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January Update from the Capitol

The 2018 legislative session began this month with opening remarks from House Speaker Crisanta Duran as she presented her 2018 legislative priorities to the House of Representatives. During a joint meeting of the House and Senate the following day, Governor Hickenlooper followed suit with his annual State of the State address. Both opened their speeches by emphasizing the need for Colorado to serve as a barrier to the divisive political rhetoric that has engulfed Washington D.C. and continue our momentum from the legislative achievements of 2017.

For the 2018 session, they called on the General Assembly to work towards addressing the negative effects of Colorado’s recent population growth, pointing out a lack of affordable housing, inadequacy and inequity in public school funding, and inadequate funding for transportation infrastructure. Their priorities also included the need for a long-term solution to PERA’s unfunded liability and a bill package to help mitigate the growing opioid epidemic.

Joining the committee assigned to notify the Governor that the House of Reps is assembled and ready to begin work

Joined on the floor by constituents from Solvista Health in Leadville

Hamner Legislative Update
My priorities this session will be to address concerns expressed to me by my constituents that I have heard as I’ve traveled the district. I remain focused on addressing the needs of hard working families through the development of this year’s budget and bills that I carry regarding affordable healthcare and housing, school finding and educational opportunities for all students, and continuing to protect our environment for future generations of coloradans. Below is my initial legislative agenda for 2018:
House Bill 18-______: Single Geographic Rating Area 
Reps. Hamner and Rankin
Under this bill, health insurers would be prohibited from considering the geographic location of a policy holder when establishing rates. Two years ago, I carried a bill that directed the Division of Insurance to study the plausibility of creating a single geographic rating region. In their report, the division concluded that a move to one rating region could lower premium rates on the Western Slope by up to 22%. Status: Awaiting Introduction
House Bill 18-1002: Rural School District Teaching Fellowship Programs
Reps. Hamner and Rankin | Sens. Todd and Coram
This bill would partner eligible rural school districts with institutions of higher education to allow for fourth year students enrolled in educator preparation programs to teach at the school district. CDHE and the institution would split funding for living cost stipends, with the district having the option to offer the student employment upon graduation. Status: Introduced in the House and assigned to the House Education Committee
House Bill 18-1006: Infant Newborn Screening 
Reps. Hamner and Liston | Sens. Moreno and Gardner
All states provide “blood spot” screening for newborn babies. While there is a national advisory committee on newborn screening, states determine their specific screening programs. This bill would modernize and update Colorado’s newborn screening program using a model based on federally recommended standards to provide more accurate, timely, and comprehensive newborn screening in Colorado. Status: Introduced in the House and assigned to the House Committee on Health, Insurance & Environment
House Bill 18-1051: Statutory Provisions Extinguish Unattended Fires
Reps. Hamner and Carver | Sens. Coram and Merrifield
This bill, which came out of the Wildfire Matters Review Committee, would codify statutory provisions surrounding the penalties for leaving fires unattended and/or under-extinguished. Status: Introduced in the House and assigned to the House Committee on Health, Insurance & Environment
House Bill 18-1084: County Lodging Tax Revenue Allowable Uses
Reps. Hamner and Thurlow | Sen. Coram
This bill would eliminate the requirement that a lodging tax be used for advertising and marketing local tourism. Counties are currently authorized, with prior voter approval, to levy a county lodging tax for the purpose of advertising and marketing local tourism. Status: Introduced in the House and assigned to House Finance Committee
HB18-____: READ Act Expansion 
Reps. Hamner
As one of the original sponsors of the READ Act, I will be carrying a bill that makes modifications to the original language to ensure its successful implementation, supports the literacy skills of our young students, and keeps them on track to read at grade level. Status: Awaiting Introduction
SB18-060: Protective Orders in Criminal Cases
Rep. Hamner | Sen. Coram
This bill expands protective orders for domestic violence victims and victims of other crimes who hold restraining orders against certain offenders. Status: Passed in Senate Judiciary Committee and awaiting final passage vote
Joint Budget Committee Priorities
I am serving as chair of the Joint Budget Committee during the 2018 legislative session. This committee, which consists of three Republicans and three Democrats, is responsible for crafting the annual “long bill,” which becomes the state’s budget for the coming fiscal year. During the 2018 session, my colleagues on the JBC and I will be working to craft a balanced, bipartisan budget that delivers critical public services to the people of Colorado.
Finding a long-term funding solution to the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), addressing the inequities in our school funding formula, and increasing funding for transportation are all priorities for this year’s budget. We will also be working to expand access to broadband throughout rural Colorado and exploring potential solutions to the negative impacts of the Gallagher amendment on rural areas of the state.


