April Newsletter

Yesterday, two bills that I am sponsoring passed through the House with bipartisan support and are now on their way to the Senate. The first provides emergency assistance to middle-income Coloradans who pay more than 15 percent of their incomes for health insurance premiums. The second, a bill which has been in the works for over a year, creates a structure for establishing and implementing a vision for the future of education in Colorado. I have included more detailed information on these bills below.

Speaking with the 4th grade class from Silverthorne Elementary

Presenting House Bill 17-1235 alongside my colleague Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush

                             Presenting the annual budget bill in the House

                     Gov. Hickenlooper signing a bill I carried, SB17-123: Seal of Biliteracy, into law

                                Speaking with constituents at a town hall in Frisco on March 25th

Budget Update:

The 2017 “Long Bill”, which becomes the annual state budget, was introduced three weeks ago. Since then, my colleagues in both chambers and I have been working hard to find compromise on key budget measures that will allow us to fund critical services and balance the budget, which we are constitutionally required to do. One of these items is the reduction in funding to hospitals, which we are hoping to avoid by enterprising the Hospital Provider Fee.

Soon, the members of the Joint Budget Committee will be meeting as the designated “conference committee” for the long bill. When meeting as the conference committee, we are tasked with ironing out the differences between the amended House and Senate versions of the bill.

Rep. Hamner Legislation Update:
HB17-1287: Achieving a Vision for the Future of Education in Colorado 
  • The bill creates a legislative steering committee tasked with leading the effort to establish a vision for the future of education in Colorado and developing a strategic plan to achieve that vision. This committee will work with an executive advisory board and a statewide advisory board consisting of stakeholders like teachers and parents to achieve this vision.
  • Status: Passed the House and introduced in the Senate.

HB17-1235: Financial Relief Defray Individual Health Plan Cost

  • This bill creates a relief program to provide financial assistance to individuals who spend more than fifteen percent of income on health insurance premiums for individual health insurance purchased through the Colorado health benefit exchange.
  • Status: Passed the House and introduced in the Senate.

HB17-1237: State Employee Group Benefit Plans for Local Government

  • This bill allows for local governments to provide health benefits to their employees through the group benefit plans offered to state employees.
  • Status: Passed in the House Committee on Health Insurance and Environment. It is currently up for debate and subsequent final passage in the House.

HB17-1116: Continue Low Income Housing Energy Assistance

  • This bill reauthorizes a series of programs that help low income families and individuals pay their energy bills and heat and insulate their homes.
  • Status: Passed the House and currently waiting to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

HB17-1258: Renaming Delta-Montrose Technical College

  • This bill would change the name of Delta Montrose Technical College to Technical College of Rockies, to better reflect the broad service area and the school’s commitment to provide educational opportunities throughout the region beyond Delta and Montrose
  • Status: Signed into law.

HB17-1160: Kindergarten Through Third Grade English Learner Reading Assessment Language

  • This bill authorizes a local education provider to determine the language in which a student who is an English language learner takes reading assessments in kindergarten through third grade.
  • Status: Passed the House and introduced in the Senate. After passing through the Senate Education Committee, it is currently up for final passage in the Senate.

SB17-123: Seal of Biliteracy For High School Diplomas

  • 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.
  • Status: Signed into law.

SB17-126: Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board

  • This bill would create the Colorado Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, which would 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, and making annual reports and policy recommendations concerning domestic violence to the General Assembly.
  • Status: Passed the Senate, introduced in the House, and waiting to be heard by the House Committee on Public Health Care & Human Services.

SJR17-022: Colorado Mountain College 50th Year Anniversary

  • Recognizing Colorado Mountain College’s 50 years of service and education to the state of Colorado and recognizing the notable achievements and contributions of the College and its graduates.
  • Status: Passed both the House and Senate

SJM17-001: Memorialize Congress To Fund Wildfire Response

  • This joint memorial calls on Congress to fund catastrophic wildfire response costs outside of federal forest management agencies’ normal budgets to ensure that we fund wildfire mitigation and prevention adequately in Colorado.
  • Status: Passed both the House and Senate.
Upcoming Events
Joint Town Hall on Earth Day
Saturday, April 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 
Where: Basalt Regional Library (14 Midland Ave, Basalt, CO 81621)
Hosted By: 
  • Millie Hamner – State Representative for House District 61
  • Diane Mitsch Bush – State Representative for House District 26
  • Kerry Donovan – State Senator for Senate District 5
Town Hall in Paonia
When: Saturday, May 13th from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Where: Wisehart Springs Inn (39508 Pitkin Rd, Paonia, CO 81428)
Hosted By:  
  • Millie Hamner – State Representative for House District 61
  • Kerry Donovan – State Senator for Senate District 5
For additional information about any of these events, contact Phil at phil.robinson.house@gmail.com
March for Science in HD61:
Summit County: 

The High Country March for Science is taking place in Breckenridge on April 22 as one of more than 500 satellite marches for the national March for Science. It will be a celebration of science in our every day lives!

A group of local women is planning the march, which begins at 1:30pm in the South Gondola Lot in Breckenridge and works its way south to The Village at Breckenridge just across S. Park Ave, where a rally will begin begin at 2:30pm. There are several speakers lined up for the rally and two local bands scheduled to play. There is additional information at the links below.

Pitkin County: 
The Aspen March For Science will take place this Saturday, the schedule is below:
  • 1:00 Meet at Paepcke Park
  • 1:30 March (or Rollerblade, Bike, etc) through town with signs*
  • 2:30-4:00 Earth Day Celebrations: speakers, science activities, information booths, and music.
For additional information, visit www.facebook.com/MarchForScienceAspen/
Gunnison County: 
The Gunnison County March for Science will begin at 3:00pm at Legion Park (the corner of Teller and Tomichi).For additional information, visit www.facebook.com/GunnisonScienceMarch/

I70 Update

Click here to read the Department of Transportation’s monthly Interchange Newsletter.

I hope you have a wonderful month!