Legislation to brag about
Lawmakers considered more than 700 bills this session. The Rocky Mountain News asked the governor and lawmakers fromboth parties to list three to five bills they're most proud of championing-either for their passage or defeat. In some cases, their lists overlapped. Republicans,who are in the minority in both houses, included their efforts to kill Democratic bills.


House Bill 1281

Doubles requirements so 20 percent of the energy produced by Colorado's largest utilities must come from renewable sources.

Status: Signed into law

Gov. Bill Ritter: " 'New Energy Economy' legislation was truly one of the signature accomplishments of 2007 legislative session. We enjoyed bipartisan support as we advanced one of the most important issues of our time: creating a secure energy future for Colorado and creating new economic opportunities across the state."

House Bill 1341

Changes the makeup of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Ritter: "This bill brings much-needed balance to the commission and allows impacts to public health and environment to be considered as Colorado experiences one of the most active energy booms in state history."

Senate Bill 199

Includes an amendment to the annual school finance act that stabilizes the state's property tax rates to keep the education fund solvent.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Ritter: "Voters elected us to solve problems. This fix staves off a fiscal crisis that was just a few years in the offing, while giving voice to voters in nearly every school district across the state."

Senate Bill 1

Establishes the Colorado Cares Program to provide generic prescription drugs to eligible people who are not insured, are not eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Basic Health Plan, and whose income is under 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

Status: Signed into law

Ritter says: "This bill gives 264,000 eligible Coloradans access to discounted medications, an important step in addressing the high cost of health care for everyday Coloradans."

Senate Bill 239

Includes an anti-recidivism package in the annual budget bill.

Status: Signed into law, with portions vetoed, but the veto was overridden Friday

Ritter says: "Nearly half of Colorado's inmates return to prison within three years. If we can cut down that number, we not only will save money, but we'll make our neighborhoods safer."


Senate Bill

1 By Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora: Establishes the Colorado Cares Program.

Status: Signed into law

Hagedorn: "These citizens are paying for these prescription drugs, the state is not subsidizing the costs. What we can provide for them is the opportunity to buy affordable prescription drugs. For me, personally it is morally the right thing to do."

Senate Bill 26

By Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins: Gives local school districts the option to put a question to the voters to use an additional mill levy for ongoing and capital expenses for full-day kindergarten.

Status: Signed into law

Bacon: "Evidence shows that all-day kindergarten greatly increases a child's academic success. This bill simply gives school districts and their communities the option."

Senate Bill 97

By Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, D-Coal Creek Canyon: Redistributes tobacco settlement money, relocating 49 percent in trust funds next year to the financially strapped University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Status: Signed into law

Fitz-Gerald: "We need to stop the bleeding."

House Bill 1054

By Sen. Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont: Adds 43 new judges and support staff to the state of Colorado over the next three years.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Shaffer: "The number of judges in Colorado has not kept up with the growth in population and increased caseloads. Several counties have not added judges in 30 years."

Senate Bill 203

By Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver: Changes mortgage broker laws to require state licensure instead of registration, and requires the regulation of professional behavior of mortgage brokers.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Groff: "This bill responds to those unscrupulous mortgage brokers who fail to protect the consumer and destroy American dreams."


Senate Bill 199

By Sen. Sue Windels, D-Arvada: Stabilizes property taxes as part of the school finance act, a measure Ritter touted.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

GOP leadership: "All 15 Republicans in the Senate opposed this. It forces local school districts to raise property-tax bills for most Colorado home and business owners by $1.7 billion over the next 10 years and does so without being put to a popular vote. The governor pushed for this after brushing aside viable alternatives, and it establishes him as a tax hiker during his first few months in office."

Senate Bill 141

By Sen. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial: Would have created a teacher- performance incentive program that allows school districts to apply for grants to assist in funding incentive programs that reward excellent teachers.

Status: FAILED

GOP: "It was killed by the Dems in Senate Education Committee on a party-line vote."

Senate Bill 131

By Sen. Josh Penry, R-Fruita: Would have added course requirements in math and science as a condition of high school graduation.


GOP: "The bill made it out of the Senate, but was killed in the House Education Committee when the usual suspects - the public education lobby - shot it down. The fate of such education measures illustrate how the '07 session was about Democrats' preference for tax hikes over far-reaching, meaningful reform."


Senate Bill 1

By Rep. Alice Madden, D-Boulder: The affordable prescription drug bill also touted by Ritter and Senate Democrats.

Status: Signed into law

Madden: "This provides access to affordable drugs for hundreds and thousands of Coloradans who really need them."

House Bill 1281

By Rep. John Kefalas, R-Fort Collins: Doubles renewable energy requirements, one of the bills also touted by Ritter.

Status: Signed into law

Kefalas: "Colorado will be the renewable energy capital of the world as we transition to an economy in which sustainable energy resources are key components."

Senate Bill 199

By Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder: Adds the property tax stabilization to school finance.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Pommer: "It's hard to believe that after all their talk about education, all but five House Republicans opposed the most significant public education bill in years. Republicans are all talk and no action when it comes to public education."

House Bill 1184

By Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver: Orders state fund managers to divest Colorado's largest pension fund ($38.2 billion) from any companies doing business with Sudan.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Romanoff: "It is a rare occasion for state lawmakers to be able to adopt law that has international impact but this does. It was arguably one of the most bipartisan bills of the session having passed both chambers by a 97-1-2 vote total."

House Bill 1302

By Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction: Would have created a rainy-day fund.

Status: FAILED

Buescher: "This died in a Senate committee. We've pushed fiscal responsibility for years and we'll keep pushing until we get this through."


Senate Bill 131

By Rep. Rob Witwer, R-Genesee: Would have added course requirements in math and science as a condition of high school graduation.

Status: Died in committee

Witwer: "This would have prepared our children to compete in a global economy."

House Bill 1164

By Rep. Don Marostica, R-Loveland: Would have created the Taxpayer Trans- parency Act, making state expenditures of $300 or more available to the public on a searchable Web site.

Status: Died in committee

Marostica: "This is my only bill that won't get signed by the governor, and it was the most important. It opens up to the citi- zens of Colorado a look at construction contracts and grants and where our money is going."

House Bill 1072

By Rep. Mike Garcia, D-Denver: Would have repealed a core piece of current law requiring a second, secret-ballot, supermajority election to form an all-union workplace

Status: VETO

Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker: We made a lot of noise, not just in this building, but out on the street about how bad this bill was. We're proud of the role we played in the governor vetoing it."

House Bill 1326

By Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial: Requires registered sex offenders guilty of a crime against a child to provide e-mail addresses, chat room and instant messaging identities to law enforcement personnel.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Swalm: "The Democrats got a lot of bad publicity after killing my first bill. But I think I will be back next year trying again to extend this to all sex offenders. I think we need it."

House Bill 1150

By Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma: Creates the Clean Energy Authority to finance clean and renewable energy generation, manufacturing and transmission.

Status: Passed, sent to the governor

Gardner: "This promotes renewable energy in Colorado for the good for the environment and economic development in the state without using expensive mandates."