Guest column

Come on down to the Capitol

Posted

We’ve started another legislative session at the Colorado Capitol and this is my last as a sitting senator, since I’m termed out at the end of 2016. So now’s your last chance to come to the Capitol and join me for 15 minutes or all day. I’ll bring you to the Senate floor or take you to committee, and you can see it up close and personal. After all, it is the people’s building and the people’s process, so it belongs to you. (It’s fascinating to hear what some people say and see how they vote.) We’re in session until the first week of May, so hope you can make it before then.

If you’re unable to make it in person, the next best thing is watching the floor work on Channel 165, the Colorado Channel on cable. If you’re on satellite television, you don’t get that channel, but there’s streaming video online. It only covers portions of the floor work, but at least you can get an idea of what your representatives and senators are doing under the dome.

In the meantime, as your state senator, I thought you’d like to know what I’m working on this year. I’m continuing to serve on Health and Human Services, Business, Labor and Technology committees, and year-round on the Joint Technology Committee. I’m also continuing as founder and co-chair of the Children’s Caucus and co-chair of the Behavioral and Mental Health Caucus.

For year-round service, I serve on:

• Colorado Workforce Development Council

• Mentally Ill in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Committee

• Suicide Prevention Commission

• School Safety and Youth in Crisis Committee

• Office of Dispute Resolution Advisory Council

• Ethics Board

• Legislative Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery Committee

• Conflict Resolution Month Advisory Group

For my own bills this session, I’m working on:

• Reducing our suicide rate in Colorado. (We have risen again, and are now seventh highest in the country.)

• Finding the balance of catching, but not over-criminalizing, those who “sext.”

• Continuing to tackle human trafficking in our state.

• Requiring transparency of drug pricing for prescriptions or treatments over $50,000.

• Identifying children who have been prenatally exposed to substances. (This is the one 100-percent preventable cause of developmental disabilities.)

• Prosecuting habitual offenders of domestic violence.

• Stopping people from fraudulently using their pets to pose as service animals so they can get access to places or airplanes without cost.

• Repealing obsolete or unnecessary agency reports currently required in statute.

• Striking the balance between expectation of privacy and economic development with the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones).

• Restricting children’s access to marijuana.

If you’d like to join us at the Capitol or at one of my town halls, please email me or call my office below. You can also sign up for our email newsletter there to get the latest legislative updates. You’re also welcome to testify on any of the bills. For questions, call us.

Linda Newell is the state senator of Senate District 26, which includes Littleton, Englewood, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, west Centennial and parts of Aurora. She can be reached at 303-866-4846 or linda.newell.senate@gmail.com.

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