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July 28, 2015
The 2015 legislative session was historic and productive! Not only was it the first time that two women led the Colorado House of Representatives as Speaker and Majority Leader, but we also successfully worked across the aisle to address the issues that matter most to Coloradans!
I spearheaded a bipartisan package of legislation to expand training and educational opportunities for Coloradans so our state’s workforce can fill the jobs of the 21st century. The “Colorado Ready to Work” package provides additional tools for students, the unemployed and underemployed to find good-paying jobs. The nine-bill package signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper focuses on making the public more aware of good jobs that already exist and providing the necessary training to help Coloradans gain the skills needed to fill those jobs. It also encourages strong partnerships with businesses to create innovative educational models to ensure that Coloradans are ready to work and meet the demands of Colorado’s emerging high-tech economy.
Economic Growth That Benefits All of Colorado
We passed a “Jump Start Program for Economically Distressed Regions” to encourage development in the areas of Colorado with the lowest wages and highest unemployment. This effort provides tax benefits to new businesses that locate in distressed regions that partner with a local college.
Colorado is known as the “Silicon Valley of Agriculture” and we successfully passed legislation to allow the state to invest up to $250 million in lease-purchase agreements to enable Colorado State University to expand its agricultural programs at the National Western Center. The year-round event and education center will be a boost for the long-neglected Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods and will help Colorado preserve its western agricultural heritage.
We passed the “Claire Davis School Safety Act” in an effort to make Colorado schools safer. I was humbled to work with Michael and Desiree Davis on this meaningful legislation after the life of their daughter was tragically taken by a fellow student during a shooting at Arapahoe High School. The bill creates a “reasonable care” duty for school districts and charter schools to protect students from the most violent crimes. This is the same standard that Colorado law applies to homeowners, businesses, nonprofits and private schools. We also established a task force to continue to evaluate school safety and propose best practices to protect our kids.
These are just a few of the successes of the 2015 session. We also worked to reduce the burden of state-mandated student assessments, address access to early childhood education and prepare for the “silver tsunami” in which the number of Coloradans over the age of 65 is expected to more than double by 2040.
I am humbled to serve my constituents in House District 5 and the people of Colorado as the Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives. With your support, I will continue to work to strengthen the middle class and advocate for all Coloradans to have access to the American Dream.
March 5, 2015
They said we couldn't do it, but we did.
Today, Colorado Democrats and Republicans came together to expand and strengthen our middle class after months of preparation and consultation.
Although the top one percent has watched their income expand, salaries for hard working, middle-class families have been stagnant in many cases. Too many Coloradans are working more hours and living paycheck to paycheck. Our families are working harder just to stay afloat.
That's why together we have developed the Colorado Ready to Work package! This package of bills will help create not only more jobs, but better paying jobs. Jobs that will help expand and strengthen the middle class across Colorado.
Ensuring Coloradans are ready to work is not a partisan issue. It is a Colorado issue. That's why I'm pleased that many of the bills in our package have bipartisan support.
So if you are a recent college grad who is buried under student debt and struggling to find work, a mid-career worker who needs a new set of skills to be competitive in today's job market, or a single mom who wants tools to be able to find a good- paying job, the Colorado Ready to Work package could improve your economic security.
Jobs are a priority we can all support. I'm proud that we can show Congress how we here in Colorado get things done in a bipartisan fashion!
Mobile Learning Labs (Lontine & Hamner/Marble & Donovan)
Career Pathways (Melton & Garnett/Woods & Kerr)
P-TECH (Foote & Duran/Woods & Todd)
WORK Act (Pabon & Williams/Cooke)
Career & Technical Education Programs and Concurrent Enrollment (Winter/Marble & Heath)
HB15-1170 Post-Secondary and Workforce Readiness Coordinator (Kraft-Tharp & Wilson/Hill & Heath)
HB15-1230 Innovative Industries Internships (Lee & Foote/Cooke & Heath)
SB15-082 County Workforce Development Programs (Moreno & Lawrence/Marble & Hodge)
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