Hickenlooper signs first bills as governor

The Colorado Statesman

Gov. John Hickenlooper marked the beginning of March with his first bill signing as the state’s 42nd governor. Hickenlooper signed seven non-controversial bills during Tuesday’s ceremony, ringed by 30 lawmakers and dozens of staff and supporters.

The bills Hickenlooper signed included House Bill 11-1023, carried by Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver and Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora. The legislation continues the foreclosure deferment program with the Department of Local Affairs through June 30, 2014, according to a statement.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signs House Bill 11-1001, which enacts the 2010 Colorado Revised Statues. He is surrounded by members of Legislative Legal Services, who draft the bills for the General Assembly.
Photo by Marianne Goodland/The Colorado Statesman
Hickenlooper signs HB 1023, on foreclosure deferments, surrounded by the bill’s House and Senate sponsors, Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver and Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora.
Photo by Marianne Goodland/The Colorado Statesman

The second bill, House Bill 11-1015, was sponsored by Rep. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, and Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver. Jones commented prior to the signing that the second bill ever signed into law by Gov. Roy Romer had been one of Jones’ bills, and the second one signed by Hickenlooper was also one of his bills. HB 1015 modified the educational professional experience requirements for accountants who want to obtain a certified professional accountancy certificate from the Department of Regulatory Agencies.

House Bill 11-1001, sponsored by Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs and Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, marked one of the few times members of the Legislative Legal Services got to take a bow. HB 1001 is the bill officially enacting the bound volumes of the Colorado Revised Statutes as the statutory law of the state. Hickenlooper was joined at the signing table by members of the legal services staff, who rarely get public recognition for the work they do behind the scenes to write bills and advise lawmakers.

House Bill 11-1006, sponsored by Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose and Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, creates new rules for members of the Regional Tourism Authority boards. 

House Bill 11-1009, sponsored by Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs and Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, clarifies provisions concerning the crime of unauthorized residency by an adult criminal offender in order to comply with the “Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision,” which Colorado is a signatory. 

House Bill 11-102, sponsored by Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction and Sen. Morse, will align Colorado law with the federal Dodd Frank Act regarding the financing of property. 

House Bill 11-1037, sponsored by Reps. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Sen. Carroll, will extend the military checkoff on Colorado tax returns. Funds generated by the legislation will be used for emergency grants for financial hardships to members of the Colorado National Guard, reservists and their families when ordered to active military duties. 

Hickenlooper took a few questions from the media following the ceremony, mostly focusing on a citizens’ ballot measure to increase taxes proposed Monday by Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder. He called Heath’s proposal “the beginning of a discussion” but wouldn’t endorse it, saying he had been clear during the campaign that 2011 was not the year to raise taxes.

Hickenlooper’s top priority, as reflected by the State of the State address in January, has been on job creation. However, the budget cuts he proposes for 2011-12, such as a $375 million general fund cut to K-12 education, could cost as many as 7,000 teacher jobs. When asked how those job losses square with his desire to add jobs, he replied “I want jobs created by the private sector. There’s very little support to raise taxes or fees to keep government workers employed.”