Colorado Senator Michael Merrifield

The Peoples Voice

Notable Bills to be Heard in the Senate This Week (April 13 – April 17)

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rotundaDENVER — The Colorado State Senate has scheduled the following noteworthy legislation to be heard this week.  The list is not exhaustive but includes legislation that typically garners public input and media attention.  The dates and times may change throughout the week, so please verify before covering.

HB 15-1173: “I-70 MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR”

Sponsor: Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora

Senate third reading hearing: Monday, April 13 at 10:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill addresses the traffic problem on I-70.  It specifies that drivers must have mountain snow tires; chains; or four-wheel or all-wheel drive when using I-70 from Dotsero to Morrison between November 1 to May 15.  The bill was amended during second reading to include any highway that has a mountain pass that connects with I-70.

HB 15-1294: “IN-STATE TUITION FOR VETERANS”

Sponsor: Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora; Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs

Senate second reading hearing: Monday, April 13 at 10:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill provides in-state tuition for Colorado veterans, spouses of veterans, and children of veterans at public colleges and universities in Colorado.  Specifically, the legislation aligns Colorado with the federal Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, requiring all public education institutions to provide in-state tuition to veterans and dependents of veterans in Colorado.  The move secures federal financial aid for Colorado public colleges and universities through the GI Bill.

HB 15-1242: “RIGHT OF A PATIENT TO DESIGNATE A CAREGIVER”

Sponsor: Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver

Senate second reading hearing: Monday, April 13 at 10:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill allows medical patients to designate a caregiver when admitted and discharged from a Colorado hospital.  The hospital must talk to the patient about what limitations the caregiver has and inform the caregiver of the aftercare plan.

SB 15-205: “VETERANS’ FIRE CORPS”

Sponsors: Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo; Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango

Senate second reading hearing: Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill promotes the Veterans’ Fire Corps in the Division of Fire Prevention and Control.  It trains post-9/11 veterans in natural resource management and wildland fire control.

SB 15-252: “RENEWABLE ENERGY AT SCHOOLS”

Sponsor: Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver

Senate second reading hearing: Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill allows schools to use resources from Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Schools loan program to conduct an energy audit at the school.  The audit will examine the possible savings a school can expect from using wind, solar, or other renewable energy.

SB 15-014: “MEDICAL MARIJUANA”

Sponsor: Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver

Senate second reading hearing: Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill requires the Colorado Medical Board to adopt guideline for when physicians prescribe medical marijuana to patients with severe pain.  It also requires the Dept. of Public Health and Environment to adopt guidelines for primary caregivers who administer medical marijuana — among other changes to medical marijuana rules.

SB 15-012: “ENSURING CHILD SUPPORT GOES TO THE CHILD”

Sponsor: Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins

Senate second reading hearing: Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

This bill allows Colorado Works participants to receive child support without lowering their public assistance grants.  The current practice diverts the child support of Colorado Works participants and their children back to the government.

SB 15-020: “ERIN’S LAW”

Sponsor: Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton

Senate second reading hearing: Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

This bill allows schools to provide information and training about the awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse and assault.  The problem of abuse is widespread, as 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.  Twenty-one states have already introduced “Erin’s Law” to address this problem.

SB 15-185: “COMMUNITY TRUST AND POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY”

Sponsor: Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver

Senate second reading hearing: Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill addresses community discussions about possible discriminatory profiling in the justice system.  It is known as the Community Law Enforcement Action Reporting (CLEAR) Act, and it calls for the State Judicial Department and the State Board of Parole to collect data and prepare reports on aspects of community policing.

SB 15-011: “HOPE FOR COLORADANS WITH SPINAL CORD INJURIES”

Sponsor: Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora

Senate second reading hearing: Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber

The bill continues a pilot program providing alternative medicine to people with spinal cord injuries and end a backlog of people waiting for services.  Under the bill, the program could run through September 2020, and it will serve 100 people, up from 67.

HB 15-1130: “PROTECTING MILITARY VOTING RIGHTS”

Sponsors: Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo; Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs

Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee: Monday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 353

The bill would help active-duty military personnel deployed overseas and other overseas citizens vote in local municipal elections.   It would put municipal election code in line with federal, state, and county election code.

