At church services across Colorado, you'll often hear, “How are the children?” Knowing that this is one of my major policy areas, constituents …
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At church services across Colorado, you'll often hear, “How are the children?” Knowing that this is one of my major policy areas, constituents ask me that question frequently. I'm happy to report that this session, we're continuing to work for kids in Colorado. It has been said that if there's any role of government, it should be to help protect children and the most vulnerable.
• My first bill of 2013, SB 13-008, Eliminate Waiting Period Under Children's Basic Health Plan, has passed through Senate Health and Human Services and Appropriations committees. It now moves on to the floor for debate. Currently, Colorado requires a child to be uninsured for three months before enrolling in the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) if a child has been previously insured by a comparable health plan through an employer who has contributed 50 percent of the dependent's premium cost. SB 13-008 is seeking to eliminate this waiting period for enrollment in CHP+ for children who meet all other enrollment criteria. Our state is currently ranked 41st in the nation for insuring our kids. This bill will bring relief and peace of mind to many deserving Colorado families as well as saving taxpayer dollars!
• My second bill, SB 13-047, Protections for Youth in Foster Care Against Identity Theft, unanimously passed through the Senate's Health and Human Services Committee. Children in foster care are three times more likely to experience identity theft because their personal information passes through so many hands, increasing the chances that someone will open an account in their name or use their Social Security number. Since being in the “system” is hard enough as it is, SB 13-047 seeks to prevent children in foster care from being re-victimized by offering them protections against identity theft. (This is an improvement on my bill from a couple of years ago addressing this issue.)
• This year, I am continuing to chair the Children's Caucus, which is a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators that focuses on policy and current issues about children. Over the session, we will hear expert presentations and discuss child protection, early childhood and K-12 education, children's physical and mental health, and juvenile justice. To find more information about the 2013 Children's Caucus, please visit http://cochildrenscaucus.weebly.com/.
• You will also be hearing about our Child Protection Agenda that we're working on with Gov. Hickenlooper. I am leading a core group of legislators who came forward with me to work on this critical issue. Together, we have come up with a slate of legislative bills and executive actions that will better the lives of children and, potentially, save lives as well. As we get closer to action on those, I'll share them with you, but very good news for the children of Colorado.
You are welcome to contact me at the Capitol or in the district at 303-866-4846 or Linda.Newell.Senate@gmail.com.
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.
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