That's a Session Wrap: Wins Against Human Traffickers, Wins for Students & Quicker Improvements on I-25

Today marks the one-hundred and twenty-first day of the legislative session. Together we’ve accomplished much. Nearby you’ll find a video recap of the session and an update on our legislative efforts and achievements since January.

Most importantly, it’s an honor to hear your ideas and bring them to the Legislature. Thank you for your participation.

NO. 1 - “Interception of Human Trafficking Communications"
HB17-1040 | Co-Prime Sponsor

The bill amends Colorado’s current wiretap statute--C.R.S 16-15-102--by adding human trafficking to the list of eligible crimes for which a judge may authorize a wiretap through ex parte order upon a showing of probable cause that human trafficking has, or will be, committed. The new law provides Colorado Law Enforcement with a strategic tool in the fight against human trafficking. 

Status: 3.23.17 - Signed into Law

NO. 2 - "Required State Assessment for Ninth-grade Students"
HB17-1181 | Co-Prime Sponsor

The bill kicks the PARCC test out of ninth-grade, makes the assessment more meaningful to students by aligning it with college entrance tests that students will take later in their academic careers, and saves Colorado taxpayers $600,000. 

Status: 5.02.17 - Sent to Governor

NO. 3 - "Parent Choice in Low-Performing School Districts"
HB17-1089 | Primary Sponsor

The bill would have provided options for parents of students stuck in Colorado’s chronically low-performing school districts to direct their children’s academic career through alternative education outlets, serving to supplement these students’ academic experience.

Status: 2.13.17 - House Education Committee, Postponed Indefinitely

NO. 4 - "Judicial Disqualification in Civil Actions"
HB17-1132 | Primary Sponsor

The bill sought to create a more accessible means for parties in civil cases to request disqualification of a judge by establishing the recusal process--that’s currently outlined only in judicial code--in statute.

Status: 5.01.17 - Senate Judiciary Committee, Postponed Indefinitely

NO. 5 - "Exempt Drains Designated Groundwater Requirements"
SB17-049 | Primary Sponsor -- Senate Originated

The bill would have simplified the regulatory process for groundwater drains created for use in residential, commercial or industrial development.

Status: 2.02.17 - Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy, Postponed Indefinitely

NO. 6 - "Regulation of Methadone Treatment Facilities"
SB17-082 | Primary Sponsor -- Senate Originated

The bill would have implemented required background checks for the owner and/or CEO of applicant Methadone treatment facilities seeking licensure in Colorado. It would have written in statute the requirement that the applicants disclose any out-of-state program infractions and provided accessible information about the facilities to communities in which the treatment centers would reside. 

Status: 4.27.17 - House Committee on Health & Human Services, Postponed Indefinitely

NO. 7 - "Reserve Peace Officer Academy Grant Program"
SB17-096 | Primary Sponsor -- Senate Originated

The bill creates a program to provide a one-time grant to fund a reserve peace officer academy that will train and certify a shared reserve peace officer auxiliary group to serve throughout the state of Colorado.

Status: 5.03.17 - Sent to Governor

NO. 8 - "Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance"
HB17-1340 | Co-Prime Sponsor

The bill will create a legislative interim committee--to meet during the 2017 and 2018 legislative interims--charged with two primary tasks: (1) to study specific school finance issues and (2) to create a new school finance funding formula to address the challenges of Colorado’s educational-funding landscape.


Status: 5.10.17 - Sent to Governor

NO. 9 - "Modifying Operations of the Colorado General Assembly"
HCR17-1001 | Primary Sponsor

The resolution would have amended the Colorado State Constitution in an effort to change the shape of state governance, expand budget control from one nuclear committee to every elected member of the General Assembly, focus legislative priorities through a shorter session and fewer bills, and ultimately create a more accountable and effective legislative branch.

Status: 4.20.17 - House Committee on State, Veterans & Military Affairs, Postponed Indefinitely

NO. 10 - "Measures of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness"
SB17-272 | Co-Prime Sponsor -- Senate Originated

The bill will advance the current education performance indicator standards across the state of Colorado, and create an additional measure to aid local education providers in assessing their students’ postsecondary and workforce readiness.

Status: 4.28.17 - Sent to Governor

Again, thank you for your continued engagement this legislative session. I am honored to be your voice and partner in the pursuit of a greater Colorado for thepeople of Colorado. Together, I look forward to continuing the work.
 

Posted on May 13, 2017 .

A Response from the U.S. Department of Transportation

We recently received communication from the U.S. Department of Transportation, included nearby, in response to our letter that urged the Department's assistance expediently resolving Colorado's transportation crisis. As we continue seeking tangible solutions, we will continue to press the Governor's office and CDOT to maximize all of the opportunities available to us. 

USDOT Letter 1.jpg
Posted on May 4, 2017 .

Session End in Sight: Still Fighting for Your Freedom & Better Roads

Our relentless pursuit of better roads in Colorado continues. This week we spent time on the phone with the Acting Director of the Federal Highway Administration, continued to cajole the Governor’s office, and offered an amendment to a critical state budget bill to redirect $129,000,000 in already collected taxes to road expansion and bridge work.

The Relentless Pursuit of Directing Already Paid Taxes to Roads

In response to our letter to the newly sworn head of the US Department of Transportation, Secretary Elaine Chao arranged a phone call for us with the Acting Head of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Butch Waidelch this week.

pc: USDOT

pc: USDOT

Productive Talks with the Acting Head of the Federal Highway Administration

We are now in discussion about methods for the Colorado and Federal transportation departments to identify redundanceis and potential delays in road improvement planning prompted by environmental regulation. The FHWA reports the new administration has brought a new approach to such issues and the opportunity for progress is substantial. Effort to place individuals into key roles to enable decisions and action are underway. Waidelch said, it is still "early in the process." 

Parallel conversations with the Governor’s office and CDOT continue. 

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." -Thomas Jefferson

We were in "the well," the microphone and podium in the Colorado House, once again this week, fighting against the idea that government is the solution to all problems. Far too often, not only is government not the answer, it becomes the problem. 

With ten days left until the end of session, we continue to fight for Smaller Government & Freer People. Thank you for staying engaged. 

Posted on May 1, 2017 .

I-25 GAP Coalition Media Release

I am pleased to support the building effort to "Widen That Road!"

United in support of the I-25 Gap Coalition are: Dale Anderson, District Director, Congressman Doug Lamborn; Mayor John Suthers, City of Colorado Springs; Congressman Mike Coffman; Roger Partridge, Douglas County Commissioner; Frank Gray, President & CEO, Castle Rock Economic Development Council; Dirk Draper, President & CEO, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC; Mark Waller, El Paso County Commissioner; and State Representative Paul Lundeen.

United in support of the I-25 Gap Coalition are: Dale Anderson, District Director, Congressman Doug Lamborn; Mayor John Suthers, City of Colorado Springs; Congressman Mike Coffman; Roger Partridge, Douglas County Commissioner; Frank Gray, President & CEO, Castle Rock Economic Development Council; Dirk Draper, President & CEO, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC; Mark Waller, El Paso County Commissioner; and State Representative Paul Lundeen.

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Posted on April 20, 2017 .

Headed to the Governor's Desk

HB17-1811 - the Lundeen-Pettersen bill that will kick PARCC testing out of Colorado High Schools is headed to the Governor's desk after passing through both the House and Senate as of April 17th.

Posted on April 18, 2017 .