Rachel Zenzinger for Colorado Senate District 19
Rachel Zenzinger
Colorado Senate
February 20, 2017
Legislative ups-and-downs

In a rollercoaster week, one of my bills passed out of the Senate, one bill passed out of Committee, and two of my bills failed in Committee. Let's start with the positives:

My bipartisan effort to establish a seal of biliteracy passed through the Senate and will be heading to the House next week. Briefly, the bill grants a diploma endorsement in biliteracy to Colorado high schoolers who demonstrate proficiency in English and at least one foreign language by graduation. 

Another bipartisan bill that recom mended continuation of the education data advisory committee, sailed through the Senate Education committee on Thursday. The bill will head to the Senate consent calendar next week. 

Presenting SB17-123 with co-sponsor Sen. Priola

Unfortunately, my effort to create more opportunities for attainable housing died in committee on a party line vote. I wish to thank the witnesses who testified in support of the bill, including represent-atives of the Colorado Senior Lobby, Urban Land Conservancy, Housing Colorado, Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and constituent Robin Kupernik. Despite the bill's loss, I will continue to look for opportunities to make progress on this issue. 

My bill to protect student data privacy was also rejected in Committee this week. Students taking the PSAT and SAT, our new statewide assessments for 10th and 11th grade, are subject to highly sensitive, nonacademic, identifying questions about their religion and citizenship status, These questions are creating problems for two reasons: T he Constitution prohibits the government from establishing religion (and thereby asking about it); and second, a Supreme Court decision (Plyler v. Doe) mandates that schools may not ask K-12 students about their citizenship status. Because these are state exams, paid for with taxpayer dollars, administered during the school day, in taxpayer funded facilities, I  thought it was imperative we bar these questions on the exam. You can read more HERE

Discussing SB17-102 on student data privacy with Shaun Boyd of Channel 4 News. Click HERE for clip.

Despite these setbacks, I look forward to next week where I will present HB17-1016 to the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill addresses the ability of an urban renewal authority to exclude the valuation attributable to the extraction of mineral resources. The bill passed through the House 65-0 and I hope we have a similar path in the Senate. 
What we heard this week

For a third week in a row we heard from a large number of folks in favor of SB17-099 to join the National Popular Vote consortium. This bill and SB17-095, to repeal the death penalty, both died in committee on Wednesday and will not be heard by the full Senate.

Also this week we heard from a number of folks opposed to SB17-035. This is a bill that would increase the penalty from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony for tampering with oil and gas equipment. Since the bill passed through committee and will head to the full Senate, please let me know what you think. 

There was a very controversial debate on the floor over  SB17-120 that would require peace officers in Colorado to be Un ited States citizens. I voted "no" on the bill because I didn't think this was necessary and the Council of Police Chiefs opposed the bill. Nevertheless, it passed through the Senate and will now head to the House for their consideration. 

Lastly, interest has picked up on SB17-040 concerning public access to files maintained by governmental bodies. This bill gained some attention this week over the controversy of Sen. Ray Scott who got into a feud with the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Check out the senate calendar for updates on bills and if you'd like to listen to the debate remotely, here is a link to watch and listen
Rachel Zenzinger
Rachel Zenzinger won election to the Colorado State Senate, representing District 19, in November 2016. Previously, she served in the same capacity during the 2014 legislative session. During the upcoming, 71st General Assembly, she will serve on the Senate Education Committee, Transportation Committee and the Student Safety and Youth in Crisis Committee.
"What's brewing at the Capitol?" town hall event

Pull up a bar stool and join me for "What's brewing at the Capitol?" a legislative chat about issues that matter to you. These events will take place at various craft breweries within Senate District 19. Hop on over to our first event this coming Wednesday, February 22 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at Odyssey Beerwerks, 5535 W. 56 th  Ave., Arvada, CO 80002.  

Speaking with a constituent at monthly Legislative Town Hall
Tracking your Senator

On Monday I presented a bill on attainable housing to the Senate State Affairs Committee...Tuesday I met with Rx Plus to learn more about pharmacy issues... I was also interviewed by Shaun Boyd of Channel 4 News about my student data privacy bill... On Wednesday we celebrated awareness of individuals with intellectual disabilities... I also presented my student data privacy bill to the Education Committee... Also, Glenn Wallace of CO Community Media interviewed me about my bills... Later that evening I attended the Jefferson County Business Lobby event where I met with several local Chambers of Commerce... Thursday I spoke to the Metro North Chamber's leadership class... I also attended a lunch with Fellows from the Colorado Education Association... and my staff attended a lunch with the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado... I also presented a sunset review bill to the Education Committee... On Friday I spoke at the Arvada Chamber's 3rd Friday breakfast about urban renewal... I also met with Dr. Paul Williamson of Sustainable Systems of Colorado to discuss transit options for the northwest corridor... I also met with dental students who were at the Capitol for Dental Lobby Day... On Saturday we hosted our monthly bipartisan Legislative Town Meeting to discuss senior issues. 

Listening to Dr. Paul Williamson discuss transit options

If there is an event you think I should attend, please notify me!
Happy Presidents' Day!

The Senate will be closed today, Monday, Feburary 20, 2017 in honor of President's Day. 


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Helpful Links
Contact Information
200 E. Colfax Avenue
Room 339
Denver, CO 80203
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