120 Days Later

120 days, a lot of late nights, and 721 bills later, the Spring 2018 Legislative Session has come to a close. It had its fair share of success and disappointments, but I’m proud of what we accomplished and it’s an honor to represent all of you while doing it.

This week we reached bipartisan compromises on bills that will direct millions of dollars to fix Colorado’s transportation infrastructure, continue the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and shore up PERA. I was a yes vote on the first two, but ultimately a no on SB18-200, the PERA bill. There were parts of the bill that I liked but felt that an extra 2% employee contribution was too high of a burden, especially for our teachers.

In regards to bills I sponsored, 19 of the 22 bills that I sponsored this session have either already been signed into law or are on their way to the Governor’s desk to be signed. Among them are a bill to help people who are “force pooled” by the oil and gas industry, one that creates a tax credit to help seniors and those with disabilities who need to modify their homes so they can continue living there, and a bill to extend the civil statute of limitations for domestic violence so that survivors have more time to recover and prepare their case.

 Governor Hickenlooper signs  SB18-138  into law. 

Governor Hickenlooper signs SB18-138 into law. 

Unfortunately, the FAMLI Act, which would have provided paid family leave to thousands of Colorado workers, as well as a bill to extend the distance an oil and gas facility has to be from a school both failed in the Senate. However, the progress that we did make on oil and gas issues this session makes me hopeful.

Of course, this isn’t everything we accomplished up at the Capitol this session. I’ll be hosting a legislative wrap-up town hall next Thursday and I look forward to discussing all of this and more with you.

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Thank you to everyone who has been engaged this session, whether it was emailing, calling, coming to town halls, or testifying in committee. I look forward to continuing to work with you all and encourage you to stay in touch with your thoughts, concerns, and ideas about our community over the summer and fall.

Matt GrayComment
March Legislative Update

Dear Friend,

After almost 10 hours of debate Wednesday night, we passed a preliminary version of the state budget just before midnight. After its final passage this morning, the House’s amended version of the budget will head over the Senate for discussion next week. It’s a good budget, with great new investment in education and transportation, as well as so many other essential services.

Rep. Faith Winter and I offered an amendment to the budget that passed. We also offered this amendment last year, but it didn't end up being part of the final budget. It would increase funding for the Department of Public Health and Environment to provide a new air quality monitoring machine to monitor oil and gas emissions. We still don’t know the full effects of oil and gas operations on air quality, but we need the equipment in order to know if something dangerous is happening in our communities. The budget still has to go through the Senate and be reconciled, so the amendment still has a ways to go before making it onto the final version.

 I was able to chair a portion of last night's budget debate. 

I was able to chair a portion of last night's budget debate. 

As well, one of my bills took a hopeful step this week. HB18-1267 passed 11-1 with bipartisan support out of Finance Committee and will now be on its way to the Appropriations Committee. The bill, which I’m sponsoring with Rep. Hugh McKean, would create a tax credit for people below a certain income who need to modify their homes due to an illness or disability. The bill would allow people to age in place and stay connected to their communities and would help so many people. Thank you to those who came and testified and have been putting in so much work on such a great piece of legislation. For more information, check out a story CBS 4 did on the bill.

Finally, I'll be changing it up with my April town hall. I'll be doing news & brews at 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3rd. Come support a local business and have a beer and chat with me and your neighbors about what's going on up at the State House. Feel free to stop by at any time from 6-8 p.m.

Matt GrayComment
Moving Forward

Two weeks ago at the Capitol was a hard week for just about everyone. After months of talking about expulsion and an even longer investigation into the allegations—all of which were found more likely than not to be credible—Rep. Steve Lebsock was expelled from the State House.

Rep. Lebsock's pattern of harassment, including his continued retaliation against the women who spoke out against him, was beyond unbecoming of a state legislator. It's this behavior that led me to push for expulsion from the beginning and to be a yes vote last Friday. Thank you to the women who came forward and to everyone who shared their stories at the well on Friday. My full remarks can be seen here.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not specific to only one man, but it is indicative of a broader culture at the State Capitol. We all have a role in working to eradicate this culture so that everyone who enters the Capitol—legislators, lobbyists, interns, aides, and all others—feels safe.

However, our other work still has to continue. We got back to business as usual last week.

Two of my bills have already passed the House and the Senate and are on their way to Governor's desk. As well, the FAMLI Act also cleared another hurdle, passing Finance Committee. It is now headed to Appropriations Committee. 

A number of my bills were also introduced this week, including a bill which would create a tax credit for those who need to modify their homes due to an illness or disability.

More information on the bills I'm running this session can be found on my website.

Finally, thank you to everyone who came out to caucus last week and to everyone who came to my town hall two weeks with Rep. Lori Saine. 

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Please continue to reach out with your questions and concerns.

Matt GrayComment