Bills being heard in Committee:
SB11-071 Measures to Reduce Energy Costs for Consumers Sen. Mitchell Sponsor
This bill, SB11-071, would help reign in some of the higher rates that utilities are passing onto their customers in order to meet restrictive renewable energy standards. It would restore us to what the voters passed in 2004, a 10% renewable energy standard. This bill would also help seniors, the unemployed, and the disabled who may spend significantly more of their time at home. Currently, there are tiered rates that unfairly penalize these groups of people because utility companies have instituted a “use more pay more strategy”. This is meant to discourage use of energy, but has the consequence of placing a larger burden on the people who may be the least able to afford it. Should you pay more per gallon of fuel because you use more? This does not restore the original purpose of the PUC, which was to provide affordable energy for the residents of Colorado. It does not address why their philosophy has changed to promotion of clean energy over affordable energy, nor does it address the phantom carbon tax they have placed on coal in order to help other energy sources appear more affordable.
Overall, it does help the consumer with their energy bills, which is step in the right direction and more in line with what voters have agreed to for renewable energy usage.
SB11-058 P.U.C. Least Cost Planning Rules Sen. Renfoe Sponsor
February 3rd Hearings: Health & Human Services SCR 356 1:30pm
Committee Members and links to contact information
SB11-019 Small Employer Health Insurance Payments Sen. K. King and Rep. Stephens sponsors
This is a bill that does something right: remove a government mandate on business. If this bill passes then employers who do not provide insurance as a benefit can choose to: a)reimb employees 100% of their premium cost b)reimb employees part of premium cost or c) not reimb employees at all.
Other bills being heard in Committee:
SB11-043 Sharps Safe Disposal Manufacturer Plans Sen. Steadman Sponsor
SB11-034 Required Reporting of Abuse & Neglect Sen. Nicolson Sponsor
SB11-006 Alternative Medicaid Program for Elderly Sen. Lundberg Sponsor
HB11-1107 A BILL FOR AN ACT CONCERNING ENFORCEMENT OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION VIOLATIONS Sponsors: Rep. Baumgardner and Senator Harvey
Agriculture Livestock & Natural Resources Committee - Hearing date: 2/14/11 Committee Members and links to contact information link
Recommendation: Strongly Support - Enforces laws on the books. Reduces attempts to set up unofficial “sanctuary cities”. that ignore the law at elected officials whim.
Bill Summary: The bill makes changes to the employment verification process and the associated fines. The bill directs state and local officials and agencies (officials and agencies) to fully comply with and assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. A law enforcement official and agency must make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an unlawful alien,
HB11-1131 Implementation of Mail Ballot Elections Sponsors: Rep. Murray and Sen. Johnston
State, Veterans & Military Affairs - Hearing date; 2/10/11 Committee Members & Links to contact information
Bill Summary: The bill requires all general, primary, odd-year, recall, and congressional vacancy elections to be conducted as mail ballot elections. A mail ballot election is an election for which eligible electors receive a ballot by mail and may cast the ballot by mail or may surrender the mail ballot at a service center and cast a ballot in person.
Recommendation: Strongly Oppose
“Lowest cost” is not the best or only mechanism for making a decision of this sort. If efficiency and cost savings are the only metrics, then any number of bad scenarios are justifiable. Neither is “Increased voter turnout.” Neither is rapid turnaround and reporting of results. The overarching concern and the singular mission here should be election integrity, and I don’t think this bill or its underlying premise will deliver that. Voter fraud is an historical and current reality. It’s not a risk, which implies probability; it’s a problem, and we need a system that will increase systemic security and integrity, not make fraud more likely. Saying “there will be no cheating” belies either dangerous naiveté, total disregard for history, lack of intelligence, or desire to get an easily defrauded system in place. For the complete analysis please go to LW Facebook page and for action items on how to prevent passage please read the note on LW Facebook page. FYI - you do not have to join FB to read as LW is a public web page.
HB11-1048 Creation of Income Tax Credits for Non-Public Education Sponsors: Rep. Swalm and Sen. Lundberg
Education Committee - Hearing date; 2/7/11 Committee Members & Links to contact information
*Bill corrects some of the oversights, i.e. the SBE rules of attendance governing private schools.
*The bill will not incite mass exodus from the public schools.
