This Week at the Capitol: March 23

Legislation | 03/23/2018

Amy Pitlik
Director of Government Relations

TGIF! It’s looking like it’ll be another beautiful weekend here in Denver and another busy week at the Capitol.

On Monday we had our eye on three bills going through the Education Committee: HB-1266HB-1276, and SB-151. HB-1266 (Rep. D. Esgar, D-Pueblo; Rep. J. Wilson, R-Salida; Sen. O. Hill, R-Colorado Springs; Sen. N. Todd, D-Aurora), which would expand a career development pilot program for high school students, was referred without amendments to appropriations. HB-1276, Teaching Competent History in Public Schools (Rep. J. Salazar, D-Thornton; Sen. R. Fields, D-Aurora), was also referred to appropriations but with amendments. If passed, the bill would create a commission of experts to create a more culturally relevant history curriculum that is more inclusive of African American, Indigenous American, Hispanic Americans, and Asian American contributions and voices. The Education Committee also referred SB-151, Colorado Department of Education Bullying Policies Research (Sen. K. Priola, R-Henderson; Sen. R. Fields, D-Aurora; Rep.  J. Wilson, R-Salida; Rep. J. Buckner, D-Aurora), to the House Committee of the Whole with amendments.

The Finance Committee also met on Monday to refer HB-1070, Additional Public School Capital Construction Funding, unamended, to appropriations. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Young (D-Greeley), Rep. Wist (R-Centennial), Sen. Scott (R-Grand Junction), and Sen. Zenzinger, (D-Arvada), would increase the amount of financial assistance provided to public school capital construction by increasing the amount that revenue from the retail marijuana excise tax revenue can contribute.

On Tuesday, HB-1309, Programs Addressing Educator Shortages (Rep. J. Coleman, D-Denver, Rep. J. Wilson, R-Salida) Sen. O. Hill, R-Colorado Springs), was introduced in the House and assigned to the Education Committee. HB-1309 would require the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education to create a “grow your own” educator program.

The House Education Committee referred HB-1019, Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade Accreditation Weighted Factors (Rep. M. Foote, D-Lafayette), with amendments to Appropriations on Wednesday while HB-1021, Task Force for Youth Experiencing Homelessness (Rep. E. Hooton, D-Boulder; Rep. L. Landgraf, R-Fountain; Sen. J. Kefalas, D-Fort Collins), was postponed indefinitely. We also saw HB-1130, School District-authorized Instructors (Rep. D. Williams, R-Colorado Springs; Rep. J. James Arndt, D-Fort Collins; Sen. B. Gardner, R-Colorado Springs), and HB-1171, School Finance Mid-year Adjustment To Funding (Rep. K. Lundberg, R-Berthoud) sent to the Governor on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee referred HB-1193, Extend Advanced Placement Incentives Program (Rep. J. Wilson, R-Salida; Rep. B. McLachlan, D-Durango; Sen. R. Scott, R- Grand Junction; Sen. R. Zenzinger, D-Arvada) without amendments to appropriations and killed SB-159, Innovation School Operating As A Community School (Sen. R. Zenzinger, D-Arvada).

While SB-200, Modifications to PERA Public Employees’ Retirement (Sen. J. Tate, R-Centennial; Sen. K. Priola, R-Henderson; Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder; Rep. D. Pabon, D-Denver), continues to progress in the Senate, funding for the fix was part of JBC’s $825 million set aside this week (along with transportation and education funding).

This upcoming Monday, the Education Committee will look at HB-1277, BEST Building Excellent Schools Today Financial Assistance Grant (Rep. J. Becker, R-Fort Morgan; Rep. D. Esgar, D-Pueblo; Sen. R. Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs; Sen. J. Kefalas, D-Fort Collins);  HB-1266, Career Development Success Program Expansion (Rep. D. Esgar, D-Pueblo; Rep. J. Wilson, R-Salida; Sen. O. Hill, R-Colorado Springs; Sen. N. Todd, D-Aurora); and SB-011, Students Excused From Taking State Assessments (Sen. C. Holbert, R-Parker; Sen. A. Kerr, D-Lakewood; Rep. T. Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada; Rep. P. Lundeen, R-Monument).

The following Thursday, the Judiciary Committee will look at HB-1269, Parent Notice For Student Safety And Protection (Rep. P. Lundeen, R-Monument; Rep. B. Pettersen, D-Lakewood; Sen. O. Hill, R-Colorado Springs; Sen. R. Fields, D-Aurora). The bill would require parents to be notified of charges brought against public school employees for “alleged criminal conduct.”

We’ll see you back here next week for a round-up of the activities of these bills and more!

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