Renfroe Bill to Ban Traffic Cameras Passes Committee

Senator Scott Renfroe (R-Greeley) issued the following statement today applauding the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee for passing his bill to ban traffic cameras on a 3-2 vote: 

“Traffic cameras take a picture in time, but they don’t tell the whole story. As legislators, our focus should be on protecting personal privacy and increasing safety at our intersections, not increasing revenue for government. I urge my colleagues to support this bill when it is heard in the Senate and I’m hopeful Governor Hickenlooper will sign this bill when it reaches his desk.” 

Read the full text of SB-181 here

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Lundberg: Sebelius Is Latest ObamaCare Victim

(Denver) – Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) issued the following statement today on the news that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has decided to resign:

“Over 337,000 Coloradans have had their insurance policies canceled due to ObamaCare and now it seems Secretary Sebelius is the latest victim of the Democrats’ disastrous healthcare policies. Unfortunately, this resignation won’t immediately help the Coloradans experiencing higher premiums, canceled policies, and the inability to buy health insurance because of ObamaCare.”

State Senator Kevin Lundberg represents Colorado State Senate District 15 in Larimer County. He serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Rivera Praises Passage of Bill to Create a “By Colorado” App

Senator George Rivera (R-Pueblo) issued the following statement today after a bill he co-sponsored with Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) to create a “By Colorado” App passed the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee unanimously: 

“The more we can encourage Coloradans to buy products from Pueblo and all across Colorado, the better off we are as a state and a community. Mobile apps are becoming such an integral part of our lives these days that putting this information at the fingertips of out-of-state visitors and Coloradans alike only makes sense. It’s been a pleasure working on this measure with my fellow co-sponsors and I’m hopeful it will pass the Senate and be signed by Governor Hickenlooper.” 

SB-166 directs the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to contract for the creation of a “By Colorado” App. The App will direct users to businesses that are either owned, located, or headquartered out of Colorado. 

To read the full version of SB-166, click here

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AP: Colorado weighs ban of traffic enforcement cameras

DENVER—A proposal to ban red-light and speeding cameras in Colorado is back at the Capitol, and the bill sponsor says he has more support than when he pitched the idea two years ago.

The bill from Greeley Republican Sen. Scott Renfroe would forbid cities and towns from using the automated traffic enforcement devices. He introduced it Friday.

The measure is identical to what Renfroe sponsored in 2012. The Colorado Municipal League opposed that bill, saying it should be up to cities and towns to decide the matter on their own.

Renfroe argues the cameras are used to make money, not to improve public safety.

"I mean, it's exponential the amount of revenue that is brought in, and our intersections should be about safety and not about a revenue generator," he said.

Click here to continue reading in the Denver Post

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King Applauds Senate Vote to Fund Colorado Firefighting Air Corps

The Colorado State Senate passed an amendment to the budget today that allocated $21 million of funding towards allowing the State of Colorado to increase its aerial firefighting capabilities. 

Senator Steve King (R-Grand Junction) has been a champion for increasing Colorado’s aerial firefighting capabilities for years in the Senate and today he issued the following statement after a major triumph in his battle to protect Coloradans from the devastating impacts of wildfires: 

“Today’s vote in the Senate represents a major victory in the battle to increase Colorado’s aerial firefighting capabilities. I’m thankful to my Republican and Democratic colleagues for standing in solidarity with me on this issue. After fighting for two years to make a Colorado Firefighting Air Corps a reality, every Coloradan should be confident that we are one step closer to protecting our homes, our forests, and our water supply from the devastating impacts of wildfires.” 

$16.5 million of the funding for this amendment comes from the Colorado Benefits Management System and $4.5 million comes from the General Fund. Earlier in the year, $40 million in CBMS upgrades were approved by the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) even though JBC staff only recommended a $4 million increase. 

Senator King and Senate President Morgan Carroll are co-sponsoring legislation this year to increase Colorado’s aerial firefighting capabilities. The legislation, SB-164, will be heard in the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee at 1:30 PM on Thursday, April 10, 2014. 

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CLUB 20 Awards Senator Ellen Roberts the Dan Noble Award

CLUB 20, also known as the “Voice of the Western Slope”, presented Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) with its 2014 Dan Noble Award on Friday, March 28th. 

The Dan Noble award is given to a public official for exemplary service to the 22 counties in Western Colorado. Dan Noble’s long and noteworthy career included 17 years as a state legislator and service to CLUB 20 in the 1980s, including a turn as Chairman of the Board of Directors. 

“I am humbled and honored to receive such a prestigious award,” said Senator Roberts. “CLUB 20 is a vital organization for promoting the interests of the Western Slope and their work in both Denver and Washington, DC has made a real difference in Western Slope communities.” 

Past recipients of the Dan Noble award include, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Senator Wayne Allard, Congressman Scott McInnis, and State Senator Jim Isgar, among other well respected Coloradans. 

CLUB 20 is an organization of counties, communities, tribes, businesses, individuals and associations in Western Colorado. The group is organized for the purpose of speaking with a single unified voice on issues of mutual concern. Its activities include marketing and advertising, public education, promotion, meetings and events, and political action. Ellen Roberts was elected to the Colorado State Senate in November 2010 with 61% of the votes cast in the general election. She’s the first woman elected to the Senate seat for District 6 and brings with her the knowledge and experience gained from serving two terms in the Colorado House. 

As State Senator, Ellen serves on the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee and Legislative Legal Services Committee and previously served on the Senate Judiciary, Health and Human Services and Local Government committees. She also currently serves on two interim committees: the Wildlife Matters committee and the Water Resources Review Committee. 

