Bill to Treat and Prevent Substance Abuse Passes First Hurdle

DENVER—Today, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved Senator Kevin Lundberg's bill taking initial steps to treat and prevent substance abuse on a unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 17-193 creates the center for research into prevention  strategies for, and treatment of, abuse of and addiction to opioids, other controlled substances, and alcohol at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. 

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Bill to Promote all-of-the-above Energy Policy Passes First Test

DENVER—Today, the Senate Finance Committee approved Senator Bob Gardner's (R-El Paso County) bill to remove penalties for the installation of solar energy devices.

In 2011, then-Representative Bob Gardner fought to pass House Bill 1199 to limit the fees charged for the installation of solar devices on residential properties. 

The current fee limits enacted through HB 11-1199 are set to expire next year. Senate Bill 17-179 extends the caps on fees, allowing solar installation prices to remain consistent through 2025.

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Fuel Economy and Futuristic Cars was Focus of Thursday Hearing

Denver — The Senate Select Committee on Energy and the Environment (SCEE) met for a second time at the Capitol Thursday, to hear from expert witness Chris Nevers, from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, on the past, present and future of federal fuel economy mandates.

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Hearing on Open Records Bill (SB-40) Postponed

Denver -- Senator Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) today announced that an open records bill (SB-40) slated for a hearing by the State Affairs Committee next Wednesday, February 22, would be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 1, so numerous stakeholders who have expressed concerns about the measure, as written, can be heard and consulted with.

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Bipartisan Bill Will Increase Transparency in Law Enforcement

Denver—A bipartisan bill carried by Republican Senator Tim Neville (R-Jefferson County) and Democrat Daniel Kagan will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. 

Senate Bill 17-136 increases transparency and accountability by requiring that local law enforcement report on property acquired through civil forfeiture, which allows police to seize money or property that believe is associated with an alleged crime.  

Current procedure allows law enforcement to use a portion of the proceeds gained through civil forfeiture for department purposes. 

Senate Bill 17-136 shines new light on this process by requiring detailed reporting on all forfeited property on a website available to the public. SB-136 also increases transparency and accountability by requiring agencies to report on how they are spending any asset forfeiture proceeds.  

If enacted, SB-136 would ensure Colorado's laws on civil forfeiture are the most transparent in the nation. 

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Early Win for Colorado Students and Families

Denver--In an early victory for equity in school funding, Senator Owen Hill's legislation to increase school choice for Colorado students and families passed out of the Senate Education Committee.

Senate Bill 17-061 requires school districts to distribute an equal share of mill levy revenue to both charter and district schools. 

Under current practice, districts are allowed to withhold any revenue from mill levies or property taxes, in addition to 5 percent of per pupil funding. 

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Senate Republicans Introduce Bill to Restore Essential Services in Dept. of Law

Denver—Today, Senate President Kevin J. Grantham (R-Canon City)  Senator Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) Chair of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Larimer County) Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee, and the Colorado Senate Republican Caucus introduced two bills to restore essential services within the Department of Law. 

The first bill, Senate Bill 17-196 appropriates crucial funding for information technology (IT)security based on the recommendations of a recent external audit of the Department's IT systems. 

The second bill, Senate Bill 17-197, provides resources for integral legal services for the Department of Education. 

Under Colorado law, the General Assembly is required to pass a balanced budget each year. Supplementals are mid-year adjustments intended to accurately reflect the true costs within State Departments. 


 

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Gardner Comments on Defeat of Death Penalty Repeal

Denver — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) released the following statement tonight following defeat of a measure (Senate Bill-95) that would have repealed the death penalty in Colorado: 

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Martinez Humenik Bill to Improve Mental Health Treatment Consistency Passes Committee

Denver--Today, Senator Beth Martinez Humenik's (R-Adams County) bill to provide parity and consistency in medication and treatment for mental health patients in justice system facilities passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The bill, Senate Bill 17-019, requires justice facilities to remain consistent in the medication provided for mental health patients, ensuring proper and continuous care for these individuals. 

"With conditions as delicate as mental health disorders, consistency in prescribed medications can often make a world of difference," said Martinez Humenik. "Mental health issues touch many Colorado families and my bill takes a crucial step in ensuring that those Coloradans get the help they need." 

Senate Bill 019 now moves on to a vote of the Committee on Appropriations. 

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Bill to Guarantee Right to Self Defense for Military Passes First Test

Denver – Today, Majority Whip John Cooke’s bill to guarantee the rights of active duty and honorably discharged military personnel passed its first test. 

Senate Bill 17-006, a Senate Republican caucus agenda bill outlined by President Kevin J. Grantham in his opening day remarks, allows approved military personnel under 21 to apply for a concealed carry permit. 

 Senate Bill 006 honors our service men and women, who give so much for our freedom, by strengthening existing law. 

Under current law, active duty military personnel and honorably discharged personnel under 21 can open carry in Colorado. Senate Bill 006 will allow those 18 through 20 year olds to defend themselves and their families at home.

“We trust our highly-skilled young service men and women to defend us abroad, it makes no sense that we revoke their right to self-defense when they are here in Colorado," said Cooke. "This is a commonsense step to strengthening liberty and allowing those who defend our freedom, to apply for a permit and go through a background check just like any other Coloradan who wants to defend themselves or their family."

Senate Bill 17-006 now heads to a vote of the Committee of the Whole. 

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