Every year, Colorado’s legislature meets from January to May. This year, the House of Representatives and Senate were lead by different parties with opposing ideas.
Without cooperation, important bills that could have helped Colorado families get ahead failed, but a few passed that we can raise our glasses to:
- High school computers — a bill to allow computer science classes count toward math or science graduation requirements brings Colorado’s schools into the 21st century and gives students a better opportunity to compete for tech industry jobs.
- LARC — catchy name, but what is it? Long term birth control. Now uninsured women will have access to long-acting reversible contraception, a program touted as an example to follow nationwide.
- In-state Tuition for Colorado’s Homeless– ensuring Colorado youth can obtain their dreams.
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit— extends an existing program that allocates $5 million every year to provide housing to hard-working, Colorado families.
- Rain barrels — the feel-good bill that’s been trying to get passed for years now. It’s now legal in Colorado to water your yard with a personal rain barrel.
And oh man, weren’t there a lot of bad bills this session that failed. From selling off Colorado’s public lands to Voter ID laws and anti-choice bills and some beneficial bills we were keeping an eye on didn’t make it:
- Pay Equity—Race or gender shouldn’t make a difference on what you earn. FAILED
- Retirement Savings— As dollars get stretched on day to day expenses, we needed a bill that would have allowed any Colorado resident to save for their future. FAILED
- History and Culture in Schools— A bill that would have expanded the requirement for public schools to teach a more diverse history to reflect the diversity in our classrooms. FAILED
Our elected officials are not working for us when they put their politics before Colorado families. The Presidential race has gotten a lot of attention over the past six months (rightfully so), but the action is happening at the state level — action that impacts our lives as Colorado Latinos.
Pay attention this November, find out who is running to represent you next session. Your voice will make a difference in who is passing and failing bills in the 2017 legislative session.
—Maria Handley, Executive Director