May 07, 2009
JOB CREATION, RENEWABLE ENERGY
1) SB 09-51, Renewable Energy Financing Act: (M. Carroll – Levy): This bill facilitates several different financing options (3rd party lease, bank, mortgage, state treasury backed investments and loans) for residential and business solar, geothermal, wind or energy efficiency upgrades in payment plans. This measure will bring investment capitol to Colorado, make alternative energy upgrades more affordable for hundreds of thousands of people and create new jobs. SIGNED 04.22.09.
2) HB 09-1149, Solar Option New Homes: (Merrifield – M. Carroll): This bill creates a standard offer of solar-ready on construction of new homes. It is usually cheaper to build it in at the time of constructing a new home, rather than retrofitting solar. As homes comes with many options, this would be one more to facilitate renewable energy, jobs, and energy independence. PENDING action by Governor.
ELECTION REFORM, VOTER RIGHTS
3) HB 09-1186, Expanding Mail Ballot Drop-Off: (Levy – M. Carroll): This bill enables voters to drop off their mail ballots at any precinct voting location. Currently there are a small number of approved drop off locations and many voters who appeared at polling locations were turned away as unable to accept mail ballots. Passed House 37-28. Passed Senate State Affairs. Passed Senate 3rd Reading 21:14. SIGNED by Governor 04.03.09.
HOMEOWNER / PROPERTY RIGHTS
4) SB 09-249 (Penry & Carroll, M – A. Kerr) Homeowner Rights. Expanding homeowner rights under SB 100. Several rights afforded under SB 100 were inadvertently codified in a way to raise ambiguity as to whether or not they applied to small HOAs. This clarifies that the public policy rights apply to all homeowners regardless of size of HOA. PENDING action by Governor.
5) SB 09-87, Special District Accountability Act: (M. Carroll – Peniston): This bill would give notice to homeowners of the special districts they live in, and annual actual notice to eligible electors about when / where special district elections are held, who represents them and when / where regularly scheduled meetings are held. PENDING Action by Governor.
HEALTH CARE, PATIENTS RIGHTS
6) HB 09-1059, Clinical Trials Coverage Health Insurance (Primavera – M. Carroll): This bill puts basic protections in place for patients during clinical trials and ensures continuity of health insurance coverage during such trials to protect patient safety and avoid disincentives to participate in important research. SIGNED by Governor 05.02.09.
7) HB 09-1188 (M. Carroll – Ryden) Skolnik Medical Revisions: I wrote original Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act in 1997 to get patients more information about their doctor's history when making health care decisions, including safety record, complaint, grievance, malpractice history along with board certifications and special qualifications and training. 2009 is the year physicians must renew their licenses and this bill makes some important but technical changes to help that process this year. SIGNED by Governor 03.30.09.
HB 09-1224 (Schafer – Carroll M.) No Gender Discrim Rate Setting: This bill finally would prohibit gender discrimination in insurance rate setting and premiums. While women still earn only 77% on the dollar and can often be the sole care-taker of children, they are charged more than their male counter-parts in the pricing of insurance. This is a economic justice and civil rights issue bringing Colorado on board with the many states that have already fixed this. *The House amended this bill into a study.* Passed House 3rd Reading 49-16. Senate State Affairs Amended back from Study to Actual Prohibition. Senate Floor Bill was Amended back to a Study and Passed. PENDING Action by Governor.
9) SB 09-166 (M. Carroll – Pace) Pharmaceutical Ethics Act – The single largest cost driver behind the increasing cost of health care and premiums is the drug companies. Over 2/3 of the cost of drugs come from gifts, advertising and marketing (and not the actual research or manufacturing of the drug). This bill creates a pharmaceutical gift ban (except samples, education), captures annual disclosure of costs, prohibits the invasion / sales of your prescription history and establishes minimum conflict of interest protections in Colorado healthcare. The bill increased transparency, reduce costs, protect patient privacy and increase patient safety in Colorado. DEFEATED.
