March 06, 2011
REMINDER: Please join us tomorrow for our monthly coffee Mon. Mar. 7, 2011 at 7:15 AM at Mimi's Cafe in Aurora, 205 S. Abilene Street, Aurora. This is hosted by myself, Rep.Ryden and Rep. Fields which allows up to provide you with the latest updates from both the House and the Senate. This is an open topic forum where all can bring their ideas, input and suggestions for us.
CONGRATULATIONS TO RHONDA FIELDS
Rep. Rhonda Fields has received the award for Rising Star of the Colorado Democratic Party. The award is well-deserved. If you haven't met Rhonda yet, you should. Hers is a story of an incredibly dedicated mother and social reformer that led her to run for the legislature -- and win. She has wasted no time, seeking improvements for Colorado. Congratulations Rhonda!
Senate President Brandon Shaffer has made history by creating a Bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Redistrcting with Speaker Frank McNulty. I am honored to have been appointed to serve on this committee. There are 10 members and we will be meeting around the state to get public testimony and input about how we re-draw Colorado's 7 Congressional Districts with the updated US Census information. The Committee is being co-chaired by Sen. Rollie Health (D-Boulder) and Rep. David Balmer (R-Aurora).
Our new maps must achieve population equality (US Constitution) and comply with the non-race-dilution requirements of the Voting Rights Act. The other traditional redistricting factors include preserving city and county lines where possible, ompactiness, contiguity and preserving communities of interest. The new population size for each district will be 718,546. That means:
CD 1 needs to gain 56,781 people;
CD 2 needs to lose 15,348 people;
CD 3 needs to gain 12,271 people;
CD 4 needs to lose 6,584 people;
CD 5 needs to lose 7,445 people;
CD 6 needs to lose 79,356 people; and
CD 7 needs to gain 40,647 people.
You can find more information about the schedule of public hearings and other information about redistricting by visiting http://www.colorado.gov/Redistricting. Also, if you can not attend any of the scheduling hearings, you can send your thoughts and comments to CongRedist2011@state.co.us and it will reach all 10 of us.
GIRLS WITH GOALS DAY
We were fortunate with the incredible work of our Senate staff to have participated in the first annual "Girls with Goals Day" on Friday. One girl was selected from each of the 35 Senate Districts to join us at the capitol, be sworn in as "honorary members of the Senate", and participate in floor work and mock legislative hearings. I was lucky to be joined by the young Senator, Odalis Alvarenga from Peoria Elementary School in Aurora.
HICKELOOPER'S FIRST BILLS
This past week Hickelooer signed his first 7 bills into law since being sworn in as Colorado's Governor. I was honored to have HB 1023 (Ferrandino - Carr0ll) extending the Colorado Foreclosure Deferral program be the first bill he signed. Also, in this first package was HB 1037 (Ryden, Fields - Carroll) reauthorizing and extending the Military Family Relief Fund, a tax checkoff providing financial assistance to military families experiencing deployment-related financial hardships.
STATUS OF MY BILLS
ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE & CONSUMER PROTECTION
SB 2 Low Income Telephone Users Fund (M. Carroll – J. Kerr) – This is an audit bill that fixes implementation so low income people who qualify for help can get it, and others who may not qualify won’t. INTRODUCED. PASSED Senate Third Reading 34-0. PENDING House Transportation Committee.
SB 68 Consumer Protection Act 2011 (M. Carroll - Solano) – Add enforcement language to Colorado’s Unfair Deceptive Trade Practices Act, presuming public harm, when consumers defrauded. There is an added barrier created by Colorado Courts which has left Colorado consumers without remedies. INTRODUCED. PASSED Senate 3rd Reading. PENDING House State Affairs Committee.
SB 175 Uniform Trust Insurable Interest (Carroll) - This bill would implement a Uniform Law around Insurable Interests in Trusts to make sure that any party taking out an insurance policy on another person has a legitimate insurable interest and not betting against the life of another. INTRODUCED. PASSED Senate Judiciary 9 - 0. PENDING Senate 2nd Reading Consent calendar.
HB 1127 Fair Use of Credit Scores (Kagan – M. Carroll) – With record people out of work, credit scores have taken a plunge. Credit scores have been used in hiring, apartment rental and to increase insurance premiums. Bill limits use of credit scores to areas only where there is a real and relevant reason to do so to remove unnecessary barriers to employment, housing and cost of insurance. INTRODUCED. DEFEATED House Local House State, Veteran & Military Affairs Committee.
