Printed on 1/13/14

2011 Session

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For more information about the 2011 legislative session, please see my legislative updates on the left side of the page.

Adultery Law Repeal

The following speech was delivered by Senator Lundberg during third reading debate for Senate Bill 244 on May 2, 2011:

Senate Bill 244 eliminates the prohibition of adultery from Colorado's statutes. It eliminates the crime of promoting sexual immorality. It eliminates the requirement that a peace officer standards and training certification be denied for anyone convicted of promoting sexual immorality. It eliminates any distinction between the morality of sexual activity within the context of marriage, and the morality of sexual activity outside of marriage.

This is not an archaic, frontier-era issue which few care about in today's culture. In 2011 state standards for family relations and moral decency are still of strong concern for many Colorado citizens.

That is why we have Articles 6 and 7 to title 18, which is our criminal code. Article 6 is titled: "Offenses Involving the Family Relations." This article includes the subjects of bigamy, incest, domestic violence, wrongs to children, and adultery.

Article 7 is titled: "Offenses Relating to Morals." It includes the subjects of obscenity, prostitution, public indecency, child prostitution, sexually explicit materials harmful to children, criminal invasion of privacy, and promoting sexual immorality.

These are all difficult subjects, but they must be considered in this debate for they violate the moral standards of our society and previous legislatures have made the decision to declare them wrong in our laws.

SB-244 chips away at some of those community standards established for moral decency. By eliminating the prohibition of adultery, eliminating the crime of promoting sexual immorality and eliminating the requirement that a peace officer cannot serve if convicted of promoting sexual immorality, we are not cutting out nineteenth century notions that have no relevance to today's world. We are charting a very different course than what our predecessors established when articles six and seven were written.

The title to Senate Bill 244 tells much of this story quite clearly: "Concerning the Repeal of Certain Crimes that include Marital Status as an Element of the Crime." The point seems to be: when it comes to sexual morality, the institution of marriage has no relevance.

SB-244 eliminates any distinction between the morality of sexual activity within the context of marriage or outside of marriage. For many of the citizens of Colorado this distinction is still very important and should not be struck from Colorado law.

The idea that marriage is a singularly significant institution that should be promoted and protected in law is not unique to Colorado. Indeed, to be consistent with what we find in Senate Bill 244, the bedrock of legal standards for human history should be referred to as the nine commandments.

SB-244 is not within the best interests of the people of Colorado. I urge a no vote.


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Long Bill Debate, 4/11/11

These are the comments I gave to the Senate during the third reading debate on the budget bill:

The budget package before us today is a good start, and I applaud the hard work that has gotten us this far. In my nine years in the legislature, this is the best budget I have seen.

Our reserve is scheduled to be restored to the 4% level. For the first time in a long time we are trying to stay away from fee-based cash funds to help balance a tight budget. The Ag And Software Taxes, put in place last year, are to be phased out. The vendor fee, taken away from retail businesses two years ago, at a cost of thousands of jobs, is finally being phased back in. Overall the state is reducing some 750 full-time government employees.

These are great steps forward for the people of Colorado.

Nonetheless I shall be a no vote on the Long Bill.

What we have before us today is a compromise between widely disparate views on a multitude of issues. To the credit of the majority party, you did come to the table and help negotiate a meeting in the middle. We have, I am sure, the best we can contrive, given the political realities we have here under the Gold Dome.

Yet, I am voting no because we should and, could still do so much more.

Colorado has as much, and, I believe, even more potential than any other state in the Union. We are blessed with rich natural resources, including vast energy reserves. Our agriculture is strong and productive. High-tech continues to march forward creating 21st century industries no one even dreamed possible a few decades ago. And, we live in Colorado. The majestic beauty of our state continues to attract people from around the world. The energy, optimism, and creative talent of the citizens of Colorado is remarkable.

The people of this great state should have the very best in government, but even with the best budget in at least a decade, we continue to plod on with too many tired, big-government systems that we cannot afford and we have more intrusive regulations than our liberties can endure.

We need substantial, structural change in our state's government. Today's budget reflects a few, small steps, but I still look forward to the day we tackle the big issues that continue to hold us back.

For example:

We need competitive, free market systems in medicine that put the decisions and the responsibilities directly into the hands of individuals and their doctor. In medicine, far too often there are no serious competitive dynamics to drive costs down to where the average citizen can afford to go to the doctor.

Free market medicine means state and Federal mandates go away. Citizens should be allowed to buy insurance from any state in the Union. Tort reform must release doctors from a constant fear of spending more of their time and money in the court room than in their own clinic. Alternatives to traditional insurance, like cost sharing programs and health savings accounts must be promoted, and not regulated out of existence. Additionally, alternative modalities of care and treatment should be allowed and encouraged. Our medical systems should not be hung up with rigid laws and regulations that drive up costs and sometimes hold back the best and latest discoveries for good health.

We also need cost saving reforms in education. Policies that promote all educational options, both public and private, as well as policies that honor parents' fundamental authority and responsibility for their children's education. These structural changes will increase educational opportunities and yield significant savings for our state's budget.

Time does not allow a full discussion, but structural changes are also needed in our prison system, transportation funding, PERA, higher education, Medicaid, severance taxes, rainy-day funds, property taxes, and many other areas.

We have to control our state government's insatiable desire to spend more money than it brings in. Particularly in these tough times we need fiscal sanity and just plain common sense put back into in our budget.

I will continue to push for these vitally needed reforms. Part of that push is voting no on SB-209.

