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2022 Legislative Accomplishments

In just 74 days of serving as Pueblo’s state Senator, Hinrichsen successfully passed numerous bills that have become law to move Pueblo forward. From working to address the housing crisis and cutting costs for families, to combating the fentanyl epidemic and creating opportunities for Pueblo’s veterans, Hinrichsen has successfully advocated for his community and demonstrated his keen ability to get things done for the people he serves in Senate District 3.

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SECURING MILLIONS FOR THE COLORADO STATE FAIR

The Colorado State Fair is a state institution, and a critical driver of Pueblo’s economy. Senator Hinrichsen knows how important the state fair is to our community, which is why he championed a law (SB22-134) this year to invest $4 million to support the Colorado State Fair Authority Cash Fund and fund implementation of the 2021 Colorado State Fair Master Plan – which will help ensure the sustainability and longevity of this historic tradition in Pueblo.

PREVENTING CRIME AND CREATING SAFER STREETS

Every Coloradan deserves to feel safe and secure in their community. Senator Hinrichsen’s Safer Streets Act (SB22-001) creates a $10 million grant program in the Colorado Department of Public Safety to help communities make critical improvements to cut down on crime and improve public safety through neighborhood upgrades, such as better lighting to increase visibility and improved design of shared community spaces, which are proven strategies for building safer communities.

PUTTING MORE MONEY IN

YOUR POCKETS 

Here in Pueblo and across the state, pandemic-induced inflation has caused Colorado families to spend more of their hard earned paychecks while getting far less for their money in return. To help ease the financial pinch, Senator Hinrichsen championed a bill that speeds up the timeline for refund checks to help families afford basic necessities like gas and groceries. All full-time residents of Colorado who filed their 2021 income tax returns by June 30th, 2022 will receive a check. Thanks to our healthy state budget, urgently-needed relief checks have increased, which means every Colorado taxpayer will receive at least $750 – $1,500 for joint filers – giving folks more financial freedom to fill up their gas tank, put food on the table, buy school supplies, and pay their bills.

 

REDUCING YOUTH RECIDIVISM

Part of preventing crime and creating safer communities involves investing in effective intervention and prevention programs to help stop criminal activity from happening in the first place. A new law championed by Senator Hinrichsen (HB22-1003) creates a 2-year Delinquency Prevention and Young Offender Intervention Pilot Grant Program in the Colorado Department of Public Safety . The program will award grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to fund community-based projects aimed at reducing crime among youth as well as involvement in the juvenile justice system. 

 

ADDRESSING THE HOUSING CRISIS

Mobile home parks are Colorado’s closest thing to ‘naturally-occurring’ affordable housing, but mobile home park residents are feeling the pressure of skyrocketing housing costs. A law sponsored by Senator Hinrichsen (SB22-160) will create and invest $35 million into the Mobile Home Park Resident Empowerment Loan and Grant Program Fund, which will provide financing to eligible mobile home homeowners so they can purchase the land under their homes and convert into a resident-owned community. The law will provide critical protections for mobile home owners by putting an end to extreme rent hikes, and help mobile home residents access the tools and help they need to buy the land their homes sit on.

 

RAMPING UP SCHOOL SECURITY & IMPROVING BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES

Too many kids don’t know where to turn when they are in a mental health crisis. Senator Hinrichsen’s law, HB22-1243, puts an additional $2 million in federal funds toward the behavioral health care professional matching grant program and $6 million in federal funds to extend the popular I-Matter program beyond its scheduled repeal in June 2022, paving the way to serve youth with free counseling sessions for another two years.

 

DELIVERING FEE RELIEF FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS

Our health care heroes have faced immeasurable challenges over the last two years, but regardless of these challenges, they have stepped up to the plate every day to care for Coloradans. Senator Hinrichsen’s law, HB22-1298, helps alleviate the pressure essential workers have faced by providing licensure and certification fee relief for nurses, nurse aides, and psychiatric technicians. 

 

INCREASING HIGHER ED OPPORTUNITIES FOR VETERANS

We need to ensure that the brave men and women who have served our country are set up for success and equipped with the tools necessary to transition back to civilian life. A law championed by Senator Hinrichsen, HB22-1407, requires an institution of higher education that has a program or policy that permits a person to audit a course offered by the institution for no credit to permit a veteran, as part of the institution's program or policy, to audit a course for a fee capped at $10 per course. 

 

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES & EMPOWERING OUR ECONOMY

In 2020, the General Assembly passed a bill to allow qualifying retailers, including restaurant, bars, and mobile food services providers, to deduct up to $70,000 monthly from state net taxable sales for up to five sites for a four-month period. The legislature added another four-month period again in 2021, and with the passage of legislation (HB22-1406) sponsored by Senator Hinrichsen, extended it for another four-month period from July to September 2022 – helping our small businesses thrive and supporting our economy.

COMBATING AIR POLLUTION 

It’s no secret that Colorado is facing a dire air quality crisis – in fact, last summer Colorado had the worst air quality in the world. Senator Hinrichsen’s law, SB22-180, creates a grant program to provide $28 million to transit associations to provide free transit services during ozone season. This commonsense law will encourage transit ridership, reduce harmful emissions, and help us further our climate goals while ensuring Colorado families have cleaner, healthier air to breathe. 

