May 06, 2012
Coffee Townhall with Carroll, Ryden & Fields
Monday May 7, 2012 7:15AM - 8:30AM
Mimi's Cafe 205 S Abilene, Aurora
SOME KEY BILLS THIS SESSION
SB 2 Civil Unions (Steadman - Ferrandino) passed the Senate again this year but has had some surprise successes and support from some courageous Republicans (Rep. Nikkel, Rep. Beezley) siding with equality so that it has passed for the first time out of House Judiciary and House Finance. Rep. Gerou has also indicated that she will vote for Civil Unions to get it out of House Appropriations committee. While Democrats are in the minority in the House there are is enough Republican support that if it goes to a vote, it will pass, be signed by the Governor and become law this year in Colorado. However, it is also possible that with GOP leadership in the House opposing the measure that they could "kill it on the calendar" and not bring it up timely for a floor vote. History is happening here -- and let's hope for a happy ending.
SB 157 Telecommunications Reform (Tochtrop/Scheffel) this bill would have removed a landline subsidy for areas that no longer need it and would refunded some of those funds to rate payers, but it also would have significantly deregulated telecomm and removed the requirement to provide service to rural areas, removed rate protections, reduced PUC oversight, and decreased transparency. This measure was laid over (defeated) at the sponsors' request.
War on Women Hits Home: We have seen several several bills this session to create personhood, criminalize abortion, and urging adoption of the "Blunt Amendment", that allows any employer, any insurer or any health care provider to deny any service at any time based on an undefined moral objection without notice to the patient. While this has the potential to impact all people (organ transplants, blood transfusion, HIV / AIDS counseling, substance abuse treatment), the examples given by the proponents have ALL by services that only impact women (i.e. contraception). The Senate defeated these measures and stood on the side of guaranteed patient access to health care.
STATUS OF MY BILLS THIS SESSION
JOBS & ECONOMIC RECOVERY
SB 3 Employment Opportunity Act (M. Carroll - Fischer): 60% of employers are now using credit scores in hiring decisions. Workers who lost their job in the recent recession clearly have had negative impacts to their credit. This practice is making it harder for them to get back to work. The bill limits use of credit scoring in hiring and employment decision to when it is relevant to the job. 20 million Americans have material errors on their reports. Lose your job = bad credit. Bad credit = no job. For more information see recent report Discrediting America PASSED SENATE 3RD READING 20:15. KILLED GOP HOUSE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE 03/19/12.
SB 143 Local Business Database & App (M. Carroll - Pabon): Because buying from local businesses in our community returns three times impact to our local economy, this bill creates a database and smart phone app through the Office of Economic Development where customers can search by type of good or service or by location if they want to help support buying local. The project is funding by a $10 annual listing fee for businesses and will help increase customer traffic to local businesses, and create jobs for Colorado. PASSED SENATE 3RD READING 20:15; KILLED GOP HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 03/28/12.
FAMILY & CIVIL JUSTICE
SB 56 Judicial Appointments in Family Cases (M. Carroll - Holbert): Courts appoint a variety of people in cases involving children's best interests or child custody. This bill ensures that those appointees are independent, neutral and do not have conflicts of interest or existing relationships with any of the parties. PASSED 3RD READING SENATE 35-0; PASSED HOUSE JUDICIARY 62:0:3. SIGNED BY GOVERNOR.
HB 1233 Legal Separation Simplified Court Proceeding (Labuda - M. Carroll): This bill extends the option of parties completing a legal separation without the need for a court appearance if no children are involved and will save an estimated 1,000 hearings per year. It will also save time and money for parties involved. PASSED HOUSE 3RD READING; PASSED SENATE 3RD READING 33:2; SIGNED BY GOVERNOR.
SJR 34 Reverse Citizens United (M. Carroll - Jones): This resolution was introduced in order to draw attention to the new staggering influx of corporate spending on elections in the wake of Citizen's United and to call for the reversal of Citizens United and the doctrine of corporate personhood for the sake of preventing corruption of our elections. INTRODUCED; PENDING SENATE FLOOR.
