- balanced the budget, and increased the state reserve by over $130 million, putting 6.5% of the budget into savings
- invested $100 million towards the “negative factor,” to help schools recover from the cuts they made during the downturn
- added an additional $230 million to boost K-12 through the Student Success Act,
- allocated $144 million to help communities damaged by the wildfires and floods
- increased funding for the Advanced Industries Acceleration program by $5 million, to help small high tech businesses grow and hire new employees.
WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is to recognize people for their accomplishments, especially students. This month, I recognized one outstanding student from each school in House District 9 by awarding them with a commendation that I like to call my “Stellar Student Award.”
I am very proud of all these students. They were a very diverse group, coming from all over the world. I was very impressed when some of them stepped up when I asked them to speak to all the assembled guests. The students were chosen by their principals and teachers for their excellence in class, high character, assisting other students, good motivation, and improvement over time. Here in this photo I am standing with the Stellar Students in the ornate Old Supreme Court chamber.
Also, you may have seen in the news that I sent a letter to Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Rick Raemisch. I expressed my concern about the recent suicide of one of 50 offenders who was convicted when he was a juvenile and sentenced to life without parole. We need to learn lessons from this death, and I am working to build a coalition of legislators to implement the US Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama to allow for a resentencing hearing for these juvenile offenders.
Air Quality Control
Colorado has the some of the most comprehensive and rigorous rules in the country surrounding air quality control. Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) recently voted 8-1 to adopt new air regulations for the oil and gas industry. These rules fully adopt new federal regulations from the EPA and add controls and strategies to reduce fugitive Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and hydrocarbon emissions in the air. The new rules will:
- reduce more than 92,000 tons per year of volatile organic compound emissions.
- reduce of more than 60,000 tons per year of methane emissions.
- elevate Colorado as a leader with the most comprehensive leak detection and repair program for oil and gas facilities in the country. Many operators will use infrared (IR) cameras, which allow people to see emissions that otherwise would be invisible to the naked eye.
Senate Bill 093
Many of you have contacted me about this bill, which seeks to restore eminent domain rights overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court. The bill passed the Senate and the Agriculture Committee in the House. I haven’t made a decision on this bill yet, but some very talented people are working on amendments to protect property rights, which is my chief concern. I will update you when new information arises.
- HB14-1278 — Renews the program for certification of physicians to work on worker’s compensation claims. This bill has been sent to Appropriations Committee.
- SB14-031 –This bill is from the Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension Reform Commission and will update the system’s old hiring plan. This bill has passed both House and Senate and has been signed by the Governor.
- HB14-1069 — This bill would have allowed for public comment from a District Attorney, public defender, and bar association member to testify before a judicial review commission. It has been postponed indefinitely in the Senate because the state judicial review commission has adopted rules doing precisely what the bill required.
- HB14-1344 — I just introduced this bill which will allow consumers to opt-in and receive all notices from insurance companies via email rather than by mail, thereby saving trees and postage.
Recognized as one of the top ten pride events in the country, Denver’s PrideFest is a celebration of community, heritage, family and culture. More than 250,000 people from Colorado and surrounding areas come out to enjoy the parade, rally, music, entertainment, food and much more.
Will you walk with me in the parade?
Please join me during the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 22nd, at 9am, and walk with people from our community! Call or email me to RSVP! Thank you.
Invitation to Town Hall
Co-Host: Mayor Mike Dunafon
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Infinity Park Event Center
4400 East Kentucy Avenue
Glendale, CO 80246
This month’s conversation will focus on the Colorado State Budget for FY2014-15. Please bring your friends and questions too! There will be light breakfast refreshments.
Don’t hesitate to call my office at 303-866-2910 or visit me at the Capitol in room 307. Keep in touch! Thank you.