The exciting and stimulating, but sometimes frenetic, pace at the Capitol continues.
With daily floor sessions lasting most of the mornings, and meetings of the Local Government or Judiciary committee filling the balance of the mornings and most of the afternoons, there is little time for a break. For example, on Monday the 14th, we heard and voted on 14 bills on the Floor, I met with two Colorado Springs constituents from the local NAACP visiting the capitol for Black Legislative Day, and then heard testimony on three bills in the local government committee from 1:30 until 4:00. After that I attended a reception honoring former State Treasure Cary Kennedy and heard testimonials by Gov. Ritter and Former Speaker Romanoff.
With support from the United Way, we passed a bill making Colorado eligible for funding for reducing the age of eligibility for homeless youth to stay at shelters from age 15 to 11 and extended their temporary time from 14 to 21 days.
Following the lead of the Colorado Association of Police Chiefs, I voted against the so-called Secure Communities Bill. I spoke with El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and he told me he opposed the bill as written. Although intended as a public safety measure, it punishes local communities by withholding state funds if they don’t have the resources or technology to follow its requirements. There was testimony describing how, in other communities, it was applied to tens of thousands of low level offenders, encouraged racial profiling and undermined community policing by creating distrust and reluctance to report crime. These are not consequences I can support.