First Bill Signing of Session: HB-1162
On Thursday, May 3, Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 12-1162 into law during a signing ceremony in the Governor's office. The bill authorizes the creation of special license plates for veterans of Operations Desert Storm or Desert Shield. As a veteran and the chair of the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee, I was proud to be the Senate sponsor of this bill, and to share this bill signing with House sponsor Rep. Nancy Todd (pictured below to the left of Gov. Hickenlooper) and the Governor.
During Thursday's ceremony, Gov. Hickenlooper also signed HB 12-1063 into law. The bill established the Homelake Military Veterans Cemetery, which will consist of the existing cemetery at the Colorado State Veterans Center in Homelake (Monte Vista, CO) along with an adjacent portion of land available for cemetery expansion. Rep. Robert Ramirez and Sen. Gail Schwartz were the prime sponsors of HB-1063.
With limited resources, the State of Colorado can only do certain things for our veterans. With HBs 1162 and 1063, we took some relatively small steps for the men and women who served our country, and the General Assembly did identify additional funding for veterans services in our FY 2012-13 budget process. The budget bill hasn't been signed into law just yet, but I sincerely hope it will include the funds for essential items such as health care and job training for our veterans.
It was an honor to have sponsored HB-1162 and to have been present for the bill signing ceremony. I hope a few more bills that I have sponsored in 2012 will also be signed into law, and I'll know soon since the 2012 session ends Wednesday, May 9.