2014 End of Session Update

The 2014 Legislative Session has come to an end. I am proud of all that we have accomplished. While not all of my bills made it through the legislature this year, I was able to sponsor bills which reduce the risk of wildfire, improve public safety, and provide assistance to families in Colorado. As I complete my first term as a State Representative, it has been an honor to represent the people of House District 17. I greatly appreciate the support and the comments I have received over the past two years on a number of issues. Below you can find information on bills which I have sponsored.

My Bills

Change Wildfire Mitigation Tax Deduction to Credit (HB 1009) – Rep. Exum / Sen. Nicholson
This bill originated in the Wildfire Matters Review Committee. The bill would have changed the wildfire mitigation income tax deduction to an income tax credit, and would have given homeowners who take actions to mitigate the risk of wildfires a tax break up to $2,500 a year. This bill would have improved wildfire mitigation efforts and enhanced the safety of Colorado communities in the wild land urban interface. While this bill passed the House with bipartisan support, unfortunately it was postponed indefinitely by the Senate and will not pass this year. As a former fire fighter, I am disappointed that this bill failed. However, I will continue to advocate for public safety issues and work to reduce the risk of wildfires in Colorado.

Income Tax Credit for Child Care Expenses (HB 1072) – Reps. Pettersen & Exum / Sen. Kefalas
This bill will create a new state income tax credit for childcare costs that applies to Colorado families that make less than $25,000 a year and do not already qualify for federal tax credits. These families currently do not qualify for the state tax credit for childcare costs because those tax credits are tied to federal income taxes and couples making $25,000 or less do not pay federal taxes. This bill will create fairness in our tax system by allowing working families access to the same tax credits that middle-class families receive.

Sunset Fire Suppression Contractor Regulation (HB 1221) – Reps. Exum & Rankin
This bill continues the Fire Suppression Registration and Inspection Program within the Division of Fire Prevention and Control. It requires both the creation of a new registration category for residential fire suppression system contractors and a separate set of residential design and installation standards. The fire suppression administrator is required to keep records in a searchable format of all fire suppression working plans and hydraulic calculations for projects identified as containing significant or repeated design or installation deficiencies.

Create Wildfire Information & Resource Center (SB 8) – Reps Exum & Dore / Sen. Nicholson
SB 8 creates the Wildfire Information and Resource Center in the Department of Public Safety. Within the department, the Division of Fire Prevention and Control is charged with collecting wildfire-related information and links in an on-line resource for homeowners, fire professionals, the media and educators.

Aid to the Needy Disabled Program (SB 12) – Rep. Exum / Sen. Kefalas
This legislation puts money directly into the pockets of Coloradans who need help affording the necessities, spurring roughly $15 million in economic output across the state and providing for an additional 200 jobs. The Aid to the Needy Disabled program provides a monthly cash assistance benefit to Coloradans who are medically certified as disabled and are unable to work for at least six months. Right now, the benefit is $175/month; this effort will increase the benefit to about $268/month, restoring the funding to pre-recession levels and adjusting the benefit for inflation.

Local Firefighter Safety Grant Program (SB 46) – Rep. Exum / Sen. Nicholson
This bill creates a grant program for local fire departments to invest in equipment and training that increases firefighter safety. It also creates the Local Firefighter Safety and Disease Prevention Fund.

Veterans Community Living Centers in Colorado (SB 96)Reps. Pettersen & Exum / Sen. Crowder
The bill changes the terms “state veterans nursing home” and “state nursing home” throughout statute to “veterans community living center” and “veterans center” to more accurately reflect the wide array of services provided by these facilities to meet the multiple needs of veterans and their families in Colorado.

Fallen Soldier License Plate Combat Zone (SB 132)Reps. Exum & Gardner / Sen. Ulibarri & Crowder
Under current law only families of soldiers who were killed in a combat zone are eligible for the Fallen Soldier license plate. All families of fallen soldiers deserve to have these license plates. This bill allows that to happen and by doing so honors our brave men and women who have died serving our country.

See what I did last session by clicking 2013 Legislative Session