It's been a month since Colorado lawmakers wrapped up their 2015 legislative session at the state capitol, but the work is far from over. Many of the bills that failed this year will likely be back next session and some long-standing issues may already be poised to go before voters in 2016.
The 2015 state legislative session has come to an end. KVNF's Laura Palmisano caught up with Republican Rep. Don Coram at a recent bill signing event in Montrose. He represents House District 58, which covers Montrose, San Miguel, Dolores and Montezuma counties.
An amendment to the state budget that would’ve continued a program credited with reducing teen pregnancies and abortion was killed this week. However, a controversial bill that would do the same thing cleared its second reading in the House on Friday.
House Bill 1194 would provide $5 million to continue a program that helps low-income young women and teens access long-acting birth control.
Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 7:40 am
A bill to expand a teen pregnancy prevention program for low-income youth failed in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday on a party line 3-2 vote. Republicans defeated the measure, one that was sponsored by one of their own.
"I guess this is my big thing is let's take an inventory of what we're doing before we throw another layer on there," said Senate Finance Committee chair Tim Neville (R-Littleton).
A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.
More than 30,000 women in Colorado have gotten a device because of the state program, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. An IUD normally costs between $500 and several thousand dollars. Through the program women could receive one for free.
A bill attempting to reduce teen pregnancies and provide state funding for intrauterine devices has passed its first test at the capitol. House Bill 1194 would provide $5 million for clinics across the state that offer long-term reversible contraceptives to low-income women and teenagers. Colorado has been running the program with a private grant, which will run out at the end of June 2015.
"Our teen birth rate has dropped 40 percent over the last four years and 34 percent drop in abortions," said Larry Wolk, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.
A bill to fund a state program that's been credited with reducing teen pregnancies and abortions in Colorado was introduced to the House Friday.
The measure would allocate $5 million from this year’s state budget to pay for the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. It’s a program that helps low-income women access long-acting birth control at certain health clinics.
This is the debate between Republican incumbent Don Coram and Democratic challenger Tammie Theis, candidates for House district 58, which encompasses Montrose, San Miguel, Dolores and Montezuma counties. Club 20 Chairman Steve Reynolds moderated the debate. Each candidate was given three minutes for opening remarks, and Don Coram was first.