I enjoyed a wonderful day in Gunnison County last Saturday with Rep. Barbara McLachlan, meeting with constituents in Crested Butte and Gunnison. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us!

Upcoming Events

Legislative Town Hall in Basalt
Saturday, February 10th from 10:30am to 11:30am
Basalt Regional Library
14 Midland Ave, Basalt, CO 81621

Legislative Town Hall in Aspen
Saturday, February 10th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Pitkin County Library
120 N Mill St, Aspen, CO 81611

I will be scheduling town halls throughout the district between January and April to provide updates on the legislative session and listen to what is on the minds of my constituents. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions at 970-315-2610.

Updates from Around the State

Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing
Update on the future of Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)

Colorado Department of Transportation
January Interchange Newsletter 

Have a wonderful month!

December Newsletter

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy holiday season!

With Joint Budget Committee meetings in full swing, the past month and a half was very busy. Yesterday, economists from the Governor’s office and Legislative Council staff presented their quarterly revenue forecast to the committee. During their presentation, they informed us that the state could see a revenue boost in the range of $200 to $340 million as a result of Colorado’s economic performance and the federal tax revisions passed by Congress this week.

With no shortage of unmet needs in Colorado, this increase in revenue has the potential to help us address chronically low funding for our schools, the increasing costs for a higher education degree, significant infrastructure investment needs, declining severance tax revenues, and an emergency funding gap for our child health insurance program due to inaction by Congress. As we work towards crafting the 2018-19 state budget over the next four months, where this revenue is allocated will be the topic of much discussion at the Legislature.

Speaking at the annual Colorado Association of School Boards Convention

Working with my Joint Budget Committee colleagues

Happy Holidays from the House of Representatives!

Hamner Legislative Update

With the 2018 Legislative Session only three weeks away, my legislative agenda is beginning to take shape. Below are a few of the bills that I will be working on during the 2018 session.

Single Geographic Rating Area for Health Insurance Plans:

  • Under this bill, health insurers would be prohibited from considering the geographic location of a policy holder when establishing rates in Colorado. It is estimated that this change could lower premium rates on the Western Slope by up to 22%.

Rural Teacher Fellowship Program:

  • This bill would establish a fellowship program that would pair fourth-year education students enrolled at institutions of higher education with rural school districts, allowing them to teach at the district for a full year and onward

Expansion of the READ Act:

  • This bill would increase funding to the early literacy grant program and expand services to children with moderate reading deficiencies.

Expansion of Colorado’s Newborn Screening Program:

  • This would modernize and update Colorado’s newborn screening program using a model based on federally recommended standards by providing more accurate, timely and comprehensive newborn screening. This screening process helps doctors identify potential diseases at birth.

Upcoming Events

We will be scheduling town halls between January and May throughout House District 61.

Have a wonderful holiday!

November Newsletter

Now that the holiday season is upon us, I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

I would also like to thank everyone who came out to talk with me at my recent town hall in Aspen and Mayor Labbe’s community coffee in Leadville this past month. It is very important for me to hear directly from my constituents.

Sitting down with the Executive Director of the Colorado Dept. of Higher Education, Dr. Kim Hunter Reed

Speaking with local elected officials and constituents at a town hall in Aspen on October 24th.

Listening to a presentation on 2018 health insurance premiums with Rep. Bob Rankin and group of concerned Western Slope constituents.

Visiting with Howie and Betty Wallach, Patty Kravitz and Julie McCluskie in Aspen

What’s Happening at the Capitol

With regular meetings for the Education Leadership Council and Interim Committee on School Finance also occurring, I will be in Denver full time Monday through Friday between now and the end of session in May. However, hearing from my constituents is just as important, so please feel free to contact my office at any time regarding any issues that matter to you. 

