Priorities for the Session
Reducing the Cost of Healthcare
We should all be proud that Colorado continues to lead the nation in addressing the health care crisis. We expanded Medicaid before the adoption of the ACA and created an exchange that serves as a model for other states. Over 94% of Coloradans have health insurance today, yet healthcare and insurance costs continue to skyrocket with seemingly no end in sight.
We need a Colorado public option for health care needs now. A public option is the only way to insert competition into the marketplace and force private providers and insurers into competitive business practice.
All Coloradans should be able to purchase coverage through Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) or one of the private plans offered to state employees. Only by increasing the pool of insured can we achieve the economy of scale necessary to drive down costs.
Our current administration is dead-set on rolling back environmental protections and denying the dangers of climate change. However, the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire and the resulting flash flooding are clear examples of how vulnerable we are to the effects of climate change.
Marc understands that Colorado’s land, water and air are our most important assets. Protecting our environment is essential for maintaining our quality of life and for supporting our thriving tourism industry. Furthermore, Colorado is a leader in all forms of energy production and we must continue to lead the nation in building the new energy economy. Every homeowner and business in Colorado should be able to purchase 100% of their energy from clean, renewable sources.
It is our moral responsibility to leave a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
By many measures, Colorado has the strongest and fastest growing economy of any state in the country, yet we are falling further and further behind in funding for education. Approximately one-half of the K-12 school districts in our state have been forced into four-day school weeks; Funding for higher education has been cut by 50% over the last 20 years; and Less than a third of Colorado high school graduates go on to earn 4 year college degrees.
The best thing the state legislature can do for public education is to address the continuous problems with funding. Educators are often burdened with using personal funds for classroom needs, and lack the resources to have sufficient time to plan, develop, and implement strategies to close achievement gaps for all students.
In addition to funding all levels of education, I will support legislation to reinvest in vocational and apprenticeship training programs that will give young people the skills needed for the jobs of today and in the future. These programs should be available to high school upperclassmen and continue through community colleges and other higher education institutions.
economic and small business development
Our community’s economy is built around small businesses. State and local leaders have focused their efforts on attracting huge companies like MCI, Intel and Amazon to Colorado by offering massive tax breaks and reduced water fees as incentives. However, these companies rarely stick around and add nothing to our economic sustainability.
We must focus our economic development efforts on assisting our small businesses by reducing regulatory hurdles and make access to capital easier and more affordable.
As a member of the Business Affairs and Labor Committee, I will support legislation that We creates a sustainable local economy where every working family can thrive.
hb19-1045: Concerning funding for carrying out duties related to the office of public guardianship.
Current law requires the public guardianship commission (commission) to appoint a director for the office of public guardianship (office) to establish and administer the office within one month after the public guardianship cash fund (cash fund) has received $1,700,000 in gifts, grants, and donations. The director is required to administer the office in 3 specified judicial districts within 5 months after the cash fund reaches the same threshold.
The bill removes the condition that the commission and director wait to carry out certain duties until the cash fund has received the specified amount of gifts, grants, and donations.
HB19-1147: Revise Traumatic Brain Injury Program
The bill makes revisions to the Colorado traumatic brain injury program (program), including:
Renaming the program, the trust fund board, and the trust fund to remove "traumatic" from the titles and making conforming amendments in other statutes to reflect the new names;
Defining "brain injury" and removing the definition of "traumatic brain injury";
Removing obsolete dates relating to trust fund board appointments;
Removing the specific statutory listing of potential services under the program and clarifying that all persons served by the program receive service coordination and skills training and may receive other services as determined by the trust fund board;
Allowing the trust fund board to prioritize services and eligibility for services;
Removing a restriction on the use of general fund money for the program trust fund;
Removing general provisions relating to the administration of the program; and
Removing the fee collected by municipalities for speeding traffic offenses and increasing fees currently collected for other offenses for the benefit of the trust fund.