The Colorado General Assembly closes its session today. With your help we earned some significant wins. Wins on the I-25 Gap and for Colorado students. This video gives you a glimpse into some of the victories. For a more complete account of the session follow this link to our website: http://www.paullundeen.org/news/2018/5/9/lundeens-legislative-victories-2018-session
Thank you for your engagement this session. Today we adjourned the Second Regular Session of the Seventy-First General Assembly sine die. Here is a quick look at the bills we sponsored in the past 120 days. We got some solid wins and brought some great ideas that have shaped the conversation and may support future legislation. We can't do the work without your input and are very grateful to the many of you who communicate with us routinely.
Parent Notification Law for Student Safety and Protection
HB18-1269 - Enrolled into Act
In several instances, districts have failed to promptly notify parents--the front line of student protection--of employees that had been charged with crimes against children in the district. This bill requires that districts notify parents when school employees are charged with certain crimes against children, or crimes that put children at risk.
Expand Concurrent Enrollment Opportunities to High School Students
HB18-1052 - Signed into Law
This law fixes a gap under previous law in which many students had little or no concurrent enrollment options if local education providers declined to provide courses. The bill requires the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to establish a policy that allows a 2-year institution of higher education to provide a concurrent enrollment program to a local education provider that is not within its college service area.
Freedom and Opportunity Solution of Nursing Shortage
HB18-1086 - Became Law Without Signature
This allows community colleges to compete on a level playing field to provide students an equally high quality academic program and ultimately a response to the nursing shortage crisis we face today. The bill allows community colleges to provide new pathways to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Modernized Cybercrime Law for Skimming
HB18-1200 - Enrolled into Act
This bill brings the Colorado criminal code into the 21st century. It criminalizes the use of a computer to solicit, arrange, or offer to arrange a situation where a minor may practice prostitution. The bill also makes “credit card skimming” a felony.
Students Excused From Opting Out of State Assessments Without Penalty
SB18-011- Signed into Law
Students who opt-out of taking state assessments should not be shamed. For example, local education providers cannot prohibit students from participating in activities or make them ineligible to receive any other form of reward. The law restricts local education providers from punishing students for opting out of state testing.
Safe Harbor for Minor Victims of Human Trafficking
SB18-084 - Postponed Indefinitely
Minors involved in human trafficking should not be charged for prostitution-related activities. The bill establishes legislation to further protect minors who are victims of human trafficking. The term "sexually exploited minor" is clarified to include a person less than 18 years of age who has been a victim of human trafficking or has engaged in certain prostitution-related activities.
Internet Gambling Cafes Limited to Permitted State Locations
SB18-1234 - Enrolled into Act
The bill honors the constitution by updating state statute on gambling devices that currently fails to adequately limit gaming outside of the permitted state locations. The bill specifically revises the legal definition of ‘electronic gaming machines’ as well as some other changes to a 2015 statute on gaming in order to give state officials the necessary legal authority to shut down a proliferating illegal gambling market.
Separation of Powers Protection Bill
SB18-043 - Postponed Indefinitely
The governor should be prohibited from nominating the rejected individual a second time for the same office. The bill specifies that if the governor nominates an individual for appointment to a state office and the senate rejects the nomination, the rejected individual is deemed legally unfit for and ineligible to hold the office.
Prohibit Paid Union Activity By Public Employees
SB18-175 - Postponed Indefinitely
Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for union organizing. This bill prevents public sector unions from doing their organization’s work while being paid by the taxpayer.
Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines
HB18-1085 - Postponed Indefinitely
Are wind turbines harming people? This bill aggregates and makes public all relevant research on the health effects of industrial wind energy turbines.
Retain Teachers Grant Program
HB18-1412 - Enrolled into Act
Colorado is in a teacher shortage. This bill provides funding for schools to implement programs to reduce the shortage, and creates the Retaining Teachers Grant Program.
Speedy Trial Exclusion for Court Continuance Time
SB18-258 - Postponed Indefinitely
This bill excludes delays caused by a continuance ordered by a court from the speedy trial calculation in order to eliminate a loophole.