HB 15-1215: “IN-STATE TUITION FOR DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY MEMBERS”

Sponsor: Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver

Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee: Monday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 353

The bill allows all Colorado colleges and universities to provide in-state tuition to dependents of active duty military personnel.  The dependent must have done at least six years of secondary school in Colorado, and enroll in college within five years of graduating from high school.

HB 15-1344: “NATIONAL WESTERN CENTER”

Sponsor: Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver; Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling

Capital Development Committee: Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 a.m. in Senate Committee Room 356

The bill defines the state’s role in a financing plan for the National Western Center development.

SB 15-039: “HIGH, HIGH MOUNTAINS AT LOW, LOW PRICES”

Sponsor:  Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs

Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee: Tuesday, April 14 upon adjournment of the Senate in Senate Committee Room 353

The bill tries to give the state “concurrent jurisdiction” over federal public lands but the state does not have the ability to manage the lands.  The move could restrict access to areas like Maroon Bells, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Indian Peaks, Flat Tops, and San Juan Mountains.

HB 15-1271: “MOBILE LEARNING LABS”

Sponsors: Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail; Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins

Senate Finance Committee: Tuesday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 354

The bill allows the Colorado Existing Industry Training Program to provide resources for mobile learning labs.  Mobile learning labs travel around and provide skills training and career development for Colorado workers at existing Colorado businesses.

HB 15-1159: “INSTREAM FLOW INCENTIVE” 

Sponsor: Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vial

Senate Finance Committee: Tuesday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 354

The bill continues the Instream Flow Incentive Tax Credit.  The credit is available to Coloradoans who permanently transfers a water right to the Colorado Water Conservation Board.  The Colorado Water Conservation Board uses the water right to create an instream flow that preserves the environment.

SB 15-003: “EDUCATION EVALUATIONS CRITERIA”

Sponsor: Sen. Michael Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs

Senate Education Committee: Wednesday, April 15 upon adjournment of the Senate in Senate Committee Room 356

The bill removes the requirement that 50 percent of an educator and principal’s performance evaluation be tied to student academic growth.

HB 15-1265: “GENDER IDENTIFICATION ON BIRTH CERTIFICATES”

Sponsor: Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster

Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee: Wednesday, April 15 at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 356

The bill, known as the 2015 Birth Certificate Modernization Act, allows the state to change the birth certificate of a person, who was born in Colorado, if the person has a different gender than the gender noted on the birth certificate.  The change requires consent from the person or the person’s parents, if the person is a minor — as well as a statement from a licensed medical professional.

HB 15-1300: “LOCAL GOVERNMENT MINIMUM WAGE”

Sponsor: Sen. Michael Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs

Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee: Wednesday, April 15 at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 356

The bill empowers local governments to raise the minimum wage within the area it governs.  Currently, the statewide minimum wage is $8.23 an hour — or $17,118 a year for an employee who works 40 hours a week and never takes time off.  That is nearly $3,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

HB 15-1259: “COLLECTING RAIN WATER”

Sponsor: Sen. Michael Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs

Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee: Thursday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 354

The bill allows Coloradans to collect two barrels rainwater from their roof for a total of 100 gallons of water or less.  The water could be used to water lawns or gardens.

HB 15-1232: “EMERGENCY USE OF EPINEPHRINE”

Sponsor: Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora

Senate Health and Human Services Committee: Thursday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m. in Senate Committee Room 352

The bill allows entities – including recreation camps, colleges, day care centers, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, businesses, and sports arenas — to acquire and use epinephrine auto injectors.  The epinephrine auto injectors could be used to help people suffering from anaphylaxis because of an allergen.

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One thought on “Notable Bills to be Heard in the Senate This Week (April 13 – April 17)

  1. Dear Senator Merrifield,

    I was so dismayed when tiny Aurora Wilkins was stolen from her mother’s womb last month, and the person who did this was not charged with murder because the law doesn’t recognized a pre-born person as having any rights. I encourage you strongly to support Senate Bill 268, which would let everyone know that when a defenseless child is brutally killed in this way, there is a legal consequence.

    Thank you for considering advocating for this law.
    Kathleen Gill

    Like

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