Rachel Zenzinger for Colorado Senate District 19
Rachel Zenzinger
Colorado Senate
March 3, 2014

After only 54 days, we have good list of accomplishments


Not that I'm counting or anything, but we are 54 days into the 69th session of the General Assembly, and it feels like we are still only getting started. There is so much work to do! Fortunately, I have experienced more than my share of early success; and I am hoping to build on the relationships that I have established on both sides of the aisle, to continue to make progress in areas of education, business assistance, protection of our elders, and other important issues. 


In this newsletter, you'll find descriptions of some of these successes, plus bills that are coming up. If you want more information about any of them, please contact me

Increase in business capital


One of my bills (HB 14-1079will help make capital available to businesses. It passed unanimously on third reading in the Colorado Senate and will now head to the Governor's desk for his signature.  This is my second bill to achieve that kind of successful, bipartisan support. 


Access to capital within Colorado continues to be inadequate for the needs of Colorado businesses and entrepreneurial startups.  Historically, after funding from friends, family and angel investors, there is a funding gap that puts a strain on small businesses before they can get to the venture-capital stage.  One solution is to raise capital through limited registration public offerings.  This bill allows Colorado businesses to raise $5 million from those public offerings, up from $1 million. 


'School Turnaround' bill


The Senate Education Committee passed my bill that would provide for low-performing, K-12 schools and districts in Colorado to develop high-quality school leadership programs. Leadership is seen as one of the most important factors leading to student success, particularly for underperforming schools and districts. Senate Bill 14-124 School Turnaround Leaders Development Program will provide funding in the form of grants to schools, school districts, and/or charter schools for leadership training. 


Every child in Colorado deserves to go to a school that meets state performance expectations. Colorado schools will benefit from developing turnaround leadership training programs that involve principals, teachers and school staff. 

'4Ps' on human trafficking


Sen. Zenzinger on human trafficking
Senators Rachel Zenzinger and Linda Newell speak on human trafficking.


The Colorado Senate issued a Joint Resolution that I co-sponsored, recognizing Human Trafficking Awareness Advocacy Day, Feb. 20, 2014. The Joint Resolution builds upon the "4Ps" - Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, and Partnerships - as set forth by the United Nations, and serves as a framework for the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking's Colorado Project. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world, second only to drug trafficking. In the U.S., between 100,000 and 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation, at an average age of 12-14 years old.

More education bills 


You will hear more in coming weeks about two additional bills, both of which focus on education, and both of which have my name attached as a co-prime sponsor.


The first one is SB 150, and it is due to be heard in committee in less than two weeks. The School Counselor Corps Grant Program bill actually amends and expands a program currently in place, designed to increase and support the amount of counseling available in secondary schools. SB 150 would extend the program to middle and junior high schools; would decrease the current ratio of about 400 counselors to every student; would extend the length of the grant cycle to four years, from three; and would increase the total annual grant amount to $10 million, from $5 million.

The second "additional" education bill of note is HB 1208, and I am especially excited about its bipartisan support, and its possible benefit in particular to three outlying, rural areas of Colorado. It authorizes "multi-district administrative units," and I know that's a mouthful; but basically, it allows school districts that formed partnerships prior to January 2011 to keep operating under those partnerships. They can continue providing special education services without forming a board of cooperative services.  


Sen. Rachel Zenzinger
Sen. Rachel Zenzinger
Rachel Zenzinger was sworn in as State Senator to Colorado's District 19 on Dec. 13, 2013. She served as the Arvada City Council's District 1 representative following her election in November 2009, and she served as Mayor Pro Tem between 2011-2013. Her background is in education, and she received her master's degree in Adult Learning, Training and Development from Regis University. She was coordinator of the Master of Arts In Education Program at Regis; and she was coordinator for the Adams 12 Expelled Program. She has worked on behalf of numerous non-profits including Catholic Charities, the Arvada Center, Ralston House and the Arvada Community Food Bank.  
Don't forget Caucus!


The 2014 election cycle begins statewide tomorrow (Tues., March 4) with precinct caucus meetings for both major political parties. If you are a registered member of your preferred party, I strongly encourage you to participate. It's a rewarding experience. The meetings begin at 7 p.m., and that's when I will appear at the Democratic House District 29 caucus meeting, at Pomona High School in Arvada. My Senate District 19 spans two house districts, so I will then move to the HD 27 meeting around 7:20, at Arvada West High School. I hope to see you there!

Next 'Coffee,' March 13

I understand there have been significant concerns about the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) partnership with a company that will provide long-term maintenance of U.S. Highway 36. That company is providing funds to make improvements to the corridor connecting Boulder to Denver.

My next 'Coffee with Constituents' on Thursday, March 13, 7 a.m. - 8 a.m. will be an opportunity to discuss transportation in Colorado and to scrutinize the U.S. 36 public-private partnership. We will explain commuters' options, the ways that this P3 might unfold over the next 50 years, and how we got to this point.

'Coffee with Constituents' will be held on the second Thursday of every month at Indian Tree, 7555 Wadsworth Blvd., 7 a.m. - 8 a.m.

Town Hall is March 15

At the next Town Hall on Saturday, March 15, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., we will discuss the ways in which Colorado might, from a policy perspective, alter its response to future disasters such as fires and large-scale floods.

I conduct these Town Halls in partnership with State Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, and they are held on the third Saturday of every month. This meeting will be at the Indian Tree Golf Course Club House, 7555 Wadsworth Blvd., 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Check future newsletters for information about the location of future meetings. 
New Feature
Tracking your Senator

I had the privilege of speaking to the Metro North Chamber's Business & Government Affairs Committee on Feb. 19 ... also attended the Chamber's Development Council Breakfast Feb. 28 to hear about Urban Renewal ... I attended the Arvada Chamber's "Third Friday" event Feb. 21 and the Rocky Mountain News Five-Year Reunion event Feb. 22 ... I was a guest speaker at the Colorado Women's Legislative Breakfast  Feb. 25, and I attended the AWRSAY (Arvada Wheat Ridge Service Ambassadors for Youth) Awards Ceremony Feb. 26 where they recognized students who had overcome obstacles or adversity ... I attended the Colorado PTA Legislative luncheon today and got to listen Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia.


If there is an event that you think I should attend, please notify me!  

Helpful Links
Find Rachel Zenzinger, Arvada City Council on Facebook! Follow Rachel Zenzinger, Arvada City Council on Twitter! Connect with Rachel Zenzinger, Arvada City Council on LinkedIn! Read our Blog!
Rachel Zenzinger, State Senate
Rm. 339
200 WE Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203