*The bill will only help those considering leaving beginning in 2012.
*It also sends an endorsement of the validity of nonpublic education to the state.
*Many states have ALREADY adopted similar measures and their public school systems are alive and well. You may find a listing of these states at www.hslda.org under Issues.
SB11-077 The Use of Deadly Physical Force Against a Person Who Makes an Illegal Entry Into a Place of Business Sponsors: Rep. Becker and Sen. Granthan
State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee - Hearing date: not set Committee Members & Links to contact information
Recommendation: Strongly Support
Bill Summary: The bill extends the right to use deadly force against an intruder under certain conditions to include owners, managers, and employees of businesses.
SB11-008 Aligning Children's Medicaid Eligibility Sponsors: Rep. Gerou and Sen. Boyd
Health & Human Services - Hearing date: 2/9/11 Committee Members & Links to contact information
Recommendation: Strongly Oppose
Bill Summary: The bill increases the current Medicaid income eligibility threshold of 100% of the federal poverty line for children who are between 6 and 19 years of age to equal the income eligibility threshold for pregnant women and children from birth to 5 years of age, which is currently set at 133% of the federal poverty line. (This act shall take effect September 1, 2011)
While it is understandable why Progressive Senator Boyd would sponsor such a bill as SB11-008, it is harder to understand the House sponsorship of GOP Rep Gerou (HD 25); a member of the RSCC. This an organization dedicated to a limited and Constitutional role for civil government and believes citizens must retain the primary responsibility to provide for their own health care needs while employed, and in advance of their retirement. It also stands against the erosion of the original intent of Medicaid and believes plans for state-dictated universal health care coverage should be resisted.
SB11-008 violates these principles . More importantly, SB11-008 is in direct conflict current political realities. The November elections and the events of the two years leading up to them saw the American people stand up and repudiate a national health care law passed only though coercion, brides and without the consent of the governed along with the massive government expansion and control it brings over every aspect of their lives. Below are some of the objections to this bill and for the complete analysis please visit our Facebook page which you do not have to join FB to read as it is a public web page.
Our strong objections to SB11-008 are many as it:
- Forces additional taxpayer burden by accelerating a coming federal mandate by two years
- Recklessly adds to the $1 billion state shortfall
- Falsely, reinforces a non mandatory entitlement program as a primary function of government
- Reduces individual responsibility in providing for health care for themselves and families making more people dependent on government services
- Further relies on more federal money at a time of national fiscal crisis
- Expands the size and scope of government
The Republican Study Committee of Colorado (RSCC) is a voluntary association of elected Colorado legislators that formulates, supports, and communicates legislative actions and positions consistent with its vision and Declaration of Principles.
An ambitious new initiative this session is the Legislative Bill Analysis project. With the input of liberty groups across the state, the idea is to review proposed legislation against the metric of the RSCC Principles to see whether the proposed legislation is consistent with those principles. Any legislation may be reviewed, regardless of the bill sponsor and regardless of which principles may be deemed to apply.
The RSCC is partnering with Liberty Watch (LW) on this important project and the LW team has already provided some great analysis which has gone into the RSCC’s Senate Floor Report and House Floor Report. In addition, LW can act as a clearing house and coordinator of sorts for those interested in participating in this effort. This assistance from LW is of great help to the RSCC however, any group that would prefer to participate with the RSCC directly is certainly welcome to contact us. The combined analysis from RSCC, LW and others is used when selecting bills and as a result, you help create the weekly Floor Reports that get distributed to our RSCC members each week. The latest floor reports are at: http://www.rscc.us/analysis.html
The RSCC has also created an algorithm that will track and analyze legislator votes. Not only will it reflect how consistently legislators vote for principled legislation, it will even drill down to parse out voting patterns by principle and summarize the results for each legislator.
Finally – a HUGE goal of this project is create communication between grass roots groups and legislators. Remember that this project is more about building support for good legislation than about creating dissent. Grass roots groups MUST remember to ACTIVELY SUPPORT our legislators when they take a stand for principle. The media will always hammer them when they do, and we must not stand by as the silent majority. We must support them in word and in action when they need it, because it is a tough job to stand on principle in the Capitol. With your help, they’ll be better equipped to do it!
Rich Bratten, Executive Director