With summer beginning to wind down and kids heading back to school, I’m reminded of all the years I’ve spent in a classroom as a student or as a school leader. I wish all of you who are parents, teachers, school leaders or students the very best this coming school year! I also recognize how challenging it is to help our youth make sense of shameful displays of violence and hatred like those that we saw in Charlottesville and Barcelona last week. I applaud our parents and school staff for teaching acceptance and peaceful resolution to conflict, and I hope that our community can come together in the wake of events such as these to foster an environment of peace and tolerance for the betterment of our kids’ future. If I can be of any help to this end, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
This past month, I continued to keep busy with constituent outreach in my district and committee work at the Capitol. At a series of events spread across the district, I talked with constituents and discussed my interim work and the upcoming legislative session, accompanied by my friend and candidate for HD61, Julie McCluskie. I also attended the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) conference, where Jill Biden was the keynote speaker, the Club 20 Summer Policy Committee Meeting, and community events with Conservation Colorado and ONE Colorado.
At the Capitol, things are beginning to pick up as we inch closer to the next legislative session. In addition to my work as chairwoman of the Joint Budget Committee, this year I am also serving on the Interim Committee on School Finance, the Wildfire Matters Review Committee, and the Education Leadership Council. These groups will be meeting frequently to work on a diverse array of issues leading up to the 2018 Legislative Session.
On August 9th, four of the bills that I sponsored during the 2017 Legislative Session went into effect! I have included descriptions below.
HB17-1116: Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance
Reps. Hamner, Exum | Sen. Humenik
Previously, law provides that the Department of Human Services’ Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund, the Energy Outreach Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund, and the Colorado Energy Office’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund receive conditional funding from the severance tax operational fund through the state fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018. The bill removed the automatic repeal, which means that these funds will be eligible for this conditional funding indefinitely.
SB17-123: Seal of Biliteracy for High School Diplomas
Reps. Hamner, Wilson | Sens. Priola, Zenzinger
This bill authorizes a school district, BOCES, or institute charter high school to grant a diploma endorsement in biliteracy to a student who demonstrates proficiency in English and at least one foreign language. The bill establishes the requirements a graduating high school student must meet to obtain the biliteracy endorsement.
SB17-126: Domestic Violence Review Board
Reps. Hamner and Willet | Senators Guzman and Gardner
This bill created the Colorado Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. Which will be tasked with examining data collected by review teams during the preceding year, identifying measures to help prevent domestic violence fatalities and near-death incidents, establishing uniform methods for collecting, analyzing, and storing data relating to domestic violence fatalities and near-death incidents, and making annual reports and policy recommendations concerning domestic violence to the General Assembly.
HB17-1258: Renaming Delta-Montrose Technical College
Reps. Hamner and Willet | Senators Donovan and Coram
This bill changed the name of Delta-Montrose Technical College to Technical College of the Rockies. The change better reflects the school’s broad service area and commitment to providing educational opportunities throughout the Western Slope region beyond Delta and Montrose.
Upcoming Community Events
Lake County School Board Meeting
Tuesday, August 22nd from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
107 Spruce Street, Leadville
2017 Gunnison Democrats Picnic
August 27th at 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Legion Park in Gunnison
2017 Delta County Democrats Picnic
Saturday, September 9th from 11:00am to 12:00pm
Cleveland Park in Delta
Lake County Democrats Picnic
Saturday, September 16th from 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Leadville National Fish Hatchery
Please feel free to contact my office with any questions at 970-315-2610
I hope you have a wonderful month!