Rachel Zenzinger for Colorado Senate District 19
Rachel Zenzinger
Colorado Senate
Feb. 3, 2014

First month on job has been

invigorating, inspiring


One of the most rewarding aspects of my new job in the Colorado Senate is the support I have experienced - from all corners - as I have acclimated myself to the duties. I am particularly grateful to the friends, volunteers and supporters who helped me get to where I am, and then followed up, by contacting me, expressing their continued encouragement and asking me repeatedly, "How are you doing?"


I can tell you, I am doing great, and thoroughly enjoying this experience, I feel so privileged to be able to represent the people of Senate District 19 in such an important way.


One of the aspects of the job that I have enjoyed most has been the opportunity to become acquainted with so many intelligent, passionate people and then work with them to try to address issues, generating creative ideas. The collaboration has been stimulating. Of course, if you have creative ideas of your own that you would like to share, please contact me!

'Coffee with Constituents'


Don't forget to mark your calendar for the next "Coffee with Constituents," Feb. 13 at Indian Tree Golf Course Club House, 7555 Wadsworth Blvd. The 7 a.m. meeting will feature a discussion about senior issues, with specific focus on one of my bills. "Coffee with Constituents" will be held the second Thursday of every month at Indian Tree; and it is intended to provide a more informal alternative to the monthly Town Hall meetings. Members of the public are welcome to ask questions and provide input and it will end at 8 a.m. I hope you will attend!


Education Committee items


I am a member of the Senate Education Committee, and we have heard a variety of key bills over the last few weeks, including SB14-001, the College Affordability Act. Typically, the first bill of the year is reserved for a topic or issue considered the Senate's major focus of the session.  Over the past decade, the State's funding of higher education has decreased dramatically, and access to affordable higher education is out of reach for too many Coloradans. The College Affordability Act would allocate an additional $100 million to Colorado colleges, mostly in the form of financial aid; and the bill proposes  capping the yearly tuition rate increases at six percent. We heard testimony from Lt. Governor Joe Garcia; and college students from across the state told us how this bill would positively affect their lives. While I don't have a sponsorship position on this bill, I am a member of the Commission on Higher Education, which has endorsed the bill. It is still at the committee level, but I expect that the full Senate will take a vote on it soon. 


Other education bills of note:
  • The Safe2 Tell bill (SB14-002) would continue the hotline program for K-12 students, moving it under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General's office. 
  • The Community College Four-Year Program bill (SB14-004) would allow the community colleges to grant limited types of four-year degrees (bachelors in applied sciences). 
  • The Hospitality Career Education Program bill (SB14-015) would prepare high school students to work in the hospitality industry.

First bill was unanimous


In the Senate Local Government Committee, where I am a member, we have focused on disaster response to last year's fires and floods. A bipartisan bill, SB14-007 County General Fund for Road and Bridge Flood Damage, came out of the Govenor's task force, allowing counties to use money from general funds to repair roads and bridges during times of disaster. Reimbursement from the federal government can take months or years, and there generally is not enough money in road-and-bridges funds to cover the effects of disasters. The counties and cities collaborated to craft this solution, and the bill passed unanimously in our committee. 


This is just one example of several bills we have discussed in committee related to disaster recovery and I look forward to hearing the remaining issues as they progress. Incidentally, the Town Hall in March will focus on fire-and-flood recovery, and the date of that Town Hall is March 15.

Welcoming JCMH to Senate

With Sen. Linda Newell, right



We recently paid tribute to representatives of the Jefferson Center for Mental Health during a day especially set aside for recognition of the importance of mental health care. Those representatives visited us on the Senate floor, and I noted during the tribute how much the Center had grown in 55 years, and remarked upon their dedication and talent. Thanks again to those terrific people, including Executive Director Harriet Hall.


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.
Town Hall is Feb. 15

We will have the pleasure of welcoming State Board of Education member Jane Goff and University of Colorado Regent Irene Griego at the next Town Hall meeting, Feb. 15 at 10:30 a.m. They will discuss some of the major education issues we are facing, and I anticipate that we will talk about my school turn-around bill. These Town Hall meetings, in conjunction with Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, will be held the third Saturday of every month - also at Indian Tree (7555 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada, same as the Feb. 13 coffee meeting)!

Celebration at City Hall

I hope you will be able to attend the Arvada City Council meeting today, Feb. 3, when the Council will have a short celebration to recognize the time I spent working with that distinguished body. The event will probably occur very early in the City Council's agenda, and the meeting at City Hall starts at 6 p.m.

RZ, Broncos Mascot
Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on a Super 18 games!
Congrats to the Seahawks on the last one.



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Rachel Zenzinger, State Senate
Rm. 339
200 WE Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203