In the midst of a global pandemic and a challenging year, we came together to deliver urgent relief to struggling Coloradans and build our state back stronger. The legislature was able to deliver on promises that were years in the making – passing transformational legislation that will pave the way for a Colorado where everyone can thrive. By putting people over politics and working across the aisle to accomplish great things, 94% of our passed legislation received bipartisan support.
In order to recover faster and build back stronger, lawmakers developed a bipartisan state stimulus package to foster the Colorado Comeback, make monumental investments to strengthen small businesses, support Colorado families, invest in rural Colorado, and develop our workforce.
Embedded in everything we do in the legislature, we continue to work on mitigating climate change to meet or exceed the goals in Colorado’s Climate Action Plan by pursuing renewable energy, energy efficiency, transitioning our workforce from fossil fuels to clean energy jobs, reducing our carbon emissions, and working to build back stronger in a cleaner and more sustainable Colorado.
In addition to passing state stimulus policies, state leaders worked collaboratively to allocate nearly $4 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The resulting legislation immediately deployed hundreds of millions of dollars to make housing more affordable, provide emergency behavioral health services and help workers complete degree or skills-training programs. The roadmap also dedicated funds to protect critical state services in future years and set aside funding for future transformational investments in housing, behavioral health, education, and workforce development, and economic stimulus and recovery.
Sadly, the legislature was also confronted with the all-too-familiar issue of gun violence during the legislative session. After 10 people lost their lives in the Boulder King Soopers shooting, Democratic lawmakers passed six critical bills this year to curb the gun violence epidemic.
In 2021 the Colorado General Assembly rose to the occasion and championed policies that will not only support people in the aftermath of the pandemic but pave a hopeful path forward by creating a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous Colorado for all.
Cathy’s Bills in the 2021 Session
Here are the bills I sponsored in the 2021 Legislative Session
HB21-1067 College Admission Use of National Test Score: This bill will give Colorado’s public colleges and universities the option of deciding whether to require students to submit a national test score or not (such as ACT or SAT) when applying for admission. These tests have been shown to be biased and are not a good predictor of student success in college.
HB21-1095 811 Locate Clearance for County Road Maintenance: This bill will grant counties a clearance for 811 utility locates for certain unpaved road maintenance. Larimer County maintains 450 miles of roads two to three times a year. This bill will save time and money and allow the locates to be targeted where needed.
HB21-1115 Board of Health Member Requirements: This bill is trying to move politics further from the realm of public health policy by changing the requirements for those serving on public health boards. Note: This bill does not change anything about our local health district, it is related to county level public health boards.
HB21-1145 – Pollinator License Plate: This bill will create a new special license plate for Colorado moor vehicles. Money raised from the plate will go to support pollinator health and habitat.
HB21-1200 – Revise Student Financial Literacy Standards: This bill will add the cost of college and how to pay for college, credit card and credit card debt, purchasing a home, and retirement savings to the Personal Financial Literacy academic standards.
HB21-1239 Protection in Consumer Sales Transactions: Allows a 3 day cooling off period for buying a contract with an online dating service. Also, puts guardrails around automatic renewals of online purchases.
HB21-1286 Energy Performance For Buildings: Concerning measures to improve energy efficiency, and requiring owners of large buildings to collect and report on energy-use benchmarking data and comply with performance standards related to energy and greenhouse gas emissions and modifying statutory requirements regarding energy performance contracts.
SB21-077 Remove Lawful Presence Verification Credentialing: Many people residing in Colorado have skills which they cannot receive licenses or credentialing for due to their legal status. This prevents people from working in areas in which they’ve been trained. This bill will seeks to address this issue.
SB21-104 Sunset Special Education Fiscal Advisory Committee: This bill will continue the Special Education Advisory Committee until 2031. This committee advises the State Board of Education the allocation of some special education funding.
SB21-179 Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Fund Advisory Board: This bill will ensure both higher education and workforce are represented on the board of this highly effective program which works with first generation college students.
SB21-232 Displaced Workers Grant: This bill appropriates one time money to the Displaced Workers Grant Program. The displaced workers grant program supports Coloradans displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic who have completed a portion of their higher education but have not earned or completed a credential, or who have the need to reskill or upskill due to loss of employment.
SB21-240 Watershed Restoration Grant Program Stimulus: Appropriates one time stimulus money to the Colorado water conservation board construction fund for watershed protection programs.