Together Colorado 2019 Legislative Priorities

I just spent this morning with faith leaders from across Colorado and legislators who joined us for breakfast. We talked about the Together Colorado legislative priorities.

HERE THEY ARE:
We hold that our life together is based on the sacred and infinite value of each and every human being. All people deserve to live the life God calls them to live – to make the most of their God given gifts and potential and to live a life of dignity. No exceptions. As such, we are compelled by our faith to advance a moral economy, equity, and the eradication of racism.

During the 2019 Colorado Legislative Session, we encourage our state elected officials to promote an agenda of human dignity by supporting legislation that provides healthcare for all Coloradans, allows cities and counties to raise the minimum wage to a level needed for workers to thrive, promotes and protects affordable housing, supports family values by passing paid-family medical leave, and advances the dignity and safety of immigrant families through expansion of the existing driver’s license program.

Combined, these modest legislative measures would dramatically improve and positively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of Coloradans by advancing a moral, dignified, and equitable future.

Together Colorado Legislative Priorities:

SB19-139 – More Colorado Roads and Community Safety Act Offices
Sponsor(s): Sen. Don Coram, Sen. Dominick Moreno, Rep. Rochelle Galindo, Rep. Jonathan Singer
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

In 2013, the Colorado Legislature passed SB-251: The Colorado Roads and Community Safety Act, which provided driver’s licenses to all Colorado residents, regardless of immigration status. The 2019 legislation would expand the number of offices where people can apply for and receive a driver’s license to 10 or more offices geographically distributed throughout the state.

HB19-1210 – Local Government Minimum Wage
Sponsor(s): Sen. Moreno, Sen. Danielson, Rep. Rochelle Galindo, Rep. Jovan Melton
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

This bill would repeal the current prohibition on local governments that may wish to enact a higher minimum wage than the state’s minimum wage. The Local Wage Option would allow local jurisdictions to choose to increase the minimum wage in their communities to more effectively address the cost of living in a local area if they believed it would benefit their community.

SB19-188 FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program
Sponsor(s): Sen. Faith Winter, Sen. Angela Williams, Rep. Matt Gray, Rep. Monica Duran
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

This bill would create a statewide family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program to provide partial wage-replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work to care for a new child, a family member with a serious health condition, or who is unable to work due to the individual’s own serious longer-term health issue.

Other legislation we are currently supporting:

HB19-1170 – Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act
Sponsor(s): Rep. D. Jackson, Rep. M. Weissman, Sen. Angela Williams, Sen. Jeff Bridges
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

Under current law, a warranty is implied into every rental agreement. The bill makes the following changes: expands written notices to include electronic notices; expands jurisdiction to county courts and small claims courts; adds absence of mold to the basic requirements for a habitable residence; tenants can deduct costs of repairs from subsequent rent if certain conditions are met.

HB19-1118 – Extending Notice to a Tenant Before Eviction
Sponsor(s): Rep. Jackson, Rep. Galindo, Sen. Williams
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

Current law does not allow sufficient time to remedy a lease violation, for example, to find a new home for a dog or pay the full amount of overdue rent in the case of a financial emergency. This short timeframe also undermines the effectiveness of existing rental assistance programs. HB19-1118 extends the notice required before a landlord can file for an eviction for a non-substantial lease violation, including unpaid rent, from 3 to 14 days. This ensures the tenant has sufficient time to address the complaint.

SB-180 Eviction Legal Defense Fund
Sponsor(s): Sen. Faith Winter/Rep. Julie McCluskie
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

According to the Legal Services Corporation, 86% of the civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans in 2017 received inadequate or no legal help. In Colorado, this justice gap is particularly harmful for renters. Low-income tenants who are facing a possible eviction are typically unable to access legal assistance. This major shortcoming in our legal process contributes to cycles of poverty throughout the state of Colorado. This bill would appropriate $900,000 to fund legal resources for low-income Coloradans who are facing an eviction.

HB19-1004 – Proposal for Affordable Health Coverage Option
Sponsor(s): Reb. Dylan Roberts, Rep. Marc Catlin, Sen. Kerry Donovan
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

The bill requires the department of health care policy and financing and the division of insurance in the department of regulatory agencies to develop and submit a proposal to certain committees of the general assembly concerning the design, costs, benefits, and implementation of a state option for health care coverage. Additionally, the departments shall present a summary of the proposal at the annual joint hearings with the legislative committees of reference during the interim before the 2020 legislative session.

SB19-010 Professional Behavioral Health Services for Schools
Sponsor(s): Sen. Rhonda Fields, Rep. Barbara McLachlan, Rep. Donald Valdez
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

The bill allows grant money to be used for behavioral health care services at recipient schools and specifies that grants may also fund behavioral health services contracts with community providers. The bill requires the department of education (department) to prioritize grant applications based on the school’s need for additional health professionals, and grant applicants must specify the extent to which the school has seen an increase in activities or experiences that affect students’ mental well-being.

SB19-182 Repeal the Death Penalty
Sponsor(s): Sen. Angela Williams,Sen. Julie Gonzales/Rep. Jeni Arndt, Rep. Adrienne Benavidez
Together Colorado Position: SUPPORT

The bill repeals the death penalty in Colorado for offenses charged on or after July 1, 2019.

 

UUCB is a member of Together Colorado. To learn more see their website: https://www.togethercolorado.org/

 

Thanks to all the legislators who serve our State!

 

Rev. Kelly