HB 1023 Foreclosure Deferral Extension (Ferrandino – M. Carroll): The bill continues the foreclosure assistance and deferral we created in the state a few years ago. Unfortunately, the need is still there and it is set to expire. INTRODUCED. PASSED House 64-0, PASSED Senate 34-0. SIGNED by Governor.
HB 1232 Probate Registry of Fiduciaries (Court - M. Carroll): This bill creates a registry of court-appointed guardians, conservators and trustees, increases reporting to protected persons from annually to quarterly and requires responses to requests for information by protected persons within 30 days. INTRODUCED. DEFEATED House Judiciary Committee.
SB 182 Insurable Interest (M. Carroll - Liston): This bill ensures that there is an insurable interest before taking out a life insurance policy. This is a standard requirement across most states, however, has never been codified in Colorado. It prevents taking a life insurance policy out on a stranger and profiting from their death. INTRODUCED. PENDING Senate Business, Labor & Technology.
SB 25 Taxpayer Empowerment Act (M. Carroll – Ferrandino) – Adds transparency on privatization of government functions by reforming government contracting to include standard clause about transparency of records relating to cost and performance measures of government contracts. INTRODUCED. PASSED Senate 3rd Reading. PENDING House Finance Committee.
SB 115 Government Accountability Act (M. Carroll) – ensures jurisdiction to state auditor for all state governmental and quasi-governmental entities to oversee taxpayer accountability and maximize government efficiency in performance. Closes auditing loopholes for good government. INTRODUCED. PASSED Senate 3rd Reading 35 - 0. PENDING House Finance Committee.
HB 1035 Campaign Finance Blue Book Clarification (Court – M. Carroll) – A bill to add blue book descriptions about who has drafted and funded different issues on the ballot. INTRODUCED. PASSED House 54-10, PASSED Senate 35 - 0. House concurred. PENDING action by Governor.
HB 1108 Coroner Commission (Fields, Ryden – M. Carroll) – The bill creates a commission to look at recommendations for qualifications for state coroner. (Currently no medical background is required and it is a partisan race.) INTRODUCED, DEFEATED House Local Government Committee 6:5 party-line vote.
HB 1118 Audit Authority Toll Authorities (J. Kerr - M. Carroll) - This is an audit bill that gives audit jurisdiction to the State Auditor for public highway (toll) authorities. INTRODUCED, PASSED House 3rd Reading 64 - 1. PENDING Senate Committee Transportation.
HB 1229 Issue Committee Disclosures (Court - M. Carroll) - This bill ensures issue committee disclosures following the Sampson case ruling strike down existing limits (as applied). INTRODUCED. PENDING House State Affairs Committee.
HB 1124 Conflicts of Interest HOAs, Special Districts (A. Williams - M. Carroll) - This bill requires HOAs and special districts to devise conflicts of interest policies around disclosure, recusal and disclose if serving on multiple related Boards prior to a vote. INTRODUCED, PASSED House 55-9-1. PENDING Senate Committee assignment.
SB 72 Civil Rights Act 2011 (M. Carroll – Levy) – Gives Title VII job protection and remedies to Colorado workers from discrimination (race, gender, sexual orientation) when work for an employer of 15 or less. (More than 15 already covered). INTRODUCED. PASSED Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Appropriations Committee. PENDING Senate 2nd Reading.
SB 179 Worker Alternative Use of ID (M. Carroll) - This bill allows workers to present work-issued ID at a job site to reduce risk of identity theft or loss of state issued ID on the job. INTRODUCED. PENDING Senate Judiciary Committee.
SB 88: Direct Entry Midwives (M. Carroll / Lundberg – Acree): Continues ability for midwives trained for home births to continue to practice in Colorado, updates their practice act, and gives ability to administer minor treatments to mom or baby that are within their training and scope of practice. INTRODUCED. PASSED Senate Health & Human Services Committee 8 - 1, Senate Appropriations 11 - 0. PENDING Senate 2nd Reading.
HB 1037 Military Family Relief Fund (Ryden – M. Carroll)– Reauthorizes Military Family Relief Fund on Income Tax Check off to support military families experiencing hardship as a result of deployment. INTRODUCED. PASSED House 65-0, PASSED Senate 34 - 1, SIGNED by Governor.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS
SB 176 Appropriate Use of Solitary Confinement (M. Carroll - Levy): This bill creates due process protections for inmates with severe mental illness or developmental disabilities with respect to solitary confinement and gives allows inmates with good record to get earned time. It directs the cost-savings from the bill into mental health treatment. INTRODUCED. PENDING Senate Judiciary.
Hope you are well and thanks for your interest in your state!