Grantham Responds to Talk of Special Session

DENVER -- Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) released the following statements today in response to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s threat to call a special session, due to an alleged lack of action on a number of issues dear to the governor’s heart, including transportation funding and the demise of the state’s energy office. While complaining about the session’s supposed shortcomings, Hickenlooper also called this the most productive legislative session he’s ever seen.

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Lights Out for Energy Office After Democrats Drop the Ball

DENVER -- Colorado State Senator Ray Scott (R-Grand) released the following statement today, after his effort to reauthorize and reinvent Colorado's Energy Office failed in the waning hours of the 2017 legislative session. Scott's Senate Bill-301 gained bipartisan support from a handful of Senate Democrats, but the unwillingness of House Democrats to compromise on nearly all key provisions tanked the bill in a disappointing finale to the session.

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Scott Shocked by Game-Playing on Gas Line Safety

Denver -- Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee today stripped language from Senate Bill 301 that would have required oil and gas operators to inspect the integrity of flow lines throughout the state. Following the tragedy in Firestone on April 17, Governor Hickenlooper ordered the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to pressure-check all flowlines within 1,000 feet of any building regardless of when the line was installed or taken out of service.

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Increased Reporting in Child Abuse and Neglect now law

 

DENVER--Wednesday, Senator Jim Smallwood's (R-Parker) effort to increase reporting in cases of child abuse or neglect.

House Bill 17-1185 adds officials and employees of county departments of health, human, and social services to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse.
Under current law, mandatory reporters--including but not limited to health care professionals, educators, members of the clergy, firefighters, peace officers, and victim's advocates--are required to report any reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect. A mandatory reporter who willfully fails to report any such abuse or neglect may be found guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor. 
Between Jan. 2015 and Dec. 2016, more than 19,000 reports of child abuse and neglect were received by Colorado state officials, with the Department of Human Services assessing the conditions of over 10,000 children. 
"This is a simple, commonsense fix that has the potential to bring more instances of traumatic abuse against our most vulnerable and innocent to light, and help these kids out of the shadows." said Smallwood.  "Officials who are legally mandated to report instances of abuse or neglect, especially those in health and social services, are trained to recognize the signs and can make a world of difference for these children with one seemingly small act." 
House Bill 1185 takes effect September 1, 2017.
 

 

 

 
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Grantham Applauds Dismissal of TABOR Lawsuit

DENVER — Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) released the following statement today, responding to today's dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights: 

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Energy Office Renovation Clears First Hurdle

DENVER — A measure that reauthorizes and reinvents Colorado’s underutilized and adrift Energy Office, by broadening its mission to focus on the full array of energy options available to this resource-blessed state, passed the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee Wednesday on a 6-5 party-line vote.

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A Transportation Solution Still is Within Reach

By Senators Tim Neville and John Cooke

Over the last few months, we’ve listened to our constituents tell us how unmanaged traffic congestion and damaged highways affect their everyday lives and our State’s overall economy. These citizens have helped shape our thoughts on how to best address a matter that affects every Coloradan.

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Cooke Continues to Strengthen DUI Penalties

 

DENVER—Today, the Senate unanimously passed the latest in Senator John Cooke's (R-Greeley) proposals to strengthen penalties against repeat drunk drivers.

House Bill 17-1288 increases penalties against those offenders who continue to commit crimes that endanger the safety of Colorado families on the road. 

HB 1288 requires courts sentence criminals who commit class 4 felony DUI or have been charged with four subsequent DUIs to up to 2 years, and no less than 90 days in the Department of Corrections.  

The bill also mandates additional community service requirements of up to 120 hours, as well as further drug and alcohol safety classes. 

In 2017, DUI fatalities are already up 6.5 percent with 34,140 citations issued to impaired motorists. 

In 2016, Senator John Cooke sponsored House Bill 16-1017 which made Victim Impact Panel appearances mandatory for all DUI offenses in Colorado.

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Republican Effort to Reform DYC Moves to Governor's Desk

 

Denver--Today, the Senate gave unanimous approval, on final passage, to Senator Kevin Priola's (R-Brighton) bill to address much needed reforms in the Division of Youth Corrections (DYC). 

House Bill 17-1207 repeals a requirement on the Department of Human Services mandating DYC detention for all juveniles. HB 1207 allows judicial discretion with children under the age of 12 who commit misdemeanor crimes, helping to keep them from a path of recidivism and lightening the burden on Division staff.

The Division reported the detention of 188 children ages 10-12 in DYC facilities since 2014. Over the same time period 56 serious assaults were committed by individuals in DYC facilities. These bills provide much needed reform to the Division, ending an unsafe culture that can encourage repeat offenses. 

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Republican Bill to Fund Schools Passes Committee on Party Lines

DENVER--Today, the Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 296, the School Finance Act, carried by Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), on a party-line vote.

The General Assembly is constitutionally required to fund public, K-12 education in Colorado.
The School Finance Act in its current form, sets school funding to the budget that passed the Senate on March 30. The bill increases per pupil funding for Colorado schools from $6,367.90 to $6,546.20, providing more resources for kids and teachers in classrooms across the state.
The proposal sets the base for total program funding for all Colorado K-12 schools at $6,585,800,182.
The bill was amended in committee to require that all public schools in Colorado receive an equitable share of per-pupil tax revenue, as well as revenue derived from property taxes.
Under current law, traditional district schools may withhold from charters, in addition to the funding earned through property taxes which traditional district schools are not required to share, 5 percent of per-pupil funding.
Colorado charter schools have experienced a 30 percent increase in enrollment since 2013, and tend to earn higher scores on state assessments than their district peers.
 
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