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When the 2014 legislative session began, I was honored to serve as the youngest woman and first Latina to Chair the Joint Budget Committee. To me it was not enough to be the "first," but more important to bring forward the values and voices of all Coloradans in our budget.
While I thought I might be attacked for my old "big hair" pics, I never expected what was in store.
Seven months of hard work, compromise and negotiation produced a budget that invested in every community across Colorado.
Even in challenging moments, I remained focused on what was most important - YOU.
The veteran in Colorado Springs in need of job training. The high school student in Fort Collins who needs tuition assistance to go to college. The woman in Pueblo who wants to start a business but needs the tools to succeed. The teen in Arvada in need of mental health services after being bullied by peers. The Grand Junction parents struggling to stay in the workforce without access to affordable child care. The Lyons family who lost their home due to the flood.
The lives and futures of all these Coloradans, and hundreds of thousands more, are being made more secure because of the budget we passed this year.
Please help me to continue to bring forward the voice of Coloradans to the state Capitol and donate $5, $25 or whatever you can afford today to my re-election campaign.
It is truly an honor to serve you, to have chaired one of the legislatureís most meaningful committees, and to have helped write and pass a budget for the people of Colorado.
A PRODUCTIVE SESSION 2014 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
96% of bills that passed had bipartisan support.
As the prime sponsor and in collaboration with other legislators, the following bills have been signed, or will be signed, by Governor Hickenlooper:
Affordable Child Care HB1317
This bill will enable more Colorado families to go from welfare to work. In some instances, Colorado parents pay as much as $14,000 per child per year for quality child care. HB 1317 creates tiered reimbursement programs that incentivize and reward successful, high-quality child care programs and ensure that families with lower incomes receive more state dollars to help struggling parents remain in the workforce. The bill also lowers copayments for families with incomes below the federal poverty level and implements policies that support parentsí efforts to find and keep a job. Thanks to the Colorado Children's Campaign, the Colorado Center on Law & Policy, and child care providers across the state who weighed in on this policy.
Increased Access to Reasonably Priced Housing HB1017
This bill increases the availability of reasonably priced housing through tax credits for developers and the establishment of a housing investment trust fund and housing development grant fund. The Joint Budget Committee invested an additional $4.2 million towards building or redeveloping affordable housing in Colorado. Thanks to housing advocacy groups, developers, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the Colorado Housing Finance Authority for your strong support of this legislation.
Promotion of Electric Car Charging Stations Through Grants SB28
Last session, I passed legislation to give consumers a tax credit when they purchase cars that have a positive impact on the environment. This sessionís bill will build more electric car charging stations in public places, continuing my work to promote electric cars.
Colorado Creative Districts HB1093
This bill established the Creative District Community Loan Fund and made an investment of $100,000. The Office of Economic Development will make loans or loan guarantees from the newly created Creative District Community Loan Fund to develop, construct or redevelop commercial real estate, mixed used projects or community facilities for state-certified creative districts like the Santa Fe Art District or the RINO Art District.
Authorize Shooting Range to Be Built in Grand Junction HB1275
This bill authorizes the Parks & Wildlife Commission to purchase property to build a multi-use shooting facility in Grand Junction. As a sixth-generation Coloradan from a family of hunters, I know the importance of continuing to promote outdoor activities that are part of our stateís heritage.
Medical Marijuana Health Effects Grant Program SB155
This bill invests dollars to study the potential therapeutic and medical benefits of marijuana and help physicians better understand the biochemical effects of prescribed marijuana.
Recreational Marijuana Tax Proposal SB215
This bill invests recreational marijuana tax revenues into substance abuse treatment and efforts to reduce substance abuse among adults and teenagers, including an advertising campaign to warn Coloradans about the effects of marijuana. The bill also invests dollars in the development of a financial services network for marijuana businesses.
As chairwoman of the Joint Budget Committee, Iím especially proud of this year's budget, which will help every community in Colorado. Whether itís assisting with flood and wildfire recovery, making historic investments in our education system, or increasing economic opportunity and security for all Coloradans, this bill will help move our state forward long into the future.
This yearís budget:
Colorado Budget Invests in Girls and Women to Reach Their Full Potential
By Alvina Vasquez
2013 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
A message from Rep. Crisanta Duran about this year's historic legislative session:
We kicked off this year's legislative session with the promise that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules should be able to have access to economic opportunity and the American dream. It has truly been a historic session. With your support, I worked to:
Because of your continued support, I have been able to accomplish these goals. It is truly an honor to serve and I'm proud to bring the values of our state forward.
May 21, 2013
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