DENVER – It’s a long session at the Legislature, and there’s a great number of things to be learned by first-time legislators.
And, sometimes, even the best intended – and supported – bills can have unintended fallout.
Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, learned that first-hand this week when she received communications from constituents who own businesses on Colorado Highway 3 that were concerned about the implications of renaming the roadway as the Capt. Jeff Kuss Memorial Highway.
The concerns over House Joint Resolution 1015 centered around the fear of having to rebrand establishments because of the new name and the potential costs, McLachlan said.
And on Thursday, the representative took the time to assuage those concerns.
“Highway 3 will always be Highway 3, and when you Google-map it, or you look it up online, or whatever, it will always be Highway 3,” she said. “And I just want to make sure that the people who own businesses there feel very assured that their places will not have to be renamed as well.”
Lisa Schwantes, communications manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation Region 5, which includes La Plata County, confirmed that the bill does not change the highway name but adds an honorific onto it.
Similar sections of highway can be found around the state, including the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway near Saguache, which is still technically part of Colorado Highway 285. The section of 285 was given the additional name by a Senate Joint Resolution passed in 2002.
Thursday was a relatively light day at the Capitol, with three bills receiving third readings, four got second readings and 17 were scheduled for committee hearings.Included in the bills adopted upon second reading was House Bill 1186, which would require insurance companies to cover reimbursement of a year’s supply of contraceptives from in-network entities.The sponsors of the bill, Reps. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, and Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, said HB 1186 would make it easier for women to keep on their medication regimen and cut down on accidental pregnancies and resulting abortions across the state.
“Regardless of if you’re pro-choice or pro-life, this is a very good bill,” Pettersen said. “This is a simple change, a simple change that doesn’t increase cost for insurance companies or providers.”
The bill will receive a final reading and vote in the coming days before being sent to the Senate for consideration.