2015 Legislation

SB15-182
"Youthful Offenders in Corrections"
This bill is allows the Colorado Department of Corrections the ability to transfer in/out certain offenders in the custody of the DOC to a Youth Offender System (YOS) facility. YOS provides youth offenders with an environment conducive to changing attitudes and behaviors. The youth are sentenced to a controlled and regimented environment that teaches values such as work, self-discipline, and builds on useful skills though programming. YOS leads to much lower recidivism rates.

This bill was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 1.

SB15-205
"Veterans Fire Corps Act"
This bill is many things, it's a public safety bill, it is a veterans' bill and it it also a jobs bill. With 205, we created a Fire Corps training program geared specifically to veterans. It is an important issue that over the last decade, areas burned by wildfire has tripled. We have a lack of Firefighters and an abundance of post-9/11 veterans who need work. With this bill, those who are interested in on-the-job training in natural resource management and wildland fire control will have the resources and access to do so.

This bill was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 12.

HB15-1187 
"Veterinarian Health"
This bill allows the State Board of Veterinary Medicine the ability to suspend a license temporarily should issues of mental illness or drug and alcohol abuse arise. Unlike other medical professionals, the State Board of Veterinary Medicine only has authority to revoke licenses, not given temporary suspensions. I sponsored this bill with the belief that the State Board should have more options to protect the livelihoods of these workers and small business owners.

This bill was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 8.

SB15-037
"Youthful Offenders in Corrections"
Postponed Indefinitely

SB15-089
"Funding for County Courthouses"
This bill transfers the cost burden from Colorado Counties for provided courthouse facilities to the State. This bill ties up loose ends from legislative intent from the General Assembly in 1969. With ever growing financial burdens, many counties are struggling to keep pace with the fiscal responsibility to provide adequate facilities. This is a good bill for Colorado, especially rural Colorado, where counties cannot keep up with the judicial work load. 

This bill passed the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee with bipartisan support. After a hearing in Senate Appropriations, the bill was postponed indefinitely.

SB15-127
"Agritourism"
This bill will help promote Colorado's rich history while at the same time helping Colorado's tourism industry. The bill allows private advertising and marketing firms to deduct expenses they incur while working for small local governments. Specifically, this bill will help smaller more rural communities economies start to grow. The bill would also allow taxpayers who buy equipment for agritourism to claim a tax credit of up to $500/tax year. This bill will help promote agritourism in Colorado, strengthen our economy, and support tourism.

This bill passed the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy committee unanimously and the Senate Finance committee with bipartisan support. After a hearing in Senate Appropriations, the bill was postponed indefinitely.

SB15-176
"Southwest Chief"
This bill continues work I started last year with the vital Southwest Chief rail line that goes through Southern Colorado. This bill asks for funding to keep this vital track running through Colorado. This will promote tourism and will help local and regional economies. 

This bill passed a hearing in the Senate Local Government committee. After a hearing in Senate Appropriations, the bill was postponed indefinitely.

SB15-179
"Highway 50"
This bill asks the Colorado Department of Transportation to conduct an economic benefit study of U.S. Highway 50. This highway is the lifeblood to hundreds of communities in Colorado. U.S. Highway 50 is vital to the state and improvements are likely to increase efficiencies, capacity, and usage of this highway. The highway transports goods, allows citizens to efficiently travel to and between communities, and links tourists and citizens to Southeast and South-Central Colorado to opportunities along Colorado's Front Range.

This bill was postponed indefinitely by Senate Republicans in the Senate Transportation committee.

HB15-1130
"Military Voting for Overseas Citizens"
This bill rectifies differences between municipal election code and federal voting laws. The prior existing law caused unnecessary confusion between dates and deadlines. Having completed multiple deployments I understand the necessity of eliminating confusion to ensure our military members have the ability to exercise their right to vote. We can vote thanks to the willingness of our men and women in uniform who are willing to fight for that right.

This bill was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 27.

HB15-1326
"School Accreditation"
State law requires that the Colorado State Board of Education and the Colorado Department of Education hold all districts and schools accountable for student performance. The state annually evaluates student performance in districts and schools through a set of consistent, objective measures, and then uses this information to inform rewards, sanctions, and supports. This bill prohibits the commission of higher education and institutions of higher education from considering the accreditation status of the school district of the state charter school institute from which a student graduates in making admissions decisions and in awarding financial assistance, grants, and scholarships, including the college opportunity fund stipend.

This bill was postponed indefinitely in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee. 

HB15-1327
"Limiting Proxy Marriages"
Currently, Colorado is only one of four states that allows for “proxy marriages” to take place. Just as the name implies, Proxy means only one member of the party need be present while a “proxy” can stand in place of the other party. There are few restrictions in current law which outlay the way in which marriage licenses are granted by proxy. Therefore in order to put or protections to both our State and vulnerable individuals, HB15-1327 closes dangerous loopholes in current law. Three other states limit proxy marriages for only cases in which a party is a military member stationed overseas. The bill aligns Colorado to the same restrictions ensuring that those being married are US citizens only. 

This bill was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on May 27.

HB15-1381
"Continuation of the Office of Consumer Counsel" 
This bill continues the Office of Consumer Counsel, and agency tasked with advocating for consumers during rate increases proposed by the Public Utilities Commission.

This bill was postponed indefinitely in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee

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