Category: Legislative Blog

Legislative Blog with House District 14 Representative Shane Sandridge

Greetings Republicans:

I’m in my first year as a legislator and I continue to be humbled and honored to represent House District 14.  I believe my district is a model of Colorado conservatism and I represent our district in that manner. As a conservative leader, I reach back to my life and professional experiences to understand the many nuances of public policy.

Prior to joining the Colorado Legislature, I worked as an inner-city police officer and have seen first-hand how progressive policies actually attract crime. I continue to support law enforcement and support the people who bravely risk their lives to keep our families safe. I stand firm against crime policies that are harmful to the community. My work as a police officer led to a great interest in teen criminality and behavior abnormalities.

As a former clinical psychotherapist, I have see first-hand how mental health policies impact a community.  I have real-life experience helping patients in crisis, and assisting them with realizing a better path in life.  I have worked on legislation to curb our suicide epidemic in Colorado Springs.

I believe in keeping government small, so that businesses can thrive. As a business owner myself, I understand that poorly constructed regulations hinder Colorado small businesses and make it difficult to create jobs. I am an entrepreneur, a job maker and a person who has had to manage a budget for his own business to assure payroll was met.

My experiences and faith with a strict focus on liberty mold my decision making process as a State Representative.  I fight for the unborn, small government, our Second Amendment rights, taxation with representation, as well as many other conservative values.  

In my free time, I enjoy spending time in the mountains, snowboarding, going to movies with my daughter, and exercising my Second Amendment right by going to the  range.

I always enjoy hearing from my constituents, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] 

Sincerely, 

Shane Sandridge 

House District 14 Representative 

 

Legislative Blog with House District 19 Representative Paul Lundeen

Greetings Republicans:

Smaller Government and Freer People. That’s the big goal of all the political and policy efforts I lead with my team. It’s the primary lens through which we consider all policy initiatives that we promote or oppose.

Occasionally there is a policy response to a societal question that makes it perfectly clear that we are far better off when we are guided by the principles of smaller government and freer people.

A bill that I recently sponsored in the Colorado House and have successfully handed off to the Senate (with only 8 votes in opposition in the House) is a perfect example. 

And this bill is especially potent because it’s also a perfect example of how conservative principles applied to a societal challenge will attract Unaffiliated voters and even some Democratic voters. 

The bill is HB18-1086 and it deals with providing additional, high quality pathways for nursing students to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees.  

We have a shortage of nurses in Colorado today and the problem is growing. The shortage of  BSN qualified nurses is especially acute. We are feeling the pinch in El Paso county as are counties all across the state.

According to the Tatiana Bailey, Director of the UCCS Economic Forum, Colorado Springs has a deficit of approximately 1300 trained nurses in our workforce. Bailey says:

Our hospitals (UC Health and Penrose St. Francis) are feeling that deficit acutely.  They are recruiting nationwide to bring nurses to our region to meet the workforce demands.  Our hospitals are also facing significant costs associated with hiring “travelers” nurses who come to our region and work temporarily at  much higher costs than regular fulltime employees.  Our hospitals are pressuring both UCCS and PPCC to dramatically and quickly increase the number of graduates.  Both hospitals have a goal of only hiring BSN trained nurses.  Currently, both hospitals give RN graduates 5 years to complete a BSN after they are hired. 

Not a pretty situation, but, there is reason to hope. Unlike many of the problems we face in Colorado today there is an easy policy solution to this problem. And from my perspective HB18-1086 is the biggest part of the solution.

We have a pre-existing network of community colleges. They are doing themselves proud graduating individuals onto the first rung of the professional nurse continuum with Associates Degrees in Nursing. What this Bill does is gives those community colleges, sprinkled all about our glorious state, the ability to help nurses achieve the next step in their professional development, the achievement of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (also known as a BSN). The community colleges will be held to the same standards of academic rigor that current BSN providers meet.  

The nurses who take the first step into nursing through the community colleges currently stack up academically very well when they choose to go on to a BSN degree. But there are not enough slots available, not enough programs provided. Our ability to encourage developing nurses to climb the mountain of professional developmental doesn’t have enough pathways. And we all know there’s more than one way to the top of a mountain. Without HB-1086 too many BSN candidates are forced to pay a premium, or worse, they leave our beautiful state and we lose their skill and our nursing shortage gets worse.

Simply put, the expanded nurse education opportunities legislation provides more pathways up the mountain of professional development. It allows community colleges to provide, all across the majestic skyline of Colorado new pathways to earn a BSN degree. This is especially useful because those schools already provide a solution to, in my mind, the most challenging part of nurse education, the laboratory and practicum elements that are a core part of the early phases of nursing education. 

So, HB18-1086, is a great example of how we can apply the principle of smaller government and freer people to the actions of the legislature and achieve a great benefit for the people of Colorado. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, I always enjoy hearing from my constituents. 

Sincerely,
 
 
Representative Paul Lundeen
House District 19 
 
Paul Lundeen serves in the Colorado House of Representatives, elected to HD19 and is the candidate for Senate District 9.  You may learn more about Paul at paullundeen.org.
 