10) SB 09-61, Qualifications for doctors reviewing insurance claims: (M. Carroll – Primavera): This requires that doctors reviewing insurance claims or decisions to approve or deny claims be licensed to practice medicine in the state of Colorado and that the reviewing provider be of a same or similar specialty as the treating physician whom they are reviewing. DEFEATED.
11) SB 09-103, Insurance Bad Faith: (M. Carroll – Pommer): This bill prohibits as an "unfair claim practice" insurance companies from offering bonuses, pay raises or promotions for the denial of claims or the cancellation of policies. Consumers experience this in the form of denied care, delayed payment of medical bills or cancellation of their policies. DEFEATED.
CONSUMER PROTECTION, PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY
12) HB 09-1155, Title Insurance Filings: (Weissmann – M. Carroll): Title insurance companies only pay about 10% of your premiums on actual claims, raising real questions about the rating structure. Currently their rate filings aren't even filed at the Division of Insurance to allow meaningful review. This bill requires public filings so they are available for review and to the public. Governor SIGNED into law 03.19.09.
13) HB 09-1276 (Ferrandino – Carroll, M) Foreclosure Relief Act 2009: This bill provides a 90 day window for qualified borrowers to renegotiate loan conditions to keep families in their houses and prevent banks from losing money on foreclosure of homes. There is no bailout component to this bill. PENDING Action by Governor.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
14) HB 09-1263 (Casso – Carroll, M) Time Deductions County Jail: This bill reallocates credit for time served in county jail to better manage space and resources for local governments and public safety and was recommended by the Commission on Sentencing Reform. SIGNED by Governor 04.03.09.
15) HB 09-1266 (McCann – Carroll, M) Driver's License Reform Criminal Corrections: This bill makes it so that the loss of driver's licenses for a penalty can be only if the offense was tied to driving. PENDING action by Governor.
16) HB 09-1274 (Weissmann – Carroll, M): Reallocate Death Penalty Funding: This bill reallocates death penalty and capital crimes funding to create a state cold crimes unit to fund and focus on solving unsolved homicides in the State of Colorado. Passed House 33:32. Defeated in Senate 17:18. DEFEATED.
17) HB 09-1321 (Levy – Carroll, M): Juvenile Placement in Adult Facilities: This protects juveniles who are not being charged as an adult from people housed in an adult population (i.e. recent suicide of juvenile in adult population). PENDING Action By Governor.
18) SB 09-286 (Morse, Carroll, M – Levy, Merrifield): Justice Reinvestment Act – Sentencing Reform. Amended to refer parameters, guidelines and deadlines to Colorado Criminal & Juvenile Justice Commission. PENDING Action by Governor.
19) SB 09-288 (Morse, Carroll, M – Levy, Merrifield): Bed Space Allocation. Adjusts sentencing to match available bed space in Colorado to better prioritize limited funds and budget within our available resources. DEFEATED.
20) HB 09-1351 (Pommer – Carroll, M): Increased Earned Time Allowance. This bill increases earned time allowance from 10 days to 12 and allows up to 60 days credit on end of sentence for certain non-violent offenses where no behavioral infractions in DOC at discretion of DOC. PENDING Action by Governor.
CIVIL RIGHTS – DISABILITY
21) HB 09-1281: (Labuda – Carroll, M) Disability Representation on State Boards. This bill provides for representation from the disability community on all boards that impact people with disabilities. Also known as the "Nothing About Us, Without Us" bill. Passed House 60:4:(1 excused). PENDING Action by Governor.
AUTO INSURANCE, CONSUMER RIGHTS
22) HB 09-1226 (McGihon – Carroll, M.) No Fault Car Insurance: This measure would restore Colorado to a No-Fault system rather than the current "tort" system, making it easier for people injured in car accidents to get access to medical care without having to go to Court and easier for 1st responders and medicals providers to get paid for the care they provide. DEFEATED.
