Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in the OCR’s legislative committee. The OCR will be keeping the group small and focusing on having a variety of GALs from different areas of the state. This year’s committee will be: Anna Hall Owen (11th JD); Josi McCauly (8th JD); Bob Tweedell (7th JD); Beth Padilla (6th and 22nd JDs); Amy Finklestein (1st JD); Dani Dierks (2nd JD); Laurel Markus (4th JD) and Mary McWilliams (17th JD). OCR will keep a list of all of the contractors who expressed interest this year; those not selected this year will have priority for next year. The OCR’s Legislative Liaison Ashley Chase is happy to answer questions or hear from any GALs about proposed legislation at any time.
The upcoming Legislative session will begin on January 4, 2019. The election brought in a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Attorney General, in addition to many new members of the Colorado House and Senate. Governor-Elect Polis will appoint a new Executive Director of the Department of Human Services, which will greatly impact the policies originating at CDHS. With the influx of new House and Senate members, there will be many changes to the committees the OCR works with such as the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The makeup of the Joint Budget Committee will also change. There are two confirmed returning JBC members (Dominick Moreno representing Adams County and Bob Rankin representing Garfield, Moffat, and Rio Blanco Counties) and two confirmed new members (Dennis Hisey representing Clear Creek, El Paso, Fremont, Park, and Teller Counties and Rachel Zenzinger representing Jefferson County). Two JBC members are yet to be confirmed.
The OCR continues to work on potential legislation for the upcoming session. We are working with a stakeholder group on proposed legislation regarding adoption subsidies, with Colorado CASA on changing our enabling legislation to be in line with good practices regarding the funding and administration of CASA, on a bill aiming to reduce barriers to driver’s licenses for foster children, on a bill to change and update C.R.S. 19-3-702 and 703, and more!