Over the next few months, I will continue working on my legislative priorities for the coming session, which begins in January. This past month, I spoke with local media about my priorities for 2018 and how we are addressing health insurance costs on the Western Slope. You can find links to an editorial by Commissioner Dan Gibbs and me on health insurance premiums and my interview with Krystal 93 below. As always, please continue to contact my office with any questions or thoughts regarding any legislation that interests you. 

Krystal 93 Q&S with Rep. Hamner 

Summit Daily Editorial: Hamner and Gibbs: A healthcare crisis in Colorado’s High Country

Upcoming Events

Reproductive Activists Happy-Hour hosted by NARAL Colorado
Friday, December 8th from 3:30pm to 5:30pm
Crested ButteFor location details, RSVP to

I will be scheduling town halls throughout the district between January and April to update constituents on the legislative session. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions at 970-315-2610.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Summit Daily News article on healthcare

Hamner and Gibbs: A healthcare crisis in Colorado’s High Country

Millie Hamner and Dan Gibbs
Guest Column


Over the last few years, the rising cost of health insurance in Summit County has become a crisis for many individuals and families who purchase health insurance on the individual market. Unfortunately, the Colorado Division of Insurance recently reported that we will not see any improvements in 2018. The agency is projecting a potential 37 percent increase in premiums for the Western Region, compared to just 24 percent in the rest of the state.

As elected officials for Summit County, we are acutely aware of the pressing need for a solution to this problem. Over the past three years, we have been working closely with the Governor’s Office, the Division of Insurance and other local and state officials on the Western Slope to find answers.

In 2016, we asked why some residents are forced to pay more simply because of where they live. In other words, why are health insurance rates determined regionally, when other forms of insurance are not? Working with Rep. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale), and county commissioners throughout the region, Rep. Hamner passed legislation during the 2016 session that directed the Division of Insurance to study the plausibility of creating a single rating area for the entire state. The study concluded that such a change could lower premiums for the Western Region by 22 percent, but the Division of Insurance ultimately recommended against the creation of a single rating area, citing among other factors that rates on the Front Range would increase.

During the 2017 legislative session, we introduced several pieces of legislation that could have provided some relief to consumers in the Western Region and across rural Colorado. House Bill 17-1235 by Rep. Hamner and former Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush (D-Steamboat Springs) would have provided emergency assistance to middle-income families and individuals who spend more than 15 percent of their annual income on health insurance. House Bill 17-1237, also by Rep. Hamner, would have allowed local governments to provide health benefits to their employees through the group benefit plans offered to state employees. Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) carried SB17-004, which would have required carriers to offer catastrophic plans to eligible individuals in rural areas.

Unfortunately, all three bills were blocked in the State Senate despite bipartisan backing in both chambers and support from the Governor’s Office. Despite these setbacks, we have developed a series of goals for addressing this issue on the state and local levels as we head into the 2018 legislative session.

For 2018, Reps. Hamner and Rankin plan to introduce legislation to create a single statewide rating region for those purchasing health insurance on the individual market. The bill would also establish cost limits for medical procedures, similar to a model created by the state of Maryland. The intent is to increase equity among insurance rates throughout Colorado while also working to contain costs within the pharmaceutical and medical provider sectors.

Increased transparency and consumer protection is another major goal for 2018, which we hope to achieve by pushing for more transparent and publicly available data that focuses on facilities, pharmaceuticals and providers’ prices. This is data that should be readily available for consumers, and providers should be required to post data that is timely, accessible, consumer-friendly and consistently up-to-date. Making this information public is important so that patients know what they’re getting into and providers can better understand how their rates compare to those of other providers.

At the local level, Commissioner Gibbs is working with large employers, state agencies, health care providers and health insurance carriers to collect more complete and accurate data about how the Summit County population uses medical services. This would increase public access to information about providers and the prices they charge for their services.

As we continue to work on solutions at the state and local levels, and weigh in on proposals at the federal level, it is important that Summit County residents take advantage of existing resources that can help reduce financial strain. Despite the current rhetoric surrounding health insurance, the Affordable Care Act is still in effect and a significant number of people in Summit County who are not enrolled qualify for low-cost plans, tax credits and premium discounts. The Summit County Family and Intercultural Resource Center and the Summit County Human Services Department are valuable resources for any questions you might have on enrollment.

Millie Hamner is Summit County’s state representative. Dan Gibbs is a Summit County commissioner.

