I set a district driven agenda for the 2019 legislative session that included working to lower healthcare costs, protecting water and the agricultural industry, and fighting for the rural communities of Senate District 5.
I want to flag a number of my bills that passed.
Health Care: (HB19-1004, SB19-004, HB19-1168, HB19-1216)
SB19-004 – a bill that addresses the high cost of healthcare by allowing cooperatives to incorporate consumer protections and empower consumers to negotiate lower rates on a collective basis directly with providers.
HB19-1004 – a bill that works to create a competitive state option for more affordable healthcare coverage that increases competition, particularly in communities with few insurance options.
HB19-1168- a bill to lower the cost of premiums for many people of Colorado by helping cover the most high-risk individuals through a reinsurance program. The high country could see a 20 percent decrease in individual plans.
HB19-1216- This bill will help people with diabetes by limiting the amount per month that people will have to pay for insulin.
Climate Data Bill (SB19-096)
With the growing concerns about the impact of climate on our economy, I passed a bill to collect long term climate data for the state so that we can work to create solutions that are informed by Colorado-specific data.
Water Bills: (SB19-186, SB19-221, HB19-1113)
Water is a critical part of Colorado’s businesses and way of life, which is is why I carried SB19-186, SB19-221 and HB19-1113 to protect water from adverse mining impacts, to take a step towards funding the critical water projects the Western Slope has prioritized, and to broaden the scope of agriculture’s role in water quality.
Broadband Bills: (SB19-078, SB19-107)
Access to quality internet is something that everyone in Colorado deserves, that is why I wrote SB19-107 to reduce the barriers of broadband deployment and SB19-078 to protect equal access to the internet for all. Robust, redundant broadband supports rural communities develop their local economy.
Retirement Savings: (SB19-173)
In the high country, people are working several jobs to make ends meet, but don’t have traditional retirement benefits offered through their employers. I carried a bill to identify ways to increase Colorado’s private sector workers’ retirement savings, helping economic security.
A few more bills focused on SD5: (SB19-141, SB19-142, SB19-159, HB19-1207, HB19-1178)
SB19-141, which expands what entities can have an entertainment district, SB19-142, which eliminates unfair fees for the cider industry, SB19-159, which reauthorizes the tramway safety board to continue to ensure the safety of ski lifts and HB19-1207 to ensure that cars have the proper equipment to travel safely through our region during the winter months. Additionally, HB19-1178 which simplified the name of Western Colorado University and a bill to allow any agricultural producer, no matter that size of there farm, to sell their products at a farm stand. Finally, I was able to increase the REDI grant program.
Colorado Senate, District 5
Editor’s Note: Colorado Senate District 5 covers some of the state’s most liberal and conservative enclaves in Eagle, Pitkin, Delta, Gunnison, Chaffee, Hinsdale and Lake counties.