The 2016 legislative session began on January 13, and we're up and running with plenty of bills and big issues to talk about. So, politically involved people from Senate District 18 might be interested in attending my first town hall meeting of the session, with the details as follows:
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 23, 10:00 a.m. until noon.
WHERE: Boulder Chamber of Commerce, 2440 Pearl St. in Boulder
WHO: Senator Rollie Heath, Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, Representative KC Becker
Our town hall meetings are always free and open to the public. Typically, the legislators will speak for a few minutes at the start of the meeting, but we then open it up for questions and comments from attendees. We'll also have handouts available, so between the discussions and the literature, our meetings tend to be quite informatve.
If you'd like to do a little research before the meeting, all bills that have been formally introduced can be found on the General Assembly Web site at www.leg.state.co.us. On this site, you can also access contact information for every legislator, links to Colorado's Constitution and statutes, scheduling, committee information, and archives of bills from past sessions.
The 2015 legislative session is now history, and the numbers show that it was at least somewhat productive. Legislators introduced 682 bills this year, and 364 became law. Personally, I was a prime Senate sponsor of 18 bills, and nine of them became law. More importantly, the General Assembly worked together to craft a fair amount of successful legislation, on key issues such as K-12 school testing, workforce education and training, law enforcement relations with communities, and more. It wasn't all positive, but we got quite a bit accomplished.
The newsletter to follow was sent out in late May of 2015, and it provides a brief account of some of the highlights and lowlights of the session.
Sen. Heath and Rep. Singer talk with Channel 7 before the hearing on SB 15-048
Nearly one full month has passed in the 2015 legislative session, with mixed results to date, but hopes remaining for a productive session.
With split political control of our two legislative chambers, a fair number of bills are being approved or defeated on straight party-line votes. However, we are working on the broad issue of workforce development this year, which should be of bipartisan concern.
Unfortunately, a bill Rep. Jonathan Singer and I sponsored in the interest of child safety did not pass. SB 15-048 would have simply required criminal background checks for employees or volunteers with non-licensed private youth sports organizations, if they worked five days per month or more. Witnesses offered overwhelming support for the bill, but it was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee on a straight party-line vote.
The 2014 legislative session ended May 7, and 15 of the bills I sponsored during the session were signed into law. The following newsletter went out in mid-May, and it's got a lot of information about some of the key bills and topics we worked on in 2014. Also, you can read any bill that was introduced this year on the General Assembly Web site, www.leg.state.co.us.
A DOWN-TO-BUSINESS SESSION
It's hard to believe, but our 2014 regular legislative session is nearly over. On April 26, we held our last town hall meeting of the session at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce (pictured above), with Chamber President/CEO John Tayer facilitating an informative discussion with me and Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, Rep. KC Becker and about 50 attendees.
The actual session must end by May 7, and we will spend our last week hustling to get as much work on legislation done as possible. This year, I am the prime Senate sponsor of 17 bills, and as of April 29 nine of them have been signed into law or have passed both the House and Senate.