Here is a link to the article:

October Newsletter

With regular Education Leadership Council meetings and interim committee work in Denver, a special legislative session, and an extensive district tour, the past month has been extremely busy. I want to thank everyone that came out to visit with me this past month at my events in Paonia, Crested Butte, Frisco, Leadville, and Cedaredge. I will be hosting three more events in Pitkin, Summit, and Lake counties before regular Joint Budget Committee meetings in Denver begin this November. More information on these events can be found below and on my website.

Visiting with constituents alongside Julie McCluskie at the 2017 Applefest in Cedaredge

Helping cut the inaugural ribbon at the Technical College of the Rockies during the 3rd Annual Delta County School District Legislative Day

A very special thank you surprise from Julie after speaking at the 45th annual meeting of community options in Montrose

On the House Floor with Rep. Barbara McLachlan defending funding for Western Slope special districts during the October special session

Speaking at the Community Forum on Behavioral Health in Frisco



Meeting with constituents alongside Julie McCluskie at Mountain Harvest Festival in Paonia

What’s Happening at the Capitol

In addition to attending regular meetings with the School Finance Interim Committee and the Wildfire Matters Review Committee, my colleagues and I on the Joint Budget Committee will begin meeting regularly in November as we start the process of developing Colorado’s 2018 budget.

Over the next few months, I will also continue working on my legislative priorities for the coming session, which begins in January. As always, please continue to contact my office regarding any legislation that interests you or provide us with your priorities. 
Special Session Update

Two weeks ago, the General Assembly was called back to the Capitol for a special legislative session to address a drafting error in Senate Bill 17-267, which passed during the final days of the 2017 session. The unintended consequence of this drafting error will see a host of special district governments lose important marijuana tax revenue that had helped them provide critical services to Coloradans across the state. To my disappointment, a House bill that would have fixed this unintentional error was unable to navigate partisan differences in the Senate Transportation Committee and was lost on a party-line vote. I was joined by a group of Western Slope legislators in submitting a letter that outlines our disapproval of this inaction and describes in greater detail what the ramifications of this loss in funding will be. I have included a link to the full article below. 

Summit Daily News Column: Special session inaction hurts the Western Slope

Election Day 2017
With ballots going out this week, it is important that everyone gets their ballots filled out and returned by November 7th, 2017. This year, there is an important ballot measure that effects every community in HD61 that has a Colorado Mountain College campus. Measure 4B seeks to address funding losses that CMC has sustained as a result of decreasing property tax revenue due to the Gallagher Amendment. I have included information below on why it is important that this measure passes and allows CMC to continue providing invaluable resources to our Western Slope communities. As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions about this year’s ballot. 

CMC Measure 4B
CMC was created 50 years ago as a locally funded college and remains the only postsecondary education institution in the communities it serves, providing access to the most affordable college education in Colorado. Due to its funding model, CMC maintains the lowest tuition rates in the state and has the 3rd least expensive bachelor’s degree programs in the nation. However, providing these low prices to students is only accomplished through support from local funding.
The Problem: 
  • Colorado Mountain College’s (CMC’s) local funding is negatively affected by Colorado’s Gallagher Amendment and explosive Front Range growth in property values. Gallagher’s mandatory downward adjustments in statewide tax rates compromises local funding and results in a loss of revenue for CMC, forcing them to eliminate valuable services.
  • In 2017, the state was forced to reduce the property tax assessment rate to comply with Gallagher, causing a revenue reduction to CMC of over $2.7 million. It is projected that this level will be lowered again as long as growth in the Front Range continues to outpace growth in the rest of Colorado. 
What the Measure Does:
  • Measure 4B’s purpose is to prevent future erosion of Colorado Mountain College’s budget by the Gallagher Amendment. It would allow the CMC Board of Trusties to adjust certain mill levies to offset future Gallagher reductions.
  • 4B is not a residential property tax. Rather, it enables CMC’s elected board to recover only those revenues lost by CMC due to Gallagher-related adjustments.  Residential taxpayers would pay the same level of property taxes as they would have paid prior to a Gallagher adjustment.
  • Passing 4B will preserve accessible quality education for future generations – providing affordable tuition, free classes for high school students, and highly qualified training for business owners, employees, teachers, veterans, nurses, police officers, and emergency responders.

