A lot going on at `the Cap'

By state Sen. Linda Newell

Posted

There's a lot going on down at “the Cap,” as we say, and my personal plate has been full as well. Thought you'd like to see the progress of some of my bills this session.

• On March 15, my first bill of 2013 was signed into law! HB 13-1084 addresses child care licensing status when a new FEIN (Federal tax identity number) is issued. This legislation seeks to reduce child care costs for parents by eliminating duplicative red tape for child care providers while maintaining the integrity, safety, and quality infrastructure of the child care center licensing process.

• Cutting red tape and streamlining for government and business owner efficiency is one of my favorite things to do as a legislator. On March 20, HB 13-1223 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This bill helps small health insurance companies and Division of Insurance staff by modifying reporting requirements.

• SB 13-163 has passed through both chambers, and is now on its way to the Governor for signing. This continues the Colorado Infant Hearing Advisory Committee (CIHAC). The CIHAC makes recommendations on guidelines for newborn hearing screening and best practices for hospitals, audiologists, early interventionists, and physicians. Our Colorado advisory committee has received national attention for its innovation and effectiveness in identifying close to 100 newborns with hearing loss every year. Finding and treating this condition early helps the child, the parents, and the taxpayers.

• I'm really excited about my HB 13-1147 that passed through the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on March 20. This bill gives college students an opportunity to register to vote at the time of course enrollment. I am proud to encourage young adults to start a lifelong habit of participating in civic engagement by being registered voters!

• On March 21, HB 13-1060 passed through the Senate Local Government Committee. I'm enjoying working with Mayor Tisdale of Cherry Hills, Mayor Rakowsky of Greenwood Village, and the Colorado Municipal League on their one bill they're proposing this year. Maximum municipal court fines have not been increased in 21 years. So, in order to keep up with current economies and growing lawlessness of “bad actors,” this bill allows a municipal judge to fine a person or entity up to $2,650 when convicted of violating a municipal ordinance. Another example of bipartisan efforts to solve challenges!

• HB 13-1104 regulates mental health professionals, repeals the requirement that these professionals orally disclose their credentials, maintains written disclosure, and modifies the peer health assistance program for the practitioners. HB-1104 is also on its way to the Governor to sign.

For more details about the state legislative session or my work, please sign up for my email newsletter updates via Linda.newell.senate@gmail.com or 303-866-4846. You're also welcome to join me at the Capitol to see the action “up close and personal” for a short time or all day. Just let us know your timing, and we'll be ready for you. Session ends mid-May.

State Sen. Linda Newell represents District 26, which includes Littleton, western Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, part of Englewood, Sheridan, Columbine Valley and portions of Bow Mar.