Senator Hill’s Open Enrollment Bill Passes Committee

DENVER – Colorado parents may have more choices in their children’s education thanks to new open enrollment legislation (Senate Bill 228), sponsored by Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), the Chair of the Senate Education Committee.

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Priola Bill May Be a Prayer Answered for Churches

DENVER – Churches in Colorado that provide less than 3 hours of child care for parishioners daily aren’t currently required to jump through the licensing hoops that full-time daycare services are, but that reasonable regulatory exemption doesn’t take the circumstances of all churches into account, according to Colorado State Senator Kevin Priola (R-Henderson), leaving a number of churches in a state in daycare limbo.

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No Sanctuary for Criminals: Neville’s SB-220 Passes Committee

DENVER – Colorado cities that refuse to respect the role of the federal government in regards to federal immigration law will now face pressure from the State of Colorado if Senate Bill 220 passes. Sponsored by Senator Tim Neville (R-Littleton), the bill would discourage localities from enacting policies that encourage the harboring of illegal immigrants, alongside prohibiting Colorado cities from banning it’s law enforcement officers from enforcing federal immigration policies.

The bill is clearly targeted towards those individuals that have committed crimes in addition to entering the United States illegally. Standard procedure dictates that if a criminal is picked up by local law enforcement, they will be held until Immigration and Customs Enforcement can pick them up.

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The Long Road to Compromise: Senate Bill 1 Passes

DENVER – On Wednesday, the Colorado State Senate passed Senate Bill 1, a priority transportation bill for the Republican caucus that will ensure long-term funding for Colorado’s roads.

After over a week of heated discussion, debate, and amendments, Senate Bill 1 garnered bipartisan support, ending with a unanimous, 35 to 0 vote this morning. Amendments include an increase in the immediate investment into roads ($250 million to $500 million), changes to the continual funding source for bonding (from a portion of existing sales tax revenue to the general fund), and a change in date for the potential election question (2019 from 2018), to name a few.

“We got something done,” said Senator John Cooke (R-Greeley), a prime sponsor of SB-1 and the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, “and that’s what matters. If the House listens to Coloradan’s needs, and the Governor signs this bill, we will see more money flowing to Colorado’s roads than we have seen in decades, and it won’t raise taxes on a single individual, family, or business. That means something.”

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Pension Fund Rescue Clears Colorado Senate

DENVER – Colorado Senate Republicans delivered again on a pledge to tackle the big issues Tuesday, by passing sweeping new changes to the state’s troubled public employee pension fund aimed at assuring its long-term solvency and avoiding the need for future bailouts.

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Neville Bill Will Put Sanctuary City Ban on the Ballot

DENVER – A bill introduced today by State Senator Tim Neville (R-Littleton) will place a prohibition against "sanctuary city" policies on the Nov. 6 ballot as a referendum. The measure was designated Senate Bill-220.

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PERA Fix Clears Another Hurdle

DENVER – This morning, Senate Bill 200, a comprehensive reform of the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), passed on second reading in the Colorado State Senate.

Sponsored by Senators Jack Tate (R-Centennial) and Kevin Priola (R-Henderson), SB-200 passage on second reading followed a lengthy debate, ending with the incorporation of two amendments that had bipartisan agreement.

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Grantham Responds to Democrat Leadership Change

Denver -- Senate President Kevin J. Grantham (R-Canon City) released the following statement today in response to Senator Lucia Guzman's sudden decision to step aside as Minority Leader:  

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Feds Better Have My Money! HB-1249 Passes State Senate

DENVER – In an effort to ensure that the federal mitigation disbursements from the Anvil Points oil shale project begin flowing as soon as possible to impacted Western Slope counties, House Bill 1249 was passed through the Colorado State Senate today in a unanimous vote.

These funds were owed to the counties of Garfield, Rio Blanca, Moffat, and Mesa, stemming from federal oil shale activities on the Western Slope that date back nearly a century. A portion of these royalties were withheld by the federal government in order to fund the clean up of the Anvil Points Federal oil shale research site.

For a decade now, long after the clean up has been concluded, the federal government has held onto approximately $18 million of excess revenues from those royalties. But now, thanks to efforts by Colorado’s federal representatives and State Senators Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) and Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud), that money will finally be reaching those counties.

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Stay in Your Lane: Neville’s Senate Bill 204 Passes Finance Committee

DENVER – In an effort to require legislative approval for any expansion or modification of Regional Transit District’s (RTD) ridership incentive programs, Senator Tim Neville’s (R-Littleton) Senate Bill 204 passed the Finance Committee today. It passed on a 3 to 2, party-line vote.

The bill requires legislative approval before RTD can expend more tax dollars towards discounting tickets for riding on buses and light rail. This oversight will ensure that RTD takes account of where money is being pulled from in order to incentivize ridership and allows elected members of the General Assembly the opportunity to ask questions regarding the programs' viability and execution.

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