For more information, visit

Announcement from the Colorado Dept. of Human Services

CDHS is looking for someone to serve as the Congressional District 2 representative for the Colorado Commission on Aging (CCOA). This Commission was established under the authority of the Older Coloradans Act to serve as the primary advisory body on all matters affecting older persons.

To apply for a position on the Colorado Commission on Aging, visit, complete the online application and submit a resume.  The department is asking that interested persons please submit their application no later than November 3rd to be considered.

*The department is looking for someone from CD2 that is of any political affiliation other than Democrat. This requirement is to ensure compliance with a piece of statute that prohibits more than nine members on the commission be affiliated with the same political party.

Upcoming Hamner Events

Legislative Town Hall in Aspen with Local Elected Officials
Tuesday, October 24th from 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Aspen Square Condominium Hotel
617 E Cooper Ave
Aspen, CO 81611

Town Hall on the Future of Higher Education in Colorado
Featuring Dr. Kim Hunter Reed- Exec. Director of the Colorado Dept. of Higher Education
Wednesday, October 25th from 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Colorado Mountain College- Breckenridge Campus
107 Denison Placer Road
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Community Coffee with Mayor Greg Labbe in Leadville
Wednesday, November 1st from 8:30am to 10:00am
Colorado Mountain College Library- Room 317
901 US-24
Leadville, CO 80461

Additional Upcoming Community Events

Public Forum on Individual and Small Group Health Insurance Premiums for 2018
Hosted by the Colorado Division of Insurance

Thursday, October 19th from 1:00pm-3:00pm


Colorado State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Chamber (2nd floor)

Rising health insurance premiums are among the most pressing issue facing HD61 and rural Colorado. On Thursday, I will be joining local elected officials from throughout House District 61 and fellow state legislators to take part in this important forum. This event is open to the public, and we encourage anyone who is interested to attend. For those unable to attend in person, the event will be streamed via webcast. For more information, visit the event’s webpageYou can also contact my office with any questions at 970-315-2610 or

I hope to see you there! 

Colorado Judicial Branch’s Annual Legal Resource Day- Summit County

This public event is being hosted by the Colorado Judicial Branch to offer the public an opportunity to consult with attorneys in various areas of civil law, as well as provide information about local legal and community service resources. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions. 

Thursday, October 26th from 8:30am to 5:30pm

Summit County Justice Center
501 North Park Ave
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Click here to view the event flier.

Have a wonderful month!

Summit Daily News Guest column

Here is a link to the article:

On Monday, the Western Slope Democratic caucus converged on Denver to join our colleagues at the State Capitol for the first special legislative session held since 2012. The six of us arrived united in our resolve to help correct a mistake that, left unaddressed, will have negative consequences for many hard-working people in rural Colorado.

Governor Hickenlooper called the special session to correct an error in Senate Bill 17-267, which was passed in May during the final days of the 2017 regular session. Our task was to correct a drafting oversight that erroneously eliminated the ability to collect marijuana sales tax revenues for a group of voter-approved special districts, many of which provide critical services to Western Slope communities. All four original bill sponsors acknowledged that this omission was purely a mistake and that the elimination of funding was unintentional.

Two separate pieces of legislation were introduced, either of which would have rectified this omission. Considering the extensive list of supporting organizations from across the state, the strong legal precedent on their constitutionality, and the very real consequences of inaction, a “no” vote seemed illogical and irresponsible. The House version passed with all five West Slope House Democrats and a West Slope House Republican in support. However, much to our collective disappointment, both bills were killed on 3-2 party-line votes in the Senate Transportation Committee. Two of the three Republicans who voted not to fix this error are from the Western Slope.

We entered the State Capitol last week determined to protect our constituents on the Western Slope from losing a valuable source of funding for services that they have approved on the ballot. If this result stands, the loss of funding for these crucial districts in this fiscal year alone could be extensive — $66,000 for the Gunnison Valley Regional Transportation Authority, $87,000 for the Summit Combined Housing Authority, $120,000 for the Roaring Fork Regional Transportation Authority, $10,000 for San Miguel Regional Transportation Authority, and an additional though yet uncalculated loss for the Edwards Metropolitan District.

