Latest News – April 20

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Legislative Updates: Town Hall Meeting

Last Saturday, April 13, Rep. Millie Hamner (D- Summit County) and Sen. Gail Schwartz ( D – Snowmass) held at town hall meeting at Colorado Mountain College Timberline Campus in Leadville. In a room filled with local officials, residents and wildlife officials, the two Lake County representatives provided a legislative update.

Sen. Gail Schwartz (left) and Rep. Millie Hamner (right) @ Leadville town hall meeting.

Sen. Gail Schwartz (left) and Rep. Millie Hamner (right) @ Leadville town hall meeting.

Sen Schwartz’ highlights included a report that the Colorado Senate had passed many of the bills she sponsored which focused on Colorado’s natural resources and sportsmen’s heritage.   Accompanying Sen. Schwartz was Rick Cables, Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife who spoke specifically to the benefits of SB13-175 – The Wildlife Habitat Stamp Renewal.

According to Sen. Schwartz, most of the legislation she sponsored are “critical drivers for local economic development, attracting tourists, and enriching our families. Activities like hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, and hiking contribute significantly to Colorado’s economy through direct sales, associated jobs, and fees.”  For a complete Capitol Update from Sen. Schwartz, please visit her website.Link_Schwartz_LeadvilleToday

During the town hall meeting, Rep. Millie Hamner reported on her legislative activity, most of which demonstrated her background in education, most notably SB 13-213, the Future School Finance Act. According to Rep. Hamner, “This bill will modernize the funding formula, increase investments in proven programs like full-day kindergarten and early childhood education, add important accountability and transparency reforms, and provide new support for historically underfunded districts – especially rural and high-poverty districts.”

That could be good news for the Lake County School District. In fact, during the Town Hall Meeting, Hamner reported a more than $1,700 per pupil increase in 2013-14 funding should the approved. There is one caveat though.  This legislation will only go into effect if voters approve a ballot initiative to increase revenues to support the implementation of the legislation.  For a full Legislative Report from Rep. Hamner, please visit her website.Link_Newsletter_Hamner_LeadvilleToday

Although gun legislation was a hot topic under The Golden Dome this session, the primary concern among locals at the town hall meeting was making sure that Colorado is still seen as a “Hunter Friendly State.” It was suggested that an educational/PR campaign might be in order so that in-state and out-of-state sportsmen understand how the new legislation relates to hunting.

Seems like that message was received, because on Thursday, April 18, the Colorado Tourism Office distributed the following information: Colo_Letter_Gun_Legislation_LeadvilleToday

There’s less than 25 days left in the legislative session. You can follow the Legislative process including upcoming hearings and debates, copies of all proposed bills and more at The Colorado General Assembly website: www.leg.state.co.us. Or watch live video at The Colorado Channel online at www.coloradochannel.net

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