In 2012, Ellen was chairwoman of the Lower North Folk Wildfire Commission and carried legislation creating the Wildfire Matters interim committee. 

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King Optimistic About Report on Colorado Firefighting Air Corps

Senator Steve King (R-Grand Junction) has been leading the charge in Colorado for years on increasing Colorado’s ability to respond to wildfires with aerial resources. 

Last year, a bill that was sponsored by Senator Steve King (R-Grand Junction) and signed by Governor Hickenlooper required that the state study the effectiveness of a Colorado Firefighting Air Corps and issue a report. 

Today, the Division of Fire Prevention and Control released the required report with the title “Special Report: Colorado Firefighting Air Corps.” 

In response to recommendations in the report, Senator Steve King issued the following statement: 

“For the first time this session, and maybe in the last two years, I’m very optimistic we will be able to strengthen Colorado’s ability to battle wildfires with aerial resources. I’ve said all along that my main concern was protecting Colorado’s water supply from the effects of wildfires and keeping Coloradans safe. I look forward to working with Senate President Carroll and Governor Hickenlooper to address these critical issues in the upcoming weeks.” 


Senator King is Supportive of the Following Recommendations Contained in the Report: 

· Instead of procuring state-owned air tankers, Colorado should identify and contract for the use of existing air tanker systems during the fire season to fill the temporary gap left by the federal resources. However, the USFS program to modernize and augment the federal air tanker fleet should be monitored to determine if it is occurring as planned. If the modernization and augmentation of the federal air tanker fleet does not occur as planned and Colorado's large air tanker needs cannot be sufficiently met, additional consideration should be given to procuring state-owned air tankers. (Pg. 24)


· In order to achieve the goal of generating an incident assessment for every fire within 60 minutes of report or detection of a wildfire Colorado should procure and operate two fixed-wing multi-mission aircraft. (Pg. 24)


· In order achieve the goal of providing the appropriate aviation suppression resources to every fire within 60 minutes of the request Colorado should procure and operate four multi-mission rotor-wing aircraft. (Pg. 25)


· In order to achieve the goal of providing the appropriate aviation suppression resources to every fire within 60 minutes of the request and to increase the effectiveness of the SEAT program, it is recommended that Colorado increase the exclusive-use SEAT contract to four aircraft in 2014. (Pg. 25) 


 

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Harvey: Democrats’ Disrespect of the Voters of Colorado Knows No Bounds

(Denver) – Senator Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch) issued the following statement today after debate on the Senate floor about the Democrats’ unconstitutional recall bill: 

"The Democrats lost multiple court battles to stop the recalls, they then lost two Senators to recall elections, so today they are attempting to amend the constitution without a vote of the people. Their disrespect of the voters of Colorado knows no bounds." 

SB-158 was debated on the floor of the Senate today during the second reading of bills. The formal vote on SB-158 will take place tomorrow. 

To read SB-158, click here

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Democrat Member of Exchange Board Questions Vote to Kill Audit Bill

Lifelong Democrat and exchange board member Ellen Daehnick is raising questions about Senate Democrats vote to kill the bill to audit Connect for Health Colorado.

Not only that, but Daehnick also questions Connect for Health’s use of taxpayer dollars to pay for lawyers that might be used “to play defense or to discourage legislation that might shine a potentially critical light on Connect for Health operations…”

See below:

Colorado Health News: Exchange Pays Outside Lawyers Up To $575 An Hour
...

Exchange board member Ellen Daehnick, who joined the board in July, said exchange managers did not tell board members that they had decided to hire a general counsel or explain why. And while she’s not an expert on legal issues, Daehnick wondered why the exchange had not used Suthers’ office.

“I think the AG would have been a really reasonable choice. There may have been good reasons to opt to use private counsel, but the AG’s office has a lot of experience,” Daehnick said.

She said the spending on private lawyers may be problematic.

“What value specifically tied to our mission did Connect for Health receive for those expenditures? Were we paying attorneys to reach and enroll more people, especially people who have had trouble getting health insurance? If we’ve spent that money to play defense or to discourage legislation that might shine a potentially critical light on Connect for Health operations, then I would find that troubling.”

Daehnick said she’s a lifelong Democrat who has supported President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. She’s also a small business owner and is concerned that the decision in the Senate will harm Democrats.

“I was surprised that it was killed in committee. The bill had passed with a lot of support. I think it’s a shortsighted decision that’s going to come back to haunt the Democrats in the next six to 12 months.”

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Lundberg: Are Democrats Attempting to Cover Up Failures of ObamaCare?

(Denver) – Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) issued the following statement today on Democrats in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voting to kill a bill that would audit Connect for Health Colorado: 

“What happened today in committee is a disgrace and the majority party should be ashamed of themselves. It’s clear that Senate Democrats killed this bill in an attempt to cover up the failures of ObamaCare. Connect for Health Colorado has wasted $46,000 of taxpayer money on sunscreen and lip balm. They hired a director who had been indicted in Montana for stealing from a non-profit organization. Connect for Health Colorado deserves to be audited.” 

On Monday, the Denver Post reported that Connect for Health Colorado had spent $46,000 on “exchange-branded packets of sunscreen and lip balm" and an additional $9,627 to rent an RV. 

In February, the Denver Post revealed that a Director at Connect for Health Colorado had been indicted in Montana for stealing from a non-profit housing organization. 

Connect for Health Colorado has signed up about 100,000 fewer Coloradans in the exchange than they originally predicted. 

Senator Kevin Lundberg is the ranking Republican on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and also serves on the Legislative Health Benefit Exchange Implementation Review Committee. To read the full version of HB 1257, click here

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