Smallwood Bill Could Help Improve Coverage Options

Denver -- Coloradans confronting a narrowing number of increasingly expensive health insurance options could soon have one new option available to them, if a bill making its way through the Colorado Statehouse continues to progress.  

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Statement from President Grantham on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting in Parkland, Florida

Statement from Colorado Senate President Kevin J. Grantham:

"Today, our hearts are heavy with sorrow for those in Florida who lost a child, sibling, parent, friend, or mentor in yesterday’s senseless murders. It seems that not a month – or a week – goes by without news of a tragedy such as this, and they certainly never become easier to comprehend.

Today, Colorado stands with Florida.

We must work harder to identify and treat mental illness, to teach our children the value of life, and to protect our children when they’re obtaining their education. Not just as legislators, but as citizens, as humans, we must challenge ourselves to change our culture and reverse this course once and for all."

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Lambert’s SB-160 Clears Committee

DENVER – Senate Bill-160, sponsored by Senator Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs), passed the Education Committee today on a 6-0 vote (1 excused), clarifying that charter schools may engage in alternative and induction licensure programs.

“Senate Bill-160 aligns the law with current practices in Colorado,” said Senator Lambert. “In a time with teacher shortages, we should not make it more difficult for charter schools to operate these programs which help them attract and retain the skilled staff they need.”

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Lambert Leads Effort to Bolster Protection for State Patrol

DENVER – When a special spending request came from the Governor’s office, seeking supplemental funding for life-saving new equipment for the state’s frontline law enforcers, Colorado Springs Republican Kent Lambert was perfectly positioned to help, which he did by fast-tracking the proposal through the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday and bipartisan 2nd Reading passage by the Senate Thursday.

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Saving Taxpayer Dollars, One Antiquated Rule at a Time

DENVER – A little-known law requires counties to publish a report detailing its expenses, contracts, salaries, and financial statements in a local newspaper, resulting in advertising costs upwards of $84,000 per year (Jefferson County), taking money away from other important county services.

Sponsored by Senator John Cooke (R-Greeley), Senate Bill-156 allows counties to publish these reports online, still accessible to the vast majority of people, and only requires the link to these reports to be published in the newspaper.

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“Constitutional Carry” Advances at the Statehouse

DENVER – Coloradans won’t need to apply for a special permit to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed 2nd Amendment Rights, including their right to carry a concealed handgun, if a bill that passed its first test Wednesday continues to advance.
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Coram’s Effort to Increase School Safety Garners Unanimous Committee Support

DENVER – Senate Bill-158, which expands direct communication from schools to first responders in cases of emergencies passed the Education Committee on a unanimous 7 to 0 vote today.

In light of the increased risks to our students across Colorado and the nation, SB-158 establishes a grant program to provide funding for communication hardware and software for communication between schools and local police and fire departments across Colorado.

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Capitol ID Card Proposal Swipes Past Committee

DENVER – Senator John Cooke’s (R-Greeley) Senate Bill-116, which would allow private individuals to purchase Colorado State Capitol identification cards after clearing a full background check passed the Finance Committee yesterday on a bipartisan 4-1 vote.

“This is the people’s house,” said Senator Cooke. “We should have as few barriers as possible to let people enter. Consider the TSA’s Precheck program, which allows individuals who fly often to fly past the security lines after they jump through just a few hoops. This would be just like that, with our ‘frequent flyers’ being activists, lobbyists, reporters, and concerned citizens who often visit the capitol.”

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Survivor Benefits Bill Moves to the House

DENVER – In the wake of the tragic death of Colorado Department of Transportation Employee Nolan Olson, the Colorado State Senate passed Senate Bill 148 unanimously this morning.

Senate Bill-148 extends health benefits for the families of state employees who perish in the line of duty. The bill cleared the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last week with unanimous, bipartisan support.

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Fear, Facts and the Civil Rights Commission

Denver -- Contrary to unfounded claims, the Colorado Civil Rights Division faces no risk of being defunded or otherwise dismantled – at least as far as Senate Republicans are concerned. In an effort to exercise legitimate legislative oversight, Republican Senators on the Joint Budget Committee last week moved to table discussion on next year’s funding of the division until after a sunset review bill could be heard and debated by the Senate.

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