ALL THINGS INSPIRATIONAL
The 2007 Legislative Session ended on Friday, May 4, five days ahead of schedule saving the taxpayers at least $75,000 and allowing me a couple of days to sleep in. Now that's inspirational! On Friday when I arrived at the Capitol there was the resonating sound of mariachi music echoing from the first floor all the way up to the top of the Rotunda, filling the entire legislative space with lively rhythms. The musicians were a renowned group of high school students from Adams County who played their hearts out and did the same from the House Gallery. There was even some dancing in the aisles. Rep. Ed Casso invited the students to help the legislators acknowledge Cinco de Mayo and the importance of celebrating different cultures.
On Friday, the House passed the Senate version of the Iraq War Resolution, SJM-002, mostly along party lines, and after some interesting political maneuvering. I voted for SJM-002 and encouraged my legislative colleagues to vote their conscience.
On Sunday, Rep. Randy Fischer and I visited with property owners near Nunn to see the land under which Powertech Mining Company is proposing to mine uranium. The land is expansive and beautiful, and the people who live there are authentic - representing a heritage and way of life that is worth preserving, not to mention the ground water that sustains everything. This issue affects Fort Collins and all of northern Colorado so get involved in whatever ways you can: www.nunnglow.com.
JOHN'S LEGISLATIVE UPDATE & 2007 SUCCESSES
HB-1026, Graduate Student Health Insurance - signed into law 3/15/07.
HB-1131, Hemodialysis Technician Certification & Training Standards, passed 3rd reading in the Senate 5/2; on its way to the Governor.
HB-1162, Voter Choice Act of 2007, killed in House Appropriations, but authorized by House Speaker Romanoff as Voter Choice Interim Task Force with legislative council support.
HB-1220, Purchasing of Environmentally Preferable Products - signed into law 4/25/07.
HB-1260, Changing Sunset Review Dates for State Boards of Nursing & Chiropractor Examiners - signed into law 4/2/07.
HB-1290, Dept. of Revenue Reporting on Tax Policy Impacts, Accountability & Transparency, lost in House Finance Committee on 2/20. Issue has been raised with Dept. of Revenue, and we are working to determine how these analyses can be achieved with new computer systems.
HB-1349, Child Support Obligations, passed 3rd reading in Senate on Friday, 5/4. House concurred with Senate amendments, including gambling payment intercept act; on its way to the Governor.
SB-213, Licensing of Addiction Treatment Programs, passed 3rd reading in House, 4/27 with amendment; Senate concurred on 4/30; on its way to Governor.
HJR-1031, Colorado Pedestrian Month, adopted 4/20.
SJM-005, Support for Gestational Diabetes Act, adopted 3/30.
Founded Common Good Caucus to serve as a bi-partisan forum for legislators interested in addressing poverty through public policy and private-sector solutions that promote self-sufficiency, family well-being, community development, and the common good.
Member of Hispanic Caucus & Diabetes/Obesity Caucus.
Founded Mobile Home/Manufactured Housing Fort Collins Task Force to implement solutions.
In-Situ Leaching Uranium Mining - working with Weld County landowners and concerned Larimer County citizens to stop Powertech Company.
Working to get Peace Pole planted at State Capitol near proposed Fallen Heroes Memorial.
Voted for and co-sponsored a variety of bills and resolutions that improve people's lives, and help our communities to be stronger while building an economy that works for all of us.
State Earned Income Tax Credit, drafted and was prepared to introduce legislation that established earned income rebate; withdrawn because too late in session to garner support and pass.
Conducted five HD-52 community conversations, five collaborative and sometimes bi-partisan town hall meetings and four educational forums dealing with health care, mobile home parks, Latino/a issues and poverty while attending numerous community functions.
MAKING PROGRESS - END OF SESSION WRAP-UP
From my perspective, based on Democratic priorities and values, I believe the 2007 session was very successful. Often with bi-partisan support, we achieved much of what we set out to do - to benefit the people, communities and businesses of Colorado while protecting our environment and putting Colorado squarely on the map as a leader in renewable energy development.
We passed a state budget that reflects a shift in values and priorities so that we are investing more wisely in our education, health care, human service, transportation, business and natural infrastructures. We passed a School Finance Act that helps address the decline of local property tax support for public schools, helps shore up the State Education Fund, provides more resources for full-day kindergarten and pre-school opportunities, and begins to deal with local property tax disparities around the state.
We passed legislation that will make Colorado and Fort Collins a better place live, work and raise a family or play golf if thats what you like to do. We made real progress and improvements in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental protection, public health, health care access and affordability, more affordable prescription medicines, education from pre-school through post-secondary, consumer protection, campaign finance and election reform, urban and rural economic development, transportation and capital development, equality and fairness, criminal justice reform, human and workers' rights, family well-being and self-sufficiency, and personal responsibility.
Have I left anything out? Now you may be thinking that I am making all this up and so I would encourage you to come to our next town hall meeting with specific questions about these issues and more. If you do not agree about what we did in the legislature or if you see things from a different point of view, all the more reason you should attend and stay involved. Contact me at
or call me at home, 970-221-1135 or set up a time to meet in person this summer or fall. Thanks.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Homepage Bills Journal Members
WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN DO BETTER
Please join me this Saturday, 5/12, 9:30 to 11:30 AM for a "Bi-Partisan Town Hall Meeting To Wrap Up the 2007 Legislative Session" at CSU, Lory Student Center, Rm. 228 (wheelchair accessible). Representative Randy Fischer and Senator Bob Bacon will be present. Reps. Don Marostica and Kevin Lundberg and Sen. Steve Johnson have been invited.
Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform Community Meeting, Sat, 5/12, 1:00 - 4:00 PM, Harmony Public Library, 4616 S. Shields Street. Northern Colorado residents are invited to provide their feedback on health care reform proposals that have been submitted to Commission. This meeting is part of a series of public forums designed to capture comments from the community about the Commission's efforts to make recommendations on comprehensive health care reform in Colorado. The goal of the May meetings is to hear from members of the public about the principles they believe should underlie any health reform plan, and the features they believe should be included.
Twenty-eight reform proposals have been submitted to the Commission. The Commission met on May 7 to narrow down the comprehensive proposals for further consideration, and on May 18 will select three to five proposals that will be submitted to an independent firm for detailed evaluation. All proposals may be viewed at www.colorado.gov/208commission.
ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
Family is most important and war is not the answer. My son Harlan leaves next week for a year or more in Afghanistan. Please keep him and all soldiers and civilians who may be in harms way in your prayers and thoughts. Keep the people of Greensburg, Kansas in your prayers and thoughts. And always remember to keep the faith and your loved ones close to heart. Despite the odds, I still believe we can bring our beloved planet and its people back from the brink.
Rep. John Kefalas
Phone: 303-866-4569 (o), 970-221-1135 (h)