Thank you, citizens, of Wheat Ridge, Golden and Edgewater for entrusting me with six years as your State Representative! This has been the greatest honor of my life and I have worked hard to reflect our district which I’ve learned to be moderate, bipartisan and business-friendly. Many people at the Capitol know us in House District 24 as “common-sense citizens” and I listened to all points of view. I thank all of you who phoned, emailed, attended town hall meetings, and came to the Capitol to testify showing support or opposition for proposed legislation.
Since I have decided to retire in order to take care of my family I ask that you stay engaged with our new State Representative who will be elected November 4 and sworn in Jan. 7, 2015. I look forward to working as a local volunteer on education and health issues, applying what I learned at the Capitol to my Jeffco community. Also, three grand-daughters (ages 5, 3, and 6 months) will be mentored to become future leaders and/or elected officials!
As I look back on six years in the House I remember prime sponsoring many bills that helped persons who are under-served in our state: persons who are unemployed or underemployed; elders who have been physically and financially abused; children with mental health needs; victims of crimes; students who have been bullied; ending the wait list for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and my favorite one (in 2010) was stopping health insurance companies from charging women unreasonably high premiums and treating being female as a “pre-existing condition”.
Some of the most important bills of the past six years I co-sponsored were the Clean Air Clean Jobs bill; the Advanced Industries bill to incentivize entrepreneurs in STEM careers; leaner state government bills reducing costs and wait times; the FASTER bill paying to repair aging roads and bridges; the ASSET bill for high-achieving immigrant students to pay in-state tuition; the Civil Unions bill granting equal rights and responsibilities to gay and lesbian couples; the Colorado health benefit exchange; this year’s Student Success Act with historic investment in K-12 education ($500M.) and higher education ($100M); and finally helping people and businesses recover from the devastating floods and wildfires.
What I remember most is the courtesy, respect, and friendship among legislators even when we disagreed on public policy. We are treated kindly by the staff, State Patrol, aides, citizens, and lobbyists. My next political goal will be electing Hillary Clinton for President, the most intelligent and experienced candidate.
Thank you for your confidence and trust! -Sue
2013 Session - Day One
My Prime Bills from the 2014 Session:
Improved Access to Care for Developmentally Disabled (HB-1051)
This bill, already signed into law by the Governor, requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to develop a strategic plan to enroll all eligible persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities into home and community-based services, reducing long waiting lists for those people in need.
This commission, operating out of the Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE), will bring together professionals and experts in maternal and child health in order to develop strategies that the state can use to help reduce premature births.
Building on already highly successful legislation, this bill extends the length of time an employer may receive the tax credits from 5 years to 8 years; this bill will continue this effective, evidence based policy to ensure Colorado is able to attract quality companies and the high paying jobs they provide.
HB 1015 extends the ReHire Colorado program for two years. ReHire Colorado was created in 2013 to provide on-the-job skills, training and experience to low-income, low-skill Colorado workers who are unemployed or underemployed and are at the greatest risk of seeing the economic rebound pass them by.
Income Tax Credit for Child Care Expenses (HB-1072)
Many families currently do not qualify for the state Child Care tax credit because those credits are tied to federal income taxes. This bill will create fairness in our tax system by allowing working families who make less than $25,000 and who do not pay federal income tax access to the same tax credits that middle-class families receive.
Expand Availability of Affordable Housing (HB-1017)
This bill addresses an ongoing shortage of affordable housing that has only been made worse by recent fires and floods by giving property owners affected by disasters priority for loans from the Housing Investment Trust Fund and grants from the Housing Development Grant Fund.
This annual school finance bill funds an additional 5,000 pre-school seats, provides more capacity for local bonding in the event of increased enrollment, and increases funding to BOCES by $2 million to assist in meeting state education priorities.
Recent studies show that more than 70 percent of all jobs in Colorado will require some form of post-secondary credential from a college or trade school by the end of the decade. The College Affordability Act will invest an extra $101.3 million in higher education and cap tuition increases at six percent for in-state undergrad students, making higher education more affordable into the future.
Under HB 1085, all institutions applying to receive funding must participate in workforce development partnerships that will lead to employment opportunities for students who receive training. The department of education will administer the grant program and is required to evaluate the effectiveness of the program annually.
Disaster Prevention & Relief
Immunity for Public Agencies in Fire Mitigation (SB-097)
This bill stipulates public agencies will not be held liable for the actions that a private insurance company or insurance agent takes to prevent damage to private property during an emergency. The bill will coordinate response efforts by private insurance companies and local firefighters and increase public safety.
CDPS Emergency Management Entities and Disaster Assistance (HB-1004)
HB 1004 authorizes the Governor to provide financial assistance to individuals and families upon a gubernatorial declaration rather than requiring a presidential declaration of a disaster emergency. It also eliminates the Colorado emergency planning commission and transfers the functions and duties to the department of public safety (individual duties are allocated to the division of fire prevention and control).
HB-1131 makes bullying of a minor by a minor through electronic means a class-2 misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail. The penalty could double if the harassment is based on a hate crime: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. Cyber bullying means a minor putting another minor in reasonable fear of death, serious bodily injury or serious emotional distress.
“Jessica’s Law” Penalties for Sex Offenses Against a Child Under Age 12 (HB-1260)
This bill creates strict mandatory minimum sentences for crimes of sexual intrusion or penetration against children under the age of 12, making such crimes class-2 (minimum sentence of 10 years), class-3 (minimum of 18 years), and class-4 (minimum of 24 years) felonies.
Civil Unions Bill Signing - March 21, 2013
Sue co-chairs the Bipartisan Economic Vitality Caucus, a gathering of legislators from both parties and leaders in the business community that explores policy ideas for improving Colorado's economic environment. In the 2013 session, Sue served on the House Public Health Care & Human Services committee in addition to being named co-chair of the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee.
Sue has earned support and accolades from groups as diverse as the Colorado Economic Development Council, the AFL-CIO, CO Conservation Voters, the CO Women's Bar Association, Jeffco Public Health, NARAL Pro-Choice, and One Colorado. Click to see a full list of Sue's honors andendorsements.
Sue pledges to continue working on solutions to reduce unemployment and promote the creation of good-paying jobs. She believes strongly in the need to provide for a stable funding stream for K-12 and higher education to support learning at all ages and stages in life. She is committed to moving forward with initiatives like the Colorado Healthcare Benefit Exchange to ensure access to quality and affordable health care for all Coloradans. Seniors and elders in House District 24 have an advocate and champion with Sue's knowledge of seniors' needs.
Sue's Priorities as State Representative
Creating good jobs to put Coloradans to work and strengthen the economy
Improving the funding and quality of public education
Increasing access to quality health care and preventative services
Promoting the use of renewable energy and a multi-model transportation system
Ensuring equal opportunity and civil rights for all people
Promoting gun safety while respecting Second Amendment rights
Sue strives to address the everyday issues impacting her constituents. In order to better serve House District 24, she welcomes your feedback. Contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-866-5522.
Contact Sue at email@example.com Committee to Elect Sue Schafer, Roger Egerdahl, Treasurer Copyright 2013