SB 93 Hospital Disclosure of Services Refused on Religious Grounds (M. Carroll - Duran): This bill gives patients notice of any medical services refused on the basis of religious grounds by a hospital and notifies a patient of their right to get those services elsewhere. Hospital mergers are increasing and depending on who owns what hospital may decide what services or care will or won't be provided for end of life care, contraception, AIDs counseling, reproductive services, including tubal ligations or vasectomies. PASSED 3RD READING SENATE 20:14; KILLED GOP HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 03/21/12.
FRACKING: ENVIRONMENT & PROPERTY RIGHTS
SB 107 Water Rights Protection Act (M. Carroll - Wilson). This bill requires the COGCC to promultate rules addressing drilling around: (a) radioactive materials; (b) superfund sites; and (c) explosives and munitions. It also directs rule-making around best practices for pressure drops that indicate leaks. The bill requires before and after reporting of the quantity of water used and the where the water right was acquired. The bill prohibits injecting known carcinogens into the ground, requires environmental bonding around high-risk drilling operations. It also requires water quality testing before and after drilling to detect possible contamination by fracking fluids, diesel or gas. INTRODUCED; PASSED SENATE JUDICIARY 4:3; PENDING SENATE APPROPRIATIONS.
HB 1110 Appraisal Management Companies (A. Williams - M. Carroll). This bill regulates appraisal management companies consistent with the recommendations of the Dept of Regulatory Agencies given the role of appraisal problems in the housing crisis. INTRODUCED; PASSED HOUSE 3rd READING 35-29; SENATE BUSINESS, LABOR & TECHNOLOGY; SENATE FINANCE; SENATE APPROPRIATIONS PENDING SENATE 2ND READING.
HB 1239 Special District Approval (Vaad - M. Carroll). This requires county approval before a water or sanitation district can expland their current boundaries and cannot expand into to property areas without the approval of the residents. PASSED HOUSE 3RD READING 65-0; PASSED SENATE 3RD READING 34-1; HOUSE CONCURRED; PENDING ACTION BY GOVERNOR.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES
HB 1085 Hearsay Exception Developmental Disabilities (Fields - M. Carroll). This bil creates a hearsay exception for victim's with developmental disabilities when they are victims of a crime. Prosecuting crimes against victims with developmental disabilities can be difficult because it is often one person's word against another and statements made pertaining to the crime are often made out of court. This mirrors the children's hearsay exception and still requires the declarant to be available for cross-examination in Court. PASSED HOUSE 3RD READING 56-8-1; PASSED SENATE 3RD READING 34-0-1; SIGNED BY GOVERNOR.
HB 1310 Omnibus Criminal Bill (B. Gardner - M. Carroll). This is series of changes throughout the code arrived at by consensus from both the district attorneys and defense attorneys. PASSED HOUSE 3RD READING 64-0; PASSED SENATE JUDICIARY; SENATE FINANCE; SENATE APPROPRIATIONS; PENDING SENATE 2ND READING.
HB 1209 Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (B. Gardner - M. Carroll). This bill enacts UELMA which creates a systematic archiving system for tracking the increasing volume of electronic materials that are stored online to ensure we do not lose important historical legal archives. PASSED HOUSE 3RD READING 63-0; PASSED SENATE 3RD READING 32-0; SIGNED BY GOVERNOR.
SB 175 Update Court Deadlines (B. Gardner - M. Carroll). This bill makes conforming statutory changes to court deadlines after Supreme Court rules committee modified amendments to be multiples of 7 rather than 10. INTRODUCED; PASSED SENATE 3RD READING 34:0; PENDING HOUSE 2ND READING.
Some of you may know that I have published my first book, Take Back Your Government: A Citizen's Guide to Grassroots Change. This was written to give a straight-forward glimpse into what I have learned since being elected that I feel all people have a right to know on how to participate and impact state government and state law. We made the local Best Seller's list. If you are interested, they are sold at Tattered Cover, Barnes & Noble or Amazon.
This session I have received the Joseph Award from the faith advocacy community for work for the poor, disenfranchised and Legislator of the Year Award from the Colorado Social Legislation committee for consumer protections bills.
I also found out that I was voted as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Colorado by the readers of the Denver Post.
Thank you for everything you do to stay informed, be engaged, and make a difference in Colorado!