Guest Opinion: Judy Amabile: A deeper reality

I recently attended a Boulder Police Department town hall. People with urgent concerns around homelessness, drug addiction and crime came to seek relief. They described what they are seeing in their neighborhoods: open air drug use, camping garbage, stolen bike parts, discarded needles, human waste. But this conversation was different. It didn’t start and end with demands that police alone do something. This time, I saw people grappling with a …

Working for transformational change

House Speaker Alec Garnett has appointed me to serve on Colorado’s new Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force, which will allocate money from the American Rescue Plan Act to make mental health care more accessible in our state. Senate Bill 21-137 sets aside $450 million of ARPA funds for behavioral health investments.  I’ll be joined in this work by Sen. Brittany Pettersen, Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Sen. Faith Winter, and Sen. Chris …

Session summary

Yesterday marked the end of the 2021 Colorado legislative session. It was an historic session that saw the passage of landmark legislation to improve the lives of Coloradans. Together, we injected billions of dollars into the Colorado economy to aid in the recovery from COVID-19. Protected immigrants from extortion.  Enhanced the safe storage of firearms.  Reformed marijuana regulations to better protect Colorado kids.  Improved the care of dogs and cats.  Safeguarded our air, land, …

Press Release

Rep. Judy Amabile Advances Landmark Bills on Guns, Environment, Mental Health in First Session at Colorado House. Yesterday marked the end of the 2021 Colorado legislative session. The Colorado Assembly passed historic legislation to improve the lives of Coloradans. Representative Amabile remarked on the session: Protected immigrants from extortion. Enhanced the safe storage of firearms. Reformed marijuana regulations to better protect Colorado kids. Improved the care of dogs and cats. …

Legislative Update

We’ve seen some late nights in the House chamber lately. As the session begins to wind down, our work is increasing, with many important bills still to consider. An update:  HB21-1211  | On The Governor’s DeskI sponsored this bill to stop the inhumane practice of putting people with serious mental illness in solitary confinement in our large county jails. The bill passed the General Assembly by wide margins in both chambers. …

New gun violence prevention bills

When 10 people were killed in our community just over a month ago, I said I didn’t want moments of silence, I wanted moments of action. Late last week, House and Senate Democrats acted. We introduced a package of three bills designed to curb the gun violence epidemic in our state. These bills will save lives by expanding background checks and closing loopholes in the system, giving local governments the …

State lawmakers seek to restrict solitary confinement in Colorado’s largest jails for mentally ill inmates

Bill would also restrict the practice for those who are pregnant, under 18, or who have an intellectual or developmental disability By Moe Clark Meghan Baker, a staff attorney for the advocacy organization Disability Law Colorado, asked state lawmakers during a bill hearing on Tuesday to imagine what it would be like to spend 23 hours a day alone in a jail cell. “You can’t see a TV or a clock, …

Rep. Amabile: Solitary confinement is tantamount to torture. Our bill would restrict it in Colorado’s jails.

Prolonged isolation behind bars is cruel, inhumane, degrading treatment and harmful to health. Rep. Judy Amabile2:56 AM MDT on Apr 4, 2021 This past year has been one of loneliness and isolation for many. We have been denied the company of family and friends. The things that bring us joy and help us mark the time have been taken away. Social distancing and quarantine have taken a toll on our …

Happy Hour and Legislative Update

Our office has been barraged with messages from ardent supporters of three Republican-sponsored “election reform” bills (1053, 1086 and 1088). I have read these bills. Each aims to reshape Colorado’s elections, including diminishing our gold standard mail-in balloting system. It’s deeply disturbing that so many people believe there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Study after study, including by the former administration’s own Justice Department, simply do not bear that out. …

Ranked Choice Voting & Immigration Town Hall

This week a bill that would allow “ranked choice voting” in nonpartisan Colorado municipal elections passed the State Affairs Committee, of which I am a member. I voted in favor of this bill, HB21-1071, and it is now on to a second reading in the Assembly. With ranked choice voting, voters can rank the candidates they like rather than choosing only one. The rules can vary but a simple example, as …