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This week is shaping up to be busy for Senate Democrats’ Legislative Priorities. Bills on electric grid reliability, veteran suicide prevention, and substance abuse prevention will make their way through the legislative process.

The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee will hear a bill (SB21-072) that would transition Colorado toward a regionally connected transmission system. It would also enhance grid reliability, decrease costs for utilities and ratepayers, and increase capacity for renewable energy which ultimately would help the state reach its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal. This bill’s prime sponsors include Senator Chris Hansen, Senator Don Coram, and Representative Alex Valdez. The bill will be heard at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9 the Senate Committee Room.

Courtesy image.

The Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee will hear SB21-129, a bill that would establish a pilot program to reduce suicide rates among veterans. Every day approximately 17 veterans take their own life. This would establish a pilot program for post 9-11 veterans to receive confidential treatment for conditions that lead to suicide like PTSD, depression, substance abuse, sexual trauma or traumatic brain injuries. The bills prime sponsors are Senator Leroy Garcia and Representative David Ortiz. It will be heard at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9 in the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

At 1:30 p.m. on March 10, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hear SB21-011 that would require pharmacists who prescribe opioids to notify patients of the dangers and if appropriate prescribe an opioid antagonist in the event that the patient overdoses on their medication. The opioid epidemic plaguing the nation is running rampant in Colorado. On average, Colorado doctors write 53 opioid prescriptions for every 100 citizens.

This practice of over-prescribing furthers a system of addiction and dependency that too often results in death and has caused thousands of lives to be ruined across the state. The bill would provide regulations that ultimately would save lives. The prime sponsors include Senator Rhonda Fields, Representative Kyle Mullica, and Representative Rod Pelton. To listen to the committee hearings, click here.

Democrats hold majorities in both the Colorado House and the Senate, meaning as the majority party, they shape the legislative agenda.