Posted at 15:59h
Final Week of the Legislative Session
At the start of the week, I had eleven bills with each one at a different stage in the legislative process.
Now, after many committee hearings, a number of proposed amendments, hours of testimony, and countless debates, I’ve made it to the end of the week with one bill headed to the governor, another that passed the senate with bipartisan support, a few that passed out of committee, and several that died in committee.
On Monday, three of my bills were heard back-to-back and received a consistent party-line vote with the Republicans voting no.
House Bill 17-1310 would have made renting more accessible and affordablefor Coloradans by holding landlords and leasing companies accountable for the application fees they charge prospective tenants. With already limited affordable housing options, the bill would have helped individuals between housing put a roof over their heads without going into debt or falling behind financially.
House Bill 17-1260 would have applied the current laws for campaign contribution limits and rules on disclosure to county-level elected offices. Even with the support of county commissioners across the state, it died without much consideration by the Republican committee members.
House Bill 17-1320 would have made mental health resources, specifically talk therapy, more accessible to young adults by lowering the age of consent for outpatient psychotherapy. Colorado ranks 6th in the country for suicide, and if making a simple conversation with a mental health professional, like a school counselor, more available could save one life, I think it’s worth it. The Republicans didn’t and it died on a party-line vote.
In addition, I had a few bills heard in other committees.
House Bill 17-1259 would have closed a loophole in our campaign contributions laws. We need to uphold voter trust and increase transparency in our elections. Unfortunately, it died in committee on a party-line vote.
House Bill 17-1321, which would have ensured the sustainability of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife division, received hours of testimony in support, but died on a party-line vote. Our parks and wildlife are intrinsic to the state’s identity and way of life. Unfortunately, with the failure of the bill, some of our parks and reservoirs across the state are at risk of closing.
After being sent to the Finance committee with a death wish, House Bill 17-1227 passed with a 3-2 vote, but with new amendments that effectively gut the energy efficiency program. I hope the bill is changed on the senate floor next week to make sure the bill carries its original intent by extending the current energy efficiency standards and savings Coloradans millions of dollars.