Democrats Create Jobs, Make Heathcare More Affordable, Expand Unemployment Benefits
(DENVER) - July 1 marks the day that a number of new laws spearheaded by Democrats go into effect. While some bills help consumers, others aim to jump-start the economy and create jobs. A number of others provide support for laid-off workers and aim to make healthcare more affordable.
Economy and Jobs:
Before he left for a tour in Iraq with the Army Reserve, Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton) sponsored Senate Bill 91 (with Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver) to make sure that auto dealers, often small business owners, are protected if their parent company terminates their franchise agreement. This bill became especially relevant when Chrysler and General Motors suddenly sent termination notices to a number of their franchisees.
And the Democrats have prepared Colorado to rebound when the economy recovers by passing Senate Bill 228. Sen. John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) made sure this important bipartisan bill was passed so Colorado can untie a knot of outdated and conflicting fiscal mandates and doubles the state’s rainy day reserve fund.
The Democrats introduced the Colorado Health Care Affordability Act is the most significant health reform legislation in Colorado in four decades. HB 1293 (Rep. Jim Riesberg, Sen. Moe Keller and Sen Betty Boyd) will provide health coverage to more than 100,000 uninsured Coloradans and reduce uncompensated care and cost shifting. The bill goes into effect on Wednesday and after applying for federal approval, the first patients will be added to the list next spring. This bill was a key piece in Governor Ritter’s legislative agenda.
Rep. Rice and Senator Linda Newell (D-Littleton) predict that House Bill 1012, which allows healthcare companies to provide incentives for participation in wellness and prevention programs, will promote both personal responsibility and lower insurance premiums.
Senator Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood), Sen. Lois Tochtrop, and nurse and lawmaker Sara Gagliardi (D-Arvada) are committed to making healthcare more accessible and affordable by expanding the care that nurses are able to provide. Now, nurses, nurse aides and advanced practice nurses can provide more care, in more communities, for less money.
Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) worked to pass House Bill 1141 to better protect consumers by updating consumer lease regulations and the availability of free credit reports as well as freeing up debt-management services to help those facing foreclosure.
Two laws will protect Coloradoans from identity theft. Rep. Debbie Benefield’s (D-Westminster) SB 025 provides for anti-fraud features on driver’s licenses and verifies legal qualifications for entitlement programs.
It’s not illegal in Colorado to possess someone else’s passport. It’s not illegal to possess ten people’s Social Security cards without their permission.
Senate Bill 93, sponsored by Sen. Suzanne Williams (D-Aurora) will go into effect on Wednesday and all that will change. SB 93 would make it illegal for individuals to knowingly possess another person’s passport, drivers’ license or Social Security card without permission.
No more “sexting.” HB 1132, sponsored by Sen. Rollie Heath (D- Boulder) and Rep. Murray adds text messaging and IM’ing to the list of internet crimes against a child.
And Democratic leadership (Speaker Terrance Carroll and President Brandon Shaffer) passed House Bill 1326 which will protect citizens from crooked petition-gatherers.
The Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (SB 247), sponsored by Sen. Lois Tochtrop and Rep. Sal Pace, makes more Coloradans eligible for unemployment insurance. It also provides funding to cover 13,000 unemployed Coloradans with 20 additional weeks of unemployment benefits, and extends benefits to people in job training programs.
As of Wednesday, House Bill 1091 requires all new homes and apartments to be built with carbon-monoxide detectors.