2015 Session Newsletter

Click on the link below to check out my 2015 Session newsletter.

Session News 2015-Click Here!


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First Saturday Town Hall

Join us on the first Saturday of each month at the Smoky Hill Library • 5430 S Biscay Cir. at Smoky Hill Rd. from 11 a.m. to Noon

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Greater Aurora Town Hall Meeting

Join us on the third Thursday of each month at Community College of Aurora • 16000 E. Centretech Pkwy • 7 p.m-8:30pm.

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First Monday Coffee

Join me on the first Monday of each month at Mimi’s Café, 205 S. Abilene St. near I-225, to discuss issues important to you from 7:15 to 9 a.m.

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7/20 Day of Remembrance

I hope you had a chance to participate in the Day of Remembrance on Saturday, July 20th.  The day began with a community gathering and morning ceremony to honor and remember those whose lives were lost, survivors and their loved ones. The ceremony was followed by a variety of healing activities such as meditation and reflection, counseling, yoga and art and music activities. Groups and individuals also participated in a number of community service projects that took place around Aurora that day.  I was proud to participate in the clean-up project at the new Freedom Memorial near the Beck Rec Center.

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Governor’s office announces soaring job growth

DENVER – Thursday, June 20, 2013 – The state’s employment level has returned to its pre-Great Recession amount of 2.4 million jobs and Colorado has seen the fourth-fastest job growth in the country since the end of the recession, the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) announced today.

The announcement came at the same time OSPB told the General Assembly’s Joint Budget committee that state General Fund revenue is projected to be $307.5 million higher in the current fiscal year than was forecast in March. For FY 2013-14, the forecast is $213.2 million higher than the prior projection.

The increase in the revenue forecast is due to collections in FY 2012-13 from a larger-than-expected amount of estimated individual income tax payments received in April. The economy continues to add jobs in several industry sectors such as professional and technical services, construction, leisure and hospitality, retail trade, health care and finance. Furthermore, OSPB expects nearly 31,000 housing permits to be issued in 2013, a 31.5 percent growth rate from 2012.

This continued job and income growth will support more economic activity to generate tax and fee revenue for public services.

The total General Fund surplus this fiscal year, or the amount of money above the required reserve amount, is projected at $1.1 billion, which will go to the State Education Fund.

Under current law, $30 million in excess funds in the new revenue forecast will be transferred to the Colorado Water Conservation Board Fund. Seventy-five percent of the remainder, $113.6 million, will be transferred to the State Education Fund, which supports per-pupil funding in Colorado school districts.

The Governor’s Office will work with the Joint Budget Committee and the rest of the General Assembly to identify prudent increases to the existing budget request for next year.

OSPB reports in the forecast that growth may slow next year.

“As expected in the previous forecast, the national economy has shown signs of softening, continuing a pattern of uneven growth since the end of the Great Recession. However, Colorado has maintained its economic momentum, making it among the best performing economies in the nation,” according to the forecast.  “The state’s economic performance can be attributed to a high level of human capital and solid growth in most of its major industries. This momentum could cause revenue to outperform expectations. Colorado’s economy, and thus tax revenue, can still be adversely affected by several outside factors, including a potential further slowing in the national economy. The economy also continues to be vulnerable to the recession in Europe and the potential for adverse consequences from federal fiscal and monetary policies.”


About the State Education Fund

Article IX, Section 17, of the Colorado Constitution, enacted by the voters at the November 2000 election as Amendment 23, creates the State Education Fund. It diverts an amount equal to one-third of 1 percent of Colorado taxable income to the fund. It also required the General Assembly to increase the statewide base per pupil funding amount under the school finance act and total state funding for categorical programs by at least the rate of inflation plus one percentage point through FY 2010-11, and by at least the rate of inflation thereafter in the current budget year and beyond. Money in the State Education Fund may be used to meet these minimum education funding requirements. In addition, the General Assembly may appropriate money from the State Education Fund for a variety of other education-related purposes as specified in the state Constitution. However, Amendment 23 no longer imposes a “maintenance of effort” spending requirement from the General Fund, under which appropriations have to grow by at least 5 percent if certain conditions are met. This requirement expired after FY 2010-11.

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APS Schools Receive HLC Designation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) recently designated three APS high schools as educational sites for the Community College of Aurora (CCA). Aurora Central, Rangeview and William Smith high schools offer concurrent enrollment options through a partnership with CCA. The designation means there are no limits on concurrent enrollment courses offered at the three schools.

“We will continue to grow with this wonderful program throughout APS,” said Superintendent John L. Barry. “As the HLC team said in departing, the partnership between Aurora Public Schools and CCA should be a model for the nation.”

The HLC is a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Representatives visited the schools last spring to evaluate the concurrent enrollment programs offered at the sites.



Interested media may contact APS News Media Specialist

Paula Hans at 303-326-2755 for more information


Community College of Aurora, University of Colorado College of Nursing announce partnership to offer “Integrated Nursing Pathway” program

Qualified students are enrolling now for bachelor’s degree in nursing;
grads will have workforce advantages

AURORA, Colo. (June 16, 2010)— Officials at the Community College of Aurora (CCA) and the University of Colorado College of Nursing at the Anschutz Medical Campus have announced the creation of the Integrated Pathway to Baccalaureate Nursing Education Program (Integrated Nursing Pathway). The Integrated Nursing Pathway is a collaboration that will benefit students looking for a meaningful career as well as healthcare providers who seek to hire baccalaureate-prepared nurses with outstanding preparation for professional practice.