Legislative Blog with House District 21 Representative Lois Landgraf

Greetings Republicans:

As I enter my 6th year as a legislator representing the great people of House District 21 I find myself reflecting on my body of work and the impact it’s had on Colorado. When elected, I made a commitment to myself that I would at least try to run substantial legislation aimed at helping those who need it. My philosophy has been a “hand up, not a hand out”. I was surprised when I looked back and found that, as of the end of the 2017 session, I had run 48 bills and resolutions. 

My work has included raising awareness for intellectual and developmental disabilities and combatting human trafficking, while protecting the victims coerced into human trafficking and protecting the victims of rape where a child was conceived. I have worked on building systems that improve the lives of those with disabilities in Colorado, ensuring that they receive the support they need. I have also sought to improve mental healthcare in Colorado as well as advocate for the rights of those who have been detained for mental health emergencies. 

As the wife of an Army veteran, the issues that veterans face have become very close to me. I’ve dedicated much of my time to serving the members of the armed forces in Colorado. These efforts include increasing tax deductions on military benefits, improving how courts address cases involving veterans and setting up a pilot program to pair veterans who suffer from PTSD with service dogs that they trained. I have not forgotten those that died in their service and those that have passed away and I ensured that Colorado would not either. I sponsored resolutions to honor and memorialize those that served. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, I always enjoy hearing from my constituents. 

Sincerely,
State Representative Lois Landgraf

Legislative Blog with House District 20 Representative Terri Carver

Greetings Republicans:

Since becoming a State Representative in 2015, I have worked hard to pass legislation to protect victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.  The bills I sponsored and cosponsored had overwhelming bipartisan support—working together, we can deter these terrible crimes, bring the perpetrators to justice, and help the victims recover and heal.      

Fighting the scourge of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is increasing in Colorado, the nation, and worldwide.  In Colorado Springs, a local group called the Avenue Task Force had been working with law enforcement and prosecutors to shut down sham massage therapy businesses run by human traffickers.   Working with the Avenue Task Force and massage therapists, my bill increased local and state enforcement tools against human traffickers.  We are monitoring the implementation of this new law, to evaluate the need for future legislation.    

We must ensure that local and state law enforcement, prosecutors, and regulatory agencies have the resources and tools to investigate, prosecute, and punish human traffickers with jail time and the seizure of traffickers’ profits from the evils of sex slavery.  Only then can we turn the tide against human trafficking crimes in Colorado.  We also modified the wire-tapping statute (kudos to Rep. Paul Lundeen as the primary sponsor), so law enforcement can now seek a wire-tap as part of a human trafficking investigation. 

I was shocked to learn that Colorado law did not impose a mandatory jail sentence on human traffickers that profit from child sex slavery.  The local District Attorney’s office under the leadership of Dan May brought this issue to my attention.  As a result of my bill, state law now requires mandatory jail for a person convicted of human sex trafficking of a minor. 

 2018 – Human Trafficking Legislation:  

I am honored to run a bill supported by the Colorado non-profit Truckers Against Traffickers and the trucking industry. The trucking industry has stepped up to report human trafficking occurring at truck stops in Colorado.  My bill will assist the trucking industry in identifying human trafficking and reporting this criminal activity to law enforcement.  

I am also running a bill to assist law enforcement and victim assistance groups with more flexible training tools on human trafficking, within the Colorado Department of Public Safety.  This bill will also provide support for the Colorado School Safety Center and our dedicated non-profits fighting human trafficking recruitment in our schools.  I want to recognize the leadership of the Southern Colorado Human Trafficking Coalition in bringing this school safety issue to my attention, and for their efforts to raise awareness in our schools about this threat to our children.  

Help for victims of domestic violence

Victims of domestic violence now have address confidentiality protection in state and local government internet databases.  This law was a result of a request to me from former El Paso County Assessor Mark Lowderman and current County Assessor Steve Schleiker.   

Victims face a difficult decision when they consider leaving an abusive situation. There is the very real possibility of homelessness, financial insecurity, and the risk of increasing violence.  Often the only safe option for them and, many times their children, is finding a place to stay that is unknown to their abuser.   Therefore, it is critical that the victim’s location remain confidential. 

Victims of domestic violence now may break their lease if they need to move because their abuser knows where they live. This is a result of legislation I co-sponsored last year.  

Help for victims of child sexual assault

I worked to change the law so child victims of repeated sexual assault did not have to testify in multiple criminal trials when the sexual assaults occurred in different jurisdictions. Prosecutors can now charge all sexual assault charges involving a child victim in one trial.  Previously, prosecutors were limited in prosecuting only the child sexual assaults that occurred in their jurisdiction, but not in other parts of the state.  

One witness who testified during the hearing on this bill had been the victim of sex trafficking. She recounted her traumatic experience of being repeatedly assaulted as a child and the lasting effects of this trauma. This testimony, although painful, was incredibly valuable, as it demonstrated how traumatic each retelling of the assaults can be to the victim – even after so many years.  

These victims – these children – do not need to be re-victimized by testifying in multiple trials. They need to know that they have advocates in their corner and can go to sleep at night no longer dreading having to retell their story over and over in court.  Instead, they can move on with healing from their ordeal.  

There is much more to be done.  I and my colleagues will continue to work to fight the evils of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, I always enjoy hearing from my constituents. 

Sincerely,
State Representative Terri Carver
719-425-7590