March 1 Legislative Update
March 01, 2012
It's that time of year again. For those of you who missed last month's townhall on tax tips I wanted to share a few tips with you. There are services out there to help with free tax preparation for income levels higher than you might think.
- Community College of Aurora Lowry Campus, 710 Alton Way, West Quad (Bldg 903), Room 113. Free tax help is available for families in Aurora earning under $49,000. The service runs from Jan. 29 to March 12. Please note the days and times: Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m; Tuesdays 6-9 p.m; Wednesdays 4-9 p.m.
- Piton Foundation has great resources about commonly overlooked tax credits, how not to get swindled by tax refund anticipation scams and other locations for free tax preparation. Go to http://www.piton.org/eitc.
- The IRS has a new free-file program which gives you the public free access to brand-name tax preparation software to walk you through step-by-step filing at http://www.freefile.irs.gov/.
Monday March 5, 2012, 7:15 AM
Mimi's Cafe - 205 S. Abilene St, Aurora
Coffee & Open Forum: Sen. Morgan Carroll, Rep. Su Ryden, & Rep. Rhonda Fields
Thursday March 15, 2012, 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Community College of Aurora, 16000 E. Centretech Pkwy, Aurora
TOPIC: Legislative Update by Sen. Carroll, Rep. Ryden and Rep. Fields
MY BILLS THIS SESSION
Employment Opportunity Act SB 3 (Carroll - Fisher) - This bill eliminates the use of credit reports by employers in the hiring process. 60% of employers are now using credit reports in hiring decisions, even though they were never designed for that purpose, are fraught with errors, and have never been demonstrated to validly predict whether someone would make a good employee. We lost 7.9 million jobs nationally in this recession and have 250,000 Coloradans out of work. For the people who lost their jobs in the recession, clearly their credit will be impacted. No job = bad credit. Bad credit = no job. This bill removes this unecessary barrier to re-employment for Coloradans trying to get back to work. This bill passed the Senate 20:15 and is assigned to House Local Government Committee.
Colorado Local Business Smart-App & Database SB 143 (Carroll - Pabon) - There is pent up demand and renewed interest among the public to buy local and support Colorado's home-grown small business. Buying from locally owned businesses brings three times the financial returns to the local economy, directs business to those who live in our communities, and helps support local job creation (i.e. as opposed to outsourced). This bill creates a searchable database and smart-phone app where customers can search by location or by type of good / service to help support local businesses in our daily transactions. Shifting even 10% of our holiday purchases to local businesses is estimated to bring an additional $15 billion dollars to our local economy. This bill has passed the Senate Business Committee and Appropriations Committee and will be debated on the floor of the Senate tomorrow for 2nd reading.
Fair Family Courts Act SB 56 (Carroll - Holbert) - This bill addresses a growing concern about the increasing role of court-appointees relied upon to make recommendations pertaining to child custody issues. This bill prohibits conflicts of interest in court-appointees for children and requires standard disclosures pertaining to any prior relationships between the appointee and the parties. This bill passed the Senate 35 - 0 is is pending House Judiciary.
Hospital Disclosures to Patients SB 93 (Carroll - Duran) - This bill addresses the growing frequency of hospital mergers and consolidations that has placed an increasing percentage of hospital ownership under religious ownership in Colorado. There are some 90 different health care services that may be refused on religious grounds, ranging from contraception, tubal ligations, vasectomies, HIV counseling, end of life decisions, etc. This bill requires any hospital that denies medical services on religious grounds to disclose what those services are ahead of time to the patient and notifies them of their right to get them elsewhere. This bill has passed the Senate 20:15 and is pending House Committee assignment.
Water Rights Protection & Fracking SB 107 (Carroll - Wilson) - This bill directs the CO Oil & Gas Conservation Commission to promulgate rules for best practices for drilling around munitions, radioactive, nuclear materials or superfund sites. It also collects the water quantity data about the amount of water used before and after drilling a well and requires water quality safety testing before and after drilling. It prohibits the injection of known carcinogens into the ground where it can contaminate soil and drinking water and creates a rebuttable presumption that contamination of water within 6 months of drilling within 1/2 mile arises from the drilling operations unless they used a closed-loop system. The bill requires environmental bonding for all drilling activities around high risk areas (such as explosives, superfund sites or radioactive materials). It also directs the COGCC to promulgate rules for best practices around pressure readings that indicate leaks. This bill has been assigned to Senate Judiciary and is pending hearing.
I am also carrying some bills originating in the house and will send you an update on the status of those next time.
I am honored to have awarded the Joseph Award from Faith Advocacy Day for my work on addressing people in poverty and living on the margins of our society. I am also extremely honored to have named a Legislator of the Year by the Colorado Social Legislation Committee (presentation scheduling pending).
As some of you may know, I have published my first book, Take Back Your Government: A Citizen's Guide to Grassroot's Change. We made the local best seller list last week, which is very exciting. There are a few book signing events coming up and you are invited to come. We will talk about inside tips and observations about how to best impact the legislative process and will be followed by candid Q&A. All invited! No purchase necessary. The next events are:
Sat March 3, 2012
Barnes & Noble Lone Tree
Reading and Book Signing
8374 S. Willow Street, Lone Tree, CO 80124
Sat Mar 10, 2012
Parkhill Bookstore Book Signing
12:00 – 1:30 PM
23rd & Dexter, Denver
Printable Version of this Page
<< Next post ||
Previous post >>