King Praises Passage of Bill Allowing Gifts to Old Age Pensioners

Senator Steve King (R-Grand Junction) issued the following statement today on the passage of the bill he is sponsoring, SB 13, to allow gifts to old age pensioners: 

“SB 13 is reasonable legislation that helps seniors living on a fixed income. This bill recognizes that rent, medical bills, and living expenses don’t suddenly disappear when someone retires. SB 13 helps to relieve financial pressure on seniors and anything we can do to help our elderly citizens is a victory in my book.” 

SB 14-013 passed unanimously out of the Senate Finance Committee today was sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration. 

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Roberts Issues Statement on Passage of County Commissioners Election Bill

Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango), sponsor of Senate Bill 84, released the following statement following the passage of the bill out of committee: 

“I am very proud that this bill passed out of committee with bipartisan support. SB 84 ensures that small counties are given the same opportunities as larger counties when it comes to electing their county commissioners. Not only does it level the playing field, it also gives the residents of the counties more control over the election process.” 

Click here to read Senate Bill 84. 

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Herpin Issues Statement on Defeat of Shield Law Legislation

Senator Bernie Herpin (R-Colorado Springs) issued the following statement today on Democrats in the Senate Judiciary Committee voting down his media shield law bill in a 3-2 party line vote: 


“I’m extremely disappointed that we didn’t strengthen the media shield law in Colorado and regret that my Democratic colleagues didn’t act to protect the freedom of the press. It’s important that we preserve and strengthen freedom of the press so that they can act as watchdogs of government on our behalf. It’s very unfortunate that SB 34 was voted down on a party line when there is much more at stake here than politics.” 

To read SB 34 please click here

 

 

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Senate Republicans Welcome National School Choice Week 2014, Condemn Democrats' Opposition to School Choice

Colorado Senate Republicans today welcomed the beginning of National School Choice Week 2014 and emphasized their dedication to providing school choice to Colorado’s parents and students. 

“Parents from across Colorado send us to Denver as lawmakers to ensure that nearly 850,000 students receive a world-class education and school choice makes that possible for students from every background,” saidSenate Minority Leader Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs). “Education is the key to economic opportunity and social advancement; however the Democrats in Denver would rather keep children in failing schools than allow parents an opportunity to send their kids to successful schools. The Democrats continue protecting the unions that fund their campaigns while victimizing our children.” 

SB 33, a school choice tax credit bill, is the only school choice bill to be heard by committee so far this session and it was defeated by Senate Democrats on a 3-2 party line vote in committee. 

To highlight their opposition to school choice, Senate Democrats sent SB 33 to the State Veteran and Military Affairs Committee, or what is known around the Capitol as the “Kill Committee” because Democrats send legislation there to die. The decision to send SB 33 to the “Kill Committee” not only sealed the legislation’s fate, but also prevented it from receiving the fair hearing it deserved in the Senate Education Committee. 

“Senate Democrats are so radical in their opposition to school choice that they won’t even allow the issue a fair hearing at the capitol,” said the sponsor of SB 33, Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud). “With every day that Democrats continue to oppose school choice, they take choice away from parents who are only interested in giving their children the best educational opportunity available.” 

Republican Senators have proposed a wide array of bills this legislative session aimed at ensuring school choice for parents and students in Colorado from inner city Denver to rural Colorado. 

2014 Republican Legislation on School Choice: 

SB 33 by Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) creates a tax credit for parents who choose to move their child from a public school to a private or home-based school. The tax credit will help families offset the cost of alternative education options. 

SB 86 by Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) creates the Charter school Capital Construction Revolving Loan Program to provide loans to charter schools that have been in existence for 4 or fewer years. The loans will help new charter schools grow by helping them purchase buildings or expand existing facilities. 

Senator Mark Scheffel (R-Parker) will introduce a bill to allow established charter schools to use the state's credit rating to get better financing for building loans. 

Senate Republicans will propose amendments to create greater equity between funding for traditional and charter schools in this year's School Finance Act. 

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Republicans Present Robust Wildfire Safety Bills

 

Republican legislators today held a press conference at the State Capitol in Denver to discuss bills they are sponsoring this session aimed at combating wildfires in Colorado. Colorado is at risk every season for devastating fires that destroy property, forests, natural resources, and lives. 

Republicans are dedicated to providing robust solutions to wildfire threats and Senator Steve King (R-Grand Junction) discussed one of the strongest options available to the State of Colorado at today’s press conference. 

The legislation sponsored by Sen. King will require Colorado to acquire four C-130’s and lease three Type I helicopters for the 2014 fire season. If successful, the Colorado Firefighting Air Corps would soon start converting Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft into modular firefighting aircraft in an effort to protect Colorado citizens, homes, and watersheds. 

"The Colorado Firefighting Air Corps public-private partnership will give our state an economic boost and grant Colorado autonomy in combating the severe wildfires that jeopardize the lives, property, and drinking water of Coloradans,” Sen. King said. 

Senator King also highlighted how wildfires can dramatically impact the quality of drinking water if they occur near water sources. Wildfires can deposit a wide array of carcinogens into drinking water and since Colorado provides water to five states and to Mexico, the consequences of a wildfire in Colorado extend far beyond our borders. 

Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) also discussed her bills to aid the survivors of a wildland firefighter killed in the line of duty and improve the radio communication structure for wildland firefighters at today’s press conference. 

SB 47, sponsored by Sen. Roberts, would direct the Division of Fire Prevention and Control to make a lump-sum payment of $10,000 to the survivors of a seasonal wildland firefighter employed by the state or a local government who was killed in the line of duty. 

“Fighting wildfires is a dangerous job and the families of the heroes who battle wildfires in Colorado deserve the highest level of support from the state,” said Sen. Roberts. “There is nothing in this world that can replace the loss of a loved one, but at the very least, we should do our best to comfort the families they have left behind. We also have an obligation to provide our firefighters with the best communication systems possible so that we avoid preventable tragedies. I believe these bills accomplish those goals and look forward to working with my colleagues to pass them out of the Senate.” 

Senator Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) presented the details of his bill, SB 77, to allow concurrent jurisdiction with United States Forest Service land and Bureau of Land Management land. 

“Its common sense to allow local officials and firefighters access to federal land when our citizens and our natural resources are in danger,” said Sen. Lambert. “The federal government should be looking for ways to mitigate damage on its own land and damage to our communities here in Colorado. Since there has been a reduction by the federal government in the resources they’ve allocated to manage and protect forests within the state, action is required by our state and this bill helps remedy the current problem.” 

Representative Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) represented House Republicans at today’s press conference and detailed a House Concurrent Resolution he is proposing that would provide block grants to counties to help them purchase air time for firefighting aircraft during fire season and create a wildfire response and disaster recovery fund through a vote of the people. 

"Firefighters can't put out every wildfire before lives and homes are threatened, but they must have the resources needed to extinguish the fires they can before lives and homes are lost," said Rep. McNulty. "I encourage the governor to support the establishment of a wildfire and disaster response emergency fund and commit to maintaining airplanes and helicopters to fight wildfires in Colorado. With these resources available, our state can respond quickly to put out wildfires, giving us the best opportunity to spare communities from destruction." 

Douglas County Commissioner Roger Partridge and Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver also attended today’s press conference and supported the initiatives being proposed by Republican legislators. 

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Senator Bill Cadman Praises Advancement of ‘Safe2Tell’ Legislation

Senator Bill Cadman issued the following statement today praising the passage of SB 2 in the Senate Education Committee: 

“Republicans are proud that such an important bill has passed the committee and we look forward to it passing the Senate. Every student in Colorado should feel safe to tell an adult about dangerous situations at school and this legislation will ensure students have that ability for years to come.” 

The value of the Safe2Tell program is proven and this bill ensures its viability and sustainability. Now that SB 2 has passed the Senate Education Committee, it will go to the Senate Finance Committee before going on to the floor of the Senate for a full vote. 

Read the bill here

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Senate Republicans Push for More Data on ‘Insurancegate’

DENVER—Sen. Mark Udall was cleared by state officials last week of using intimidation to skew Colorado’s insurance-cancellation figures, but it turns out Insurancegate isn’t over just yet. 


Colorado Senate Republicans sent a letter Wednesday asking state Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar for more details on the cancelled insurance policies stemming from the Affordable Care Act. 

First on the list is an updated number of how many individual policies have been cancelled due to Obamacare, as well as how many employer plans have been cancelled. 

The state insurance division reported in November that nearly 250,000 individual policies had been cancelled, a number that was frequently repeated until last week, when Rep. Cory Gardner, Colorado Republican, received a letter from Salazar’s office saying that the number is now over 335,000. 


Click here to continue reading in the Colorado Observer. 

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Colorado Senate GOP call for more answers on Affordable Care Act cancellations

Additional answers are needed as to how many cancellation notices were doled out to Coloradans with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, say Colorado Senate Republicans.

Marguerite Salazar

In a letter to Division of Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar, the caucus on Wednesday will call on the commissioner to offer an update on the number of individual policy cancellations that have occurred under Obamacare and a breakdown of policy cancellations by county. Moreover, the letter, signed by all 17 Senate Republicans, calls on the division of insurance to highlight the price difference between old policies and policy replacements.

This comes as Republicans look to keep the issue of policy cancellations at the forefront as Colorado nears the 2014 midterm elections.

Click here to continue Reading in the Denver Post. 

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Senator Cadman's Statement on Martin Luther King Jr

Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) issued the following statement honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. 


“Martin Luther King, Jr. blessed our country and the entire world with his life’s work to secure civil rights for all. It is fitting to honor the life of this great American and to recognize his legacy of promoting the self-evident truth that all people are created equal.” 

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Denver Post Editorial: Expand the reach of shield law

A bill to strengthen Colorado's shield law is a long time coming but so is an update to the antiquated law that offers no protection to bloggers. 

Sen. Bernie Herpin, R-Colorado Springs, is sponsoring a bill to make it tougher to put reporters on the stand in Colorado. 

Herpin conjured the bill after realizing Fox News reporter Jana Winter may not have been afforded protection under Colorado's law. She could have been forced to decide between jail or revealing who told her about contents of a notebook from Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes.

Thankfully, a New York appellate court in December ruled Winter could be protected by that state's shield laws, which are stronger than Colorado's. 

Click here to continue reading in the Denver Post. 

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