As elected officials whose districts are wholly or partly west of the Continental Divide, we are extremely disappointed that such an important and easily rectified mistake could succumb to partisan differences on the interpretation of the Colorado constitution — especially when the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the ultimate authorities on our constitution, have previously ruled that the Legislature has the authority to make such a fix. Though this was an unfortunate display of partisan politics in the state Legislature, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fighting for Western Slope communities and the services our communities need.

Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon

Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango

Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder

Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs

Rep. Donald Valdez, D-La Jara

Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail

September Newsletter

With August now behind us and the leaves beginning to change here in the mountains, fall is right around the corner!

As you may know, I was recently appointed to serve on the Education Leadership Council, which Governor Hickenlooper established to examine our state’s education system. This council has been meeting regularly throughout the interim and will continue into the coming session to discuss strategies that can improve the way our state delivers public education to Colorado students. Between my Education Leadership Council work, interim committee meetings at the Capitol, and traveling the district, I continue to keep very busy!

Standing with gubernatorial candidates Jared Polis, Mike Johnston, Cary Kennedy, and Noel Ginsburg

Meeting with visitors from Iraq who came to learn about Colorado’s budgeting process     with Sen. Lambert and me

Standing with friends and fellow elected officials from Summit County at the One Colorado Awards Ceremony

Meeting with Fred Menzer and Dave Askeland at Colorado Mountain                                         College’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

What’s Happening at the Capitol

In addition to attending regular meetings with the School Finance Interim Committee and the Wildfire Matters Review Committee, my colleagues and I on the Joint Budget Committee will be meeting this coming Wednesday for the state’s quarterly revenue forecast. At these quarterly forecasts, we are briefed on the state’s economic outlook by economists from the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting and the General Assembly’s Legislative Council Staff. These are important sessions that allow us to monitor Colorado’s economic situation and begin developing next year’s state budget accordingly. The Joint Budget Committee will begin meeting to develop the 2018-19 budget in November. 

Over the next few months, I will be working on my legislative priorities for the coming session, which begins in January. As always, please continue to contact my office regarding any legislation that interests you or provide us with your priorities.

Special Session Called

Yesterday, Governor Hickenlooper called a special legislative session to clarify the language of Senate Bill 267, which was passed last session. As he mentioned in his press conference, this decision came in response to a recently discovered issue within the language of the bill surrounding the allocation of marijuana tax revenue to a group of organizations that includes the Regional Transportation District and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. The General Assembly will convene on October 2nd to consider legislation that will clarify this language and ensure that the original intent of the legislation can be properly codified.

Upcoming Events

Lake County Democrats Annual Picnic
Saturday, September 16th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Leadville National Fish Hatchery

Mountain Harvest Festival
Saturday, September 23rd from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Downtown Paonia

Meet and Greet in Crested Butte
Saturday, September 23rd from 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Rumors Coffee and Tea House on Crested Butte

Colorado Dept. of Human Services Behavioral Health Community Forum- Summit County
September 25th from 11:30am to 1:30pm
Summit County Community and Senior Center

The Department of Human Services is hosting local community forums to hear from community members about behavioral health needs in their area. The goals of these forums include:
  • Hear directly from clients and their families, staffs of facilities and service providers about the needs, successes and opportunities in your area.
  • Hold a dialogue with community members to get ideas for next steps, potential legislation and creative solutions.
  • Update attendees about what services are available in your community and connect them with the appropriate pathways to such services.
  • Further efforts to myth-bust and reduce stigma about what mental illness, substance dependency and other behavioral health issues look like and who is affected.

Applefest in Cedaredge
Sunday, October 8th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Town Hall in Aspen
Tuesday, October 24th from 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Aspen Square Hotel

Please feel free to contact my office with any questions at 970-315-2610

August Newsletter

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.

Standing with Sen. Kerry Donovan, and Commissioners Dan Gibbs and Karn Stiegelmeier at the Conservation Colorado Social

Firing the starting gun at the 2017 Colorado Classic bike race in Breckenridge last weekend

Introducing Julie McCluskie at the Pitkin Democrats annual Dinner

Performing with my Husband Rich at the annual Friends of Twin Lakes picnic

What’s Happening at the Capitol

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.

Hamner Legislation Update

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

Colorado Mountain College 50th Anniversary Reception
Click here for info on the various campus celebrations 

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!