2013 marks Andy's eighth year in the legislature. As a prime sponsor of over eighty bills, he is respected by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and recognized as one of the State's most effective legislators.
My Top Legislative Accomplishments of the 2013 Session
HB 4 - The Colorado Careers Act
Colorado’s economy is still on the pathway to recovery. There are too many Coloradans looking for employment. The Colorado Careers Act looks to allay this problem by empowering unemployed and underemployed Coloradans. The bill establishes grant funding for Coloradans to acquire the critical training and skills necessary to obtain employment. The provisions will create an effective policy tool to stabilize individuals and families with earned income, and economic stimulus for Colorado’s economy as a whole.
SB 278 - Drug Endangered Children
When controlled substances, whether legal or illegal, are used, produced, or distributed in the presence of children, a greater likelihood exists that these children will be harmed. The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children has reported that professionals working in states where a "Drug Endangered Child" is defined were able to act with enhanced clarity and effectiveness in a variety of circumstances. The bill refers the definition of a drug-endangered child to the Colorado Drug Task Force, and a recommendation will be made to the legislature.
HB 1292 - Keep Jobs In Colorado Act
Sen. Jeanne Nicholson (right) and I (left) presented the Keep Jobs In
Colorado Act in the Senate Finance committee earlier this month
SB 279 - Green Schools
This bill brings Colorado schools into the twenty-first century by requiring new school buildings be constructed in accordance with high efficiency standards such as Energy Star or LEED. Energy Star certification is an inexpensive and flexible way for school districts to prove new buildings’ energy efficiency. Increasing the number of green schools in Colorado will save taxpayers money in the long term because there will be lower risk of escalating energy costs. Thus we save money while simultaneously conserving our state’s precious and finite natural resources.
HB 1117 - Alignment of Child Development Programs
This bill will make statewide early childhood services more efficient through its combining various offices into one single office in the department of human services. This office will administer programs that contain more precise guidelines and standards as well as more coordination between state and local efforts. The bill also ensures that parents retain their freedom in raising their children how they see fit. All family and child participation for any child development service is entirely voluntary.
I am joined by child welfare activists as Governor Hickenlooper
signs HB 1117, which will keep our children safe and protect Colorado families
HB 1135 - Voter Pre-Registration
Now that this bill has been signed into law at the age of 16 Coloradans will be able to pre-register to vote at the same time they receive their driver's license. They will be put on the active voter registration list automatically when they turn 18 years of age. Pre-registration will increase both youth enfranchisement and youth involvement in the civic process, something I am passionate about as a social studies teacher.
HB 1253 - Small Business Capital
This bill directs the governor's office of economic development and international trade to study the need for, and barriers to, the acquisition of capital for Colorado small businesses. This will help us promote small businesses in our communities. Unfortunately, this legislation did not pass, but I plan to bring it back next session because expanding small businesses is one of my top priorities.
Getting Colorado back to work has been a top priority for Andy. He has brought employers and workers together through multiple job fairs. He has helped constituents get past the busy signals at State offices to get the employment services they need. He even helped one local business keep its doors open by stepping in when the bank was about write them off. He got all sides talking until they found a payment plan that worked for everyone. The business is thriving now, and the bank turned a loss into a profit.
Andy knows that not every problem needs a law, some just require communication and bit of hard work, but when legislation is appropriate, nobody works harder than Andy at building consensus to get things done.
His focus is on jobs that will be here today and stay here tomorrow. His bills lay the groundwork for the New Energy Economy, the Knowledge Economy, and jobs in Colorado based industries like tourism.
Recent examples include:
If your children went to Dunstan Middle School, you may have first met Andy when he was your kid's Geography teacher. With three children of his own, he knows how crucial it is for our families, our economy, and our future to have strong local schools. Through his legislation, he has found ways to keep our schools excellent, efficient, and safe.
In addition to his green schools bills, Andy has brought many bills that help to preserve a healthy environment while growing our economy.
This was just a small sample of the legislation Andy Kerr has sponsored.
From major technical pieces of legislation, like the merger of PERA and DPSRS or the revision of our accountancy regulations, to bills that effect everyday people every day, like laws to help breast-feeding mothers and laws to protect your paycheck from bouncing, Andy Kerr has been a smart fighter for Colorado.
If you would like to review all of his bills in detail, you can find them all at www.leg.state.co.us.