The program is designed to increase access for community college students to baccalaureate nursing education, and its creators say this partnership is among the first in the country and the first in Colorado. The Community College of Aurora is noted for its innovative programs in science and support services for its exceptionally diverse community; the University of Colorado College of Nursing is known nationally for excellence in nursing education, clinical practice, and research. Students accepted into the Integrated Nursing Pathway will successfully earn an Associate of General Studies degree from CCA before moving seamlessly to the University of Colorado College of Nursing to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, where they will continue their education at the new, state-of-the-art University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

A unique aspect of the Integrated Nursing Pathway is that students will be simultaneously admitted to both institutions and will be supported throughout their 126-credit program by a top-quality team of faculty and other professionals dedicated to their success.

“The collaboration between CCA and the College of Nursing in the development of this new approach to nursing education in Colorado has culminated in an exciting program that capitalizes on the strengths of community college education, builds on the academic resources at both institutions, and transitions community college students to the baccalaureate degree in less than four calendar years,” said Nancy Kiernan Case, RN, PhD, dean of the health sciences division at CCA. “Response to the program among students, community members, clinical partners, and other nursing programs in the state has been uniformly positive.”

CCA students will be integrated into the program alongside their University of Colorado College of Nursing classmates and enjoy the benefits of working together to share experiences, questions, learning, best practices, challenges, and successes in a demanding curriculum designed to prepare them for a rewarding career.

Another benefit is that students can pursue higher education in Aurora, Colo., and then have the opportunity to work in the Denver/Aurora metro area and throughout Colorado. The Integrated Nursing Pathway emphasizes the value of a diverse student population as a way of achieving excellence in practice that is reflective of the cultural diversity of health care recipients. Program creators say that the diversity of these nursing students will help to prepare them to better serve the patient populations they reflect.

Additionally, bachelor’s-prepared nurses have a distinct advantage in the workplace. They are in high demand, have greater employment opportunities, and are more likely to move into leadership roles with the possibility of higher salaries.

“We have been fortunate to have two nurse educators, Nancy Kiernan Case, RN, PhD, dean of health sciences at CCA and Gayle Preheim, EdD, RN, professor and BS program director from the University of Colorado College of Nursing, leading the development of the new pathway,” said Patricia Moritz, RN, PhD, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus. “These two visionary leaders are creating a path that will lead to exciting opportunities for the citizens of Aurora and others who wish to be nurses of the future.”

The colleges are now enrolling the first group of 30 students. Case and Moritz say that students will be simultaneously admitted to the program at both institutions.

To inquire about admission into this program, prospective students should contact Nancy Kiernan Case at 303-340-7073 or Nancy.Case@CCAurora.edu. For more information, please visit www.ccaurora.edu/programs-classes/departments/nursing.

About the Community College of Aurora
Community College of Aurora students graduate from cutting-edge programs ready to take the next step in their lives, whether it’s to transfer to a four-year institution or begin a new career. CCA promotes excellence in teaching, learning, and service to a diverse community and enrolls 12,000 students each year on its CentreTech and Lowry campuses and online. Ninety-seven percent of CCA’s students are Colorado residents, and 45 percent come from ethnic minorities. The college offers more than 40 degrees and certificates in transfer and occupational education, and CCA’s core classes are guaranteed to transfer to Colorado public colleges and universities.

About the University of Colorado College of Nursing
Located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the University of Colorado College of Nursing offers some of the highest ranked programs in the country — from bachelor’s through doctoral degrees and post-graduate certificate programs. The college offers several specialties through its master’s program and the only PhD program in clinical research in Colorado. It also is the birthplace of nurse practitioner education and the caring movement, and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. For more information, please visit the UC Denver Newsroom.

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Thank You!

I’m honored to have been nominated by acclamation for reelection at our Arapahoe County Assembly on Saturday, April 10th. I hope you’ll work with us this summer and fall to keep our momentum going for better jobs, better schools and better healthcare! I pledge to continue to work hard as your State Representative in House District 36 in Aurora.

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Health Care for All

Our US Congress has just passed the most momentous health care legislation since Medicare, and I hope you are as proud as I am with this important legislative victory for the American people.

Unbelievably, some partisan factions are already trying to overturn healthcare reform before the ink has even dried on the bill signed into law by President Obama.  They have decided that their vision of America, where children go without health insurance because their families can’t afford it, families are bankrupted by medical bills, and insurance companies can deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, is a better America than one where everyone has access to the affordable health coverage they need.

I heard Joan Henneberry speak recently.  She is the head of Colorado’s Health Care Policy and Finance Department  (HCPF).  She congratulated our State Legislature on four years of hard work to position Colorado to take advantage of national healthcare reform.  As of May, 2010, we will be providing health care to an additional 100,000 Coloradans.

Other IMMEDIATE benefits we will see in 2010 include:

  • More affordable Employee coverage for small businesses—a tax credit of up to 35% of premiums to small businesses that choose to offer coverage.
  • Affordable insurance options to adults who are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions through a temporary high-risk pool
  • A $250 rebate for Medicare recipients to help fill the Part D “donut hole”—the first step towards closing the donut hole for good

Beginning in 2011:

  • 50% discount on prescription drugs, which fall into the donut hole
  • FREE preventive care—with no co-payments required—in private plans
  • FREE preventive care for Medicare recipients
  • Temporary reinsurance program for early retirees—help for employers and retirees age 55—64 struggling to pay expensive premium

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