REDUCING HOMELESSNESS

Addressing homelessness is so much more than creating more housing options. It’s about connecting people without stable housing to services, care and housing they need to move forward. Senator Hinrichsen’s law, SB22-211, repurposes an unused, state-owned facility as the Ridge View Supportive Residential Community which will serve to provide housing, a continuum of behavioral health service treatment, medical care, vocational training, and skill development for Ridge View residents and the general public. As a result, more folks experiencing homelessness will be better connected with the care they need to support their health and stability.

IMPROVING HOUSING ACCESS FOR VETERANS & MILITARY

Coloradans who have stepped up to serve our country should never be denied access to housing due to their military status. Senator Hinrichsen’s law, HB22-1102, prohibits anyone selling or renting a house, apartment, or other dwelling from discriminating against an individual based on their veteran or military status. 

PUTTING MONEY PACK IN COLORADANS’ POCKETS

Coloradans and folks around the world are feeling financial pressure due to pandemic-induced inflation, which is why Senator Hinrichsen continually supported critical policies this year to alleviate that pressure. These new laws will save the average homeowner $274 on their property taxes (SB22-238); provide advanced tax refunds this summer to every Colorado resident (SB22-233); help families and workers take advantage of tax reforms to save $180 million this year through the expanded earned income tax credit and child tax credit (SB22-182); and save homeowners money on wildfire mitigation (HB22-1007).

PROVIDING TAX RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES

Senator Hinrichsen worked with his colleagues in the Senate this year to pass a wide variety of bills to save Coloradans money, including businesses. He cast his vote for legislation to provide $700 million in property tax relief over the next two years for businesses and homeowners (SB22-238); eliminate fees to start your own business (HB22-1001); allow restaurants to keep $40 million of the sales tax they collect (HB22-1406); make sales tax filing easier (SB22-006); and replenish the unemployment insurance trust fund to save businesses money and protect this important assistance for workers (SB22-234).

 

PREVENTING THEFT & IMPROVING SAFETY

Catalytic converter theft has skyrocketed in Colorado and throughout the country. That’s why Senator Hinrichsen voted for legislation to cut down on crime and prevent theft from occurring in the future. SB22-009 cuts down on catalytic converter thefts by giving state regulators more oversight of aftermarket sales of catalytic converters and making it easier to prosecute those selling stolen ones. SB22-179 adds civil penalties for offenses related to catalytic converter theft, while HB22-1217 creates a grant program to increase public awareness around catalytic converter theft and provide financial assistance to victims.

MAKING A RECORD INVESTMENT IN K-12 FUNDING

Senator Hinrichsen knows how important Colorado’s students are for our collective future success. That’s why he enthusiastically voted for the 2022 School Finance Act, which increases funding for K-12 public schools by nearly $550 per student on average to put more resources directly into classrooms that school districts can use to increase teacher pay, reduce class sizes and ensure students have what they need to thrive. 

BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES

Senator Hinrichsen knows that rising crime is a concern for folks in Pueblo and across Colorado. Research shows that crime prevention strategies that include collaboration between communities and local law enforcement are most effective. The Community Safety Investment Act (SB22-145) he voted for this session tasks the Colorado Department of Public Safety with implementing three new grant programs to improve community safety and law enforcement: the Multidisciplinary Crime Prevention and Intervention Grant Program ($15 million) gives grants to law enforcement, local government agencies, and community-based organizations to identify and implement prevention and intervention strategies in high-crime areas; the Law Enforcement Workforce Recruitment, Retention, and Tuition Grant Program ($7.5 million) gives grants to law enforcement agencies for training and staffing purposes; and the State's Mission for Assistance in Recruitment and Training Policing Grant Program ($7.5 million) is intended to increase the number of law enforcement officers that are representative of their communities.

COMBATTING THE FENTANYL CRISIS

Senator Hinrichsen has made it a priority to support policies that aim to improve public safety and crack down on the overdose crisis in Pueblo and beyond. This year, he cast his vote for HB22-1326, the Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Act, a comprehensive approach to combat the fentanyl crisis. The bill deploys both proven public health-focused strategies and enhanced criminal penalties targeting dealers to keep fentanyl off Colorado streets and save lives. The new law strengthens criminal penalties on any individual distributing fentanyl, directs $29 million in federal pandemic relief funds to expand access to proven public health tools like the life-saving opioid antagonist Narcan as well as fentanyl test strips, and integrates mandatory substance use disorder assessments and treatment into the state’s sentencing process to get people into treatment and recovery services.

EMPOWERING WORKERS  & EXPANDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS

We need to ensure that Colorado’s workers are equipped with the tools necessary to advocate for themselves so we can build an even stronger workforce, help power our economy, and ensure folks can provide for their families. A new law supported by Senator Hinrichsen (SB22-230) builds upon the state workers bill from 2020 to extend collective bargaining rights to county workers. The law gives public service workers who choose to form a union a seat at the table to collectively bargain on issues like working conditions, job safety, pay and benefits, and to collaborate with management to address shared challenges like staff shortages, retention issues, and improving public services.