Protecting Students from Harmful Effects of Teacher Strikes
SB18-264 - Amended by sponsor to remove punishment of individuals for contempt of court, Postponed Indefinitely
There are few jobs more important than that of a teacher. They sacrifice evenings and weekends to make sure our students have the best possible learning experience and each one of them deserves to be treated as a professional. The strikes and walkouts are focused on higher pay for teachers, but there are better ways to increase teacher pay. It’s vital that these dollars find their way into the classroom and higher pay for teachers. That’s a choice local districts need to make.
We have concluded business at the capitol, but there is always more work to be done. We look forward to a productive and prosperous year in the state of Colorado. Keep on the lookout for updates as we approach election season this fall.
Thank you for your support and engagement!
Parent Notification Bill on the Governor’s Desk
This week our Parent Notification Bill passed the House 58-3, the Senate 33-2, and landed on the Governor's desk. This herculean effort was made possible by the collaboration of countless policymakers, teachers, administrators and parents. House Bill 18-1269, which we authored to provide critical information to parents will be a big step in the right direction for student safety and school district transparency.
The law will require school districts to notify parents when a district employee has been charged and a court has found probable cause for a list of crimes that would create a potential threat to student safety. For more details on the bill follow this link.
Lundeen Bill Promotes Effort to Retain Teachers with Grant Program
Our bill to retain great teachers in the classroom also hit the Governor's desk this week. HB18-1412 creates the retaining teachers grant program to assist school districts, boards of cooperative services, and charter schools in implementing initiatives to improve retention of teachers.
The department of education is directed to implement the grant program by reviewing applications and recommending grant recipients and grant amounts to the state board of education, which awards the grants. The department is also directed to provide information to local education providers concerning the grant program and provide assistance in writing grant applications if requested.
Last Minute ‘Red Flag’ Bill Falls Short
Protecting public safety is a top priority. Preserving our constitutional rights is non-negotiable. HB18-1436, commonly referred to as a “Red Flag” bill or an "Extreme Risk Protection Order", falls short of providing its public safety goals and threatens our Fourth and Second Amendment Constitutional rights. Although I support the policy goals of the legislation, this bill is not the answer.
- The bill was inappropriately sprung upon the House of Representatives with less than 24 hours of notice in the last few days of the session to try to push it through without adequate consideration. Important bills with broad and complex ramifications--especially those that threaten Constitutional rights--should be debated at length instead of rushed into law during the last week of session. This bill, regardless of content, was not given adequate time or attention.
- The bill would not adequately address the public safety goals that it seeks to resolve. Mental illness is the root of this bill. Confiscating weapons from someone with dangerous mental health concerns may provide some relief but it does not solve the primary issue. It leaves the mentally challenged individual in the same circumstance, at large, with the ability to seek other means of destruction and damage.
- Constitutional rights are non-negotiable. HB18-1436 presents multiple constitutional concerns that have not been adequately addressed. The bill was not properly amended to assuage concerns that it would threaten the Fourth Amendment right to protection from search and seizure of Colorado citizens.
Click on the image below to watch my comments to the Colorado House on this issue.
Protecting public safety is a top priority. Preserving our constitutional rights is non-negotiable. HB18-1436, commonly referred to as a “Red Flag” bill or an "Extreme Risk Protection Order", falls short of providing its public safety goals and threatens our Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights.
Click this link to see my arguments against the bill on the Colorado House Floor: https://youtu.be/0sA5T_LbE0A
COLORADO STATE CAPITOL 4/30/18--Senate Bill 18-264, which would require public employee unions to use other methods of advocacy than striking against the taxpaying public was amended this evening to remove language that would have punished teachers when they are found in contempt of court. The Bill authored by Senator Bob Gardner was later postponed indefinitely, killing the legislation, in the Senate State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.
Rep. Paul Lundeen who was named as the Senate Bill's sponsor in the House said, "I am gratified that the language to punish teachers was stricken from the bill. I never supported that idea. Now let's get back to work to change the education funding formula to drive more money into classrooms to better serve students and support teachers--including bigger paychecks."