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.
Join Senator Kerr to discuss one of the largest changes to the financing of our state's schools at the Lakewood Cultural Center on April 6th from 9:30-11:00 am with special guests from the education and finance committee.
"By the way, Sen. Andy Kerr co-sponsored the resolution that honored members of the developmentally disabled community. Perhaps he came up with the idea while he was on one of his many bike rides to the Capitol.
The Lakewood Democrat has set a personal goal to ride his specialized, Roubaix brand road bike to work, for at least half of the days of this legislative session.
Kerr has been using Twitter to provide updates on his efforts.
“It's a good way to put pressure on myself,” Kerr said. “And it's a good way to get the word out that it's a viable and healthy way to get to your job.”
Now, I walk several blocks from my place to the Capitol every day. But that effort seems puny in comparison to a guy who rides his bike all the way from Lakewood. With all these marathon-like legislative sessions going on in the Capitol these days — and all the free food being carted in on a daily basis — it's no wonder that lawmakers like Kerr grab hold of every exercise opportunity that they can."
About once a month, I'll give you an update about everything I am doing at the Capitol, let you know where to find me at events, and keep you posted about cool things that are going on in and around the cities and unincorporated areas of our Senate District.
Please join a panel of school officials, parents, law enforcement, and mental health groups for a discussion about violence in our communities.
When: Monday, February 11th 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Stony Creek Elementary School, 7203 S. Everett St. Littleton, CO 80128
I discussed the upcoming session and a wide variety of issues on my plate with reporter Ramsey Scott of the Columbine Courier.
The election is over, and the big dollar advertising firms have taken a break from telling us who to fear and how to divide against each other. Thank you to everyone who put in honest hard work and carried a positive message, in my support or not, in this race or in another; thank you.
If you registered a voter, thank you. If you knocked a door to share your values, thank you. If you cast a vote for the first time or the fortieth, or if you even stood for office yourself, thank you, thank you.
Thank you, not only for sending one candidate to the state capitol, but by bringing together seventy thousand people in Eastern Jefferson County to make a peaceful democratic decision about the course of our shared future. As a Social Studies teacher, I know that in the history of our world there have been few places that have risen to that challenge. I honor and respect the good faith of the thousands who voted for me, as well as those who voted the other way. Your commitment to democracy is why I am committed to represent our entire district and not just a partisan fraction.
I know it would be foolish to always try to please everyone. I have never seen good government come from avoiding tough decisions. What I offer is to do my duty to serve our district by forming judgements based on the most open process. I will keep the office of your State Senator transparent and accountable. I will continue my town halls, community events, newsletters, and availability to you and your concerns. I will use every means to bring in the voices, wisdom and best ideas of everyone in our district.
I campaigned on strengthening our schools, bringing jobs, and protecting the rights of all people. Together we will accomplish that and more. I hope you will continue to share with me your vision for Colorado, so we can face every new challenge in a united and productive way. I know that it was your hard work that sent me to the State Senate, and I will follow that example by working hard to get the job done for Jefferson County.
The new year is approaching quickly, and I want to invite you to be a part of the planning for the next session. Look for my next email where I will give details of our next town hall. For now, though, I just want to say again,
Andy lives in Lakewood with his wife Tammy and their three children.
A long time Lakewood resident, Andy attended Foothills Elementary School, Dunstan Middle School, and Green Mountain High School. He continued on to get a B.A. in Geography, a M.A. in Information and Learning Technologies, and an Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies license, all from the University of Colorado.
Andy has spent over a decade with the Jefferson County Public Schools as a teacher and curriculum specialist, and has worked with many boards and organizations committed to improving education in Colorado.
Since joining the State Assembly in 2006, Andy has been a fighter for our schools, our health, our seniors, and our economy.