HOAs: Exempt small homeowners associations from most state regulations. Without these exemptions, individual homeowner assessments would have likely increased.
Transportation Funding: During House debate on the Colorado budget, I offered an amendment to increase transportation funding as a priority within our existing budget. Unfortunately, this amendment failed along party lines (Republicans for, Democrats against). Transportation funding to maintain our roads and bridges should be a budget priority and are a core government function. I was honored to be the Republican designated on the House Transportation and Energy committee as the liaison to CDOT—I will continue to advocate for equitable allocation of transportation dollars for El Paso County.
Progress – Reduced Student Testing & Workforce Training: In the waning hours of the last day of session, the House and Senate passed a compromise bill to reduce student testing and to allow schools districts to propose alternative student assessments. We also passed several bills to expand workforce training in conjunction with our community colleges, workforce centers, and local industry. Workforce training that results in a well-paid job with local industry is a “no-brainer!”
Try Again in 2016: Unfortunately, there were several bills that I sponsored or cosponsored that were killed in House committees including:
- Require state agencies to consider small business exemptions from regulations; expand legislative review of existing state regulations–repeal excessive, redundant business regulations
- Restore control/authority over education standards and testing to Colorado and local school boards – Reverse mandates on Common Core and PARCC (student testing) regional consortium
- Repeal 2013 gun control laws
- “Born alive” bill to require doctors to provide medical assistance to babies born alive during an attempted late-term abortion
I was particularly disappointed that House Democrats summarily killed the following state Senate bills, by sending them to the House “kill committee” instead of the proper committee that had subject matter jurisdiction over the bill:
- Construction defects bill (dealing with abusive litigation that has stalled construction of multi-family housing developments)
- Fetal homicide bill after the Longmont tragedy – shameful that Colorado is still one of a few states with no fetal homicide law