Again, I applaud the leadership on both sides of the isle for all that has been accomplished with SB-209. Some progress can be seen, but government must be brought back to its proper jurisdiction and government must live within its means. When I see a budget proposed, including the related measures that make the structural changes, I will wholeheartedly support that budget.


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Marriage and Civil Unions

The family is the most essential institution of a civilized society. Historically, the family existed long before civil government. Any nation which has ever flourished had at its core the family unit gluing the day-to-day details of life into a harmonious system.

This is no accident of random social experiment. Our Creator established the family as the cornerstone of human society, and we can see this intentional design of the family through the universal effectiveness of its function.

The traditional family of one man and one woman, bonded together in marriage, with the direct responsibility to raise their children, has contributed more for civilization than anything civil government has ever accomplished.

Civil government cannot make or enforce enough laws to replicate the role of the family.

I have seen first-hand that the legislature will never be able to mandate a responsible citizenry. In stark contrast, a solid family is the first, best step toward building and maintaining that responsibility at all levels. In the arena of public policy the very best that can be done is to always encourage and promote the health of the traditional family.

Yet some in our culture want to turn our most essential structure of society on its head by creating civil unions, or even redefine marriage itself. This undercuts civilization's most effective means of promoting peace, harmony and prosperity. Attempts to change the one man, one woman traditional marriage to any combination of any gender is not accepting a broader, fuller meaning of marriage; it is to miss the very point of marriage and attempt to supplant it with a very different paradigm.

Ultimately we would not really redefine marriage, we would simply put our laws in contradiction to the realities of human experience.

Of all times in history, now is the most important time to stand up and defend that which is best. The traditional family is essential for any culture to flourish, and today's rapidly changing society is in desperate need of the stability and good influence of healthy families. This is what we should promote. This is what we should encourage. To embrace a counterfeit is to dangerously tempt a significant deterioration of our culture.

In the past couple of decades some nations have already changed their laws to include civil unions and/or same-sex marriages. In the brief time since those changes began, particularly in the countries of France and Sweden, marriage has not become a greater influence on the culture. In those countries marriage has diminished in acceptance and practice. With this diminished role of healthy marriages in those cultures the state has, by default, become the greater influence in citizen's lives. Not only has marriage diminished, so has liberty.

Unfortunately, in the U.S. we also see these trends. Despite the fact that over two-thirds of the states, and Congress, have passed defense of marriage acts, social progressives continue to press for civil unions and same-sex marriage. Since the people consistently reject changing marriage at the ballot box, these activists use the courts and legislatures to force their will on the people.

Here in Colorado the people very clearly spoke less than five years ago. They endorsed a one man, one woman marriage amendment for our constitution and rejected another measure on the ballot that would have established civil unions.

This year Senate bill 172 was the big push to create civil unions in Colorado. This bill would have recognized same-sex unions as the equivalent of marriage in every aspect that can be addressed in Colorado law. Based on the facts I have cited here, I opposed SB-172. The bill passed the Senate and died in committee in the House.










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Suspending the Emission Testing for Larimer and Weld Counties

by Senator Kevin Lundberg and Senator Scott Renfroe

If your car was in good working order, would it make sense to have it fixed anyway? The government is trying to fix something that isn't broken by forcing costly and time-consuming vehicle emission tests on residents of Weld and Larimer county. The program is taking money from Larimer and Weld county families to fund government bureaucracies and a business monopoly.

If House Bill 1082 becomes law the vehicle emission tests required for gasoline vehicles in Weld and Larimer counties will be suspended. What that means is no fees or tests as long as our air quality continues to meet or exceed the EPA standards. The program could be resumed in future years only if the scientific, measured, evidence ever proves that we are outside of clean air standards. Today the evidence is quite clear. We are in compliance with all current clean air standards, and the multi-year trends have been consistently improving.

The normal replacement of older cars with newer vehicles continues to improve our air quality. Additionally, the oil and gas industry has invested heavily in
emission controls. Without the vehicle testing program our air quality has steadily improved in both Larimer and Weld counties. HB-1082 will allow this process to continue.

The recently imposed emission tests are not needed. They cost our citizens far too much time, trouble, and money. That is why we support suspending the tests, with HB-1082, and only allowing the tests in the future if the facts prove we are out of compliance.

In addition, the argument that including Larimer and Weld counties in the Denver Metro testing region will help area-wide compliance is a false notion. The clean air standards are not an average of all testing locations. Instead, all locations must individually pass the standards. Adding the additional areas in our counties simply increases the number of locations that must meet the standards. If any one station ever fails, the entire region is then out of compliance.

For Weld and Larimer counties the emission testing program is too much government regulation and too much government imposed costs for families just
trying to get by in these tough times. We all want clean air and clean water, but over regulation with minimal benefit for the time, trouble and cost is not good
public policy.

The commissions for both Weld and Larimer counties, as well as several town councils have passed resolutions calling for an end to the emissions testing. House Bill 1082 passed the House last month with bipartisan support despite all Northern Colorado Democrats voting against the bill. The bill now is in the Senate, which will be a tough battle. Everyone who cares about this issue needs to get involved.

On Thursday, March 24, at 1:30 PM, HB-1082 will be given a public hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee. Anyone wishing to give the committee their comments are welcome to come and be a part of that hearing. For more information on this important issue please contact us through ColoradoSenateNews.com.

Senator Kevin Lundberg - District 15 representing most of Larimer County
Senator Scott W. Renfroe - District 13 representing most of Weld County
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