WORKERS' RIGHTS, HEALTH CARE
23) HB 1210 (McGihon – Carroll, M.) Sick Leave for Workers: This bill gives limited paid sick to workers based on the size of the employer to address preventive health needs and reduce sickness and contagion in the workplace and in public without fear of termination or retaliation. DEFEATED.
24) HB 09-1348 (Weissmann – Carroll, M.) Constituent Confidentiality. This bill closes a loophole in protecting the confidentiality of constituent communications and work product in drafting with the staff of the legislator. PENDING Action by Governor.
25) HCR 09-1005 (May – Carroll, M) Non-Partisan Re-Districting. This measure would have had the non-partisan independent redistricting commission extend to the drawing of Congressional Districts to avoid gerrymandering in the process. DEFEATED.
April 22, 2009
The Renewable Energy Finance Act (SB 09-51) was signed today by Governor Ritter. It passed with bi-partisan support and creates many financing options making renewable energies more affordable for middle and lower income Coloradans.
Key Features of the bill:
- Allows 3rd Party Ownership in Colorado – Allows financing for small, medium, and large public and private projects for solar, wind, geothermal energies.
- Creates monthly payment options for solar, wind, geothermal or energy efficiency upgrades through bank loans, mortgages, leases, lease purchase.
- Gives savings on utility bills making use of Colorado's current net-metering credits.
- Increases Investments from the State Treasurer's office in renewable industries that will give returns back to the State and provides limited collateral backing to private lenders under-writing green loans.
- Plugs into current rebates and credits available.
- Allows marketing with designated green lender logo designed by Governor's Energy Office for participating lenders.
How is it funded? This opens up the market and is fuelled by private lenders and investors. The state monies in the treasury will be loans only with return on taxpayer investment. There are no new taxes or fees needed to implement this bill. This bill uses existing resources or private lenders.
What are the benefits of the bill?
- Ordinary homeowners who may not currently be able to afford $15,000 – $20,000 out of pocket (even for rebates) can now access residential solar through affordable monthly payments;
- freeze energy bills at current levels;
- get credits for additional energy produced on the grid;
- By making renewable choices available and affordable for middle income Coloradans increased installations will mean increased jobs;
- It will bring known investment capital to the State of Colorado;
- It will facilitate the research and development of renewable energy technologies in Colorado and attract future businesses;
- It will streamline larger renewable projects;
- create more financing options for small, medium and large private and public projects.
While most Coloradans support increasing energy independence, reducing our carbon footprint, diversifying our energy portfolio, until today, most people could not afford to participate in the "green revolution" because it was priced out of reach.
If you have ever wanted to put solar panels but didn't think you could afford them, perhaps now is the time to think again. You can find more information by visiting Colorado Solar Industries Association at http://www.coseia.org/newsite/index.php?id=1 or by contacting the Governor's Energy Office at http://www.colorado.gov/energy/.
This was a great way to celebrate Earth Day. The Earth may not be the only green you save.
January 09, 2009
A Job Creation Bill Brings Renewable Energy to the Masses:
Carroll & Levy to Introduce Renewable Energy Financing Act
The Renewable Energy Finance Act of 2009 was introduced by Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) and Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder).
Colorado has been described as the Saudi Arabia of Solar and Wind, yet average homeowners can scarcely afford to participate.
This bill facilitates four different financing options that allow monthly payments:
1. 3rd party lease agreements;
2. bank loans;
3. credit union;
These loans or payment plans can be used for:
3. wind or
4. energy efficiency upgrades
for residences or businesses.
This measure will bring investment capitol to Colorado, make alternative energy upgrades more affordable for hundreds of thousands of people and create new jobs.
"Access to renewable energy should not just be for the rich. We can create many good-paying jobs and finally give access to the renewable revolution to thousands of energy-conscious Coloradans.", said Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora).
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