Newsletter: End of 2015 Session
The session has ended. Here’s what I did.
On Wednesday evening, the 2015 legislative session ended. Despite split party control of the General Assembly, we made incredible progress for our state. Your House Democrats fought for Colorado’s middle class, public school kids and our seniors.
By reaching across the aisle, we found solutions that helped us pass the state budget, reduce the amount of testing in public schools, and increase workforce development. At the same time, we stopped Senate Republicans’ extremist agenda of attacking women’s rights, repealing background checks, and weakening public land protections. Sadly, Senate Republicans blocked popular, bipartisan bills that I ran to reduce unintended teen pregnancies, help women achieve pay equality, and promote residential water conservation.
I’m proud of the bills that I carried which passed both chambers; and so far Gov. Hickenlooper has signed two of them. These are the bills I sponsored that the legislature passed this year:
HB15-1242: Patient Caregiver Designation for Hospitals
I worked with stakeholders like the AARP to pass this bill that lets hospital patients be accompanied by their caregiver when being admitted or discharged from the hospital. This helps make sure that in-home caregivers have critical information that will help lower hospital readmission rates, keeping seniors healthier and living independently at home.
HB15-1359: Savings Program For Persons With Disabilities
This bill allows CollegeInvest, a non-profit state agency within the Colorado Department of Higher Education, to offer a new tax-deferred 529 savings program for individuals who were declared disabled prior to the age of 26. This will help disabled Coloradans afford housing, go to school, and save for the future.
HB15-1220: Campus Sexual Assault Victim Medical Care
The governor has signed this bill, which I ran this bill in response to the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses. The bill requires Colorado’s higher education institutions to put in place higher standards to respond to incidents of sexual assault on campuses, and ensure that victims have access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) care, to support victims and collect evidence that will help prosecutors put perpetrators away.
SB15-178: Continuing the Colorado Commission For the Deaf & Hard Of Hearing
This bill continues the Deaf & Hard Of Hearing Commission, which serve as a clearinghouse for consumers, public and private entities, as well as the general public.
SB15-221: Regarding Public Transit Officers
This common sense public safety bill expands the jurisdiction of public transit safety officers to include a whole transit system, not just individual municipal jurisdictions, and permits these officers to intervene if they see a crime being committed, even if it is not on a bus, train or waiting platform.
HJR15-1012: Renaming a Section of CO Hwy 93 for Sgt. David Baldwin
I worked with one of my Republican colleagues, Rep. John Keyser, to honor Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. David Baldwin, a 27-year veteran of the department who was struck and killed by a speeding driver in January 2014, by renaming part of Highway 93 in his honor.
We made strides and got things done. We blocked some bad ideas. We saw some good ideas get trumped by partisan ideology. However, every legislator worked hard to make a difference on behalf of their constituents. It is an honor to serve in the State House of Representatives, and I will continue my work of listening to HD-24’s citizens and making sure their voices are being heard in their state capitol.
House District 24