Sine Die! Today ends Colorado’s  2022 General Assembly

Today is Sine Die, the final day of Colorado’s 2022 General Assembly. I expect us to adjourn late tonight, having passed historic legislation to address Colorado’s mental health crisis, increase resources for unhoused people, promote cleaner air through bold climate action, make producers more responsible for plastic waste, protect communities from wildfires, launch universal preschool, provide tax relief to Colorado families and businesses, increase affordable housing, infuse public schools with more resources, and many other initiatives. Here are some thoughts on my …

What I’m Fighting For

In the last two weeks, we have made more progress on mental health care access in Colorado than we’ve seen in decades. On Wednesday, my bill for more adult residential treatment beds passed in the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee, 9-1. If the bill goes on to pass the Assembly, it will create more treatment capacity for adults with serious mental illness, bringing a measure of relief to their …

New Insurance Legislation PLUS a Town Hall Next Wednesday

I am introducing a bill designed to make the insurance claims process easier and more fair for people who have experienced a catastrophic loss in a fire. Sadly, this bill will not help survivors of the Marshall Fire, but it is a step toward greater resiliency in the face of the climate crisis, drier weather, and more fires. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Bob Rankin-R of Grand County.   I’ve …

Fire Resources and Insurance Information

The devastation in our community is overwhelming and comes on top of crisis after crisis. It’s estimated that these fires have taken up to 1,000 homes. For the many thousands of people impacted, the losses are much more than structures and stuff. People have lost their sense of safety, their shelter, their homes. We have to pull together again, be resilient, and support one another. It’s going to be a long …

Speak up for mental health care

Boulder County is asking for input on how to spend ARPA (American Recovery Plan Act) funds. I believe these dollars offer a unique opportunity to address one of Boulder County’s hardest problems: helping those who suffer from untreated, serious mental illness and intransigent substance use disorders like methamphetamine addiction.   Commissioners will hear public input at their upcoming Town HallSeptember 9 from 5:30 – 7:00 | Sign up to speak at …

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, …

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 …

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. …