In conversations with thousands of constituents in Colorado Springs last year, I heard loud and clear that you wanted me to focus on boosting our economy, strengthening our schools and supporting current and former members of our armed services. Most of all, you wanted me to work across the aisle and get things done. I’m proud to say that we passed important legislation to encourage job creation, enhance education and support our veterans, and we worked with everyone, regardless of party affiliation, getting bipartisan support on over 90% of the bills we passed this legislative session.
Below are some of the bills I personally authored and supported.
Keeping Jobs In Colorado (HB 1292)
This bill will ensure that more of our taxpayer dollars stay in Colorado, supporting Colorado businesses and creating jobs for Coloradans. When considering bids on state contracts, state agencies will weigh overall best value, including the use of Colorado workers and Colorado products to complete the contract, as well as wages and other benefits.
Breakfast After The Bell (HB 1006)
This bill, which I’m proud to have sponsored, will provide breakfast after the first bell of the day at El Paso County schools where 80% or more of students qualify for federal free or reduced lunches. Studies have shown that hungry children don’t learn as well as their better-fed peers, so this program will enhance student achievement while reducing childhood hunger.
Continuing the Colorado Work Share Program (SB 157)
SB 157, which I co-sponsored, continues the Colorado Work Share Program, providing a tool for employers to avoid layoffs during economic downturns. Using this popular program, employers can adjust the work hours of a group of workers rather than going through layoffs; employees then tap into unemployment insurance to offset any reduced income. This bill will help save jobs during downturns while providing flexibility to employers so they can stay afloat.
Allowing Veterans Seeking Jobs to Waive CDLE Confidentiality (HB 1123)
This bill, which I wrote with help from the Department of Labor (CDLE) and veterans groups, will ensure the CDLE is more effective in facilitating connections between job seekers – especially veterans – and employers by providing information to potential employers when authorized by job seekers.
Military Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards
When active-duty military members apply for a driver’s license or ID card they can have a branch-of-service identifier printed on the card, which helps them access special discounts at some local businesses. HB 1119, which I sponsored in the House, gives veterans the option of having an identifier printed on these cards, as well. Together with HB 1011, sponsored by Reps. Young & Hamner, service identifiers will be available for all current and former members of the military – at no cost to the service member.
Home Loan Modification Protections (HB 1017)
Homeowners have been struggling in the aftermath of the recession, and many have turned to loan modifications to avoid falling behind on their payments. This bill requires that the terms of an approved modification agreement be honored when a new servicer takes over the loan, ensuring that homeowners are treated fairly by their banks.
Earned Income Tax Credit (SB 001)
This bill will help ensure that our economic recovery benefits more working Coloradans and their families by enacting a Colorado earned income tax credit (triggered by certain budget conditions) and creating a Colorado child tax credit (to go into effect when the federal Marketplace Fairness Act is enacted). Combined, these credits when they take effect will save approximately 400,000 hard working Colorado families more hundreds of dollars annually.