Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsFebruary 22, 20184min425

Of all the arguments made against gun safety proposals, far and away the most ridiculous is the "why have laws at all" argument. "But criminals won't follow the law! It won't make any difference!" We don't have laws for criminals. We have laws for the rest of us, so we can tell the difference and punish those who break them. Should we eliminate laws against rape? Against robbery? People still drive drunk, but the Colorado legislature passed a felony drunk-driving law with severe penalties last year. Should we not have bothered?

Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 3, 20173min291

State Rep. Janet Buckner says Colorado is one of only five states that don’t require fingerprint background checks for nurses and one of only six that don’t fingerprint doctors. That’s why the Aurora Democrat, a former medical sales professional, is sponsoring the Patient Safety Act, which would require fingerprint background checks for doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers authorized to prescribe controlled substances in the state.

The Act, House Bill 1121, also enters Colorado into the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact to enable health-care professionals to continue to provide telehealth nursing services and to be able to practice in other states with their Colorado license. And the bill aligns the Nursing Practice Act to the Medical Practice Act to eliminate an existing “safe harbor” for addiction-related violations.

HB 1121 passed the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee on Thursday.

“This is a common sense change, and it is time Colorado joins the rest of the nation to better protect our patients,” Buckner said in a news release from the House Democrats.

The press statement also notes:

Federal-level fingerprint based background checks are the most comprehensive means available to ensure patient safety and transparency. Currently, Colorado relies on self-disclosure to ensure doctors do not have past criminal convictions that would flag them as potentially unfit to provide care.

Testifying in support of the bill at Thursday’s committee hearing was Michelle Shelley, the mother of a young girl with special needs who was abused by a registered nurse hired to care for her last summer in the family’s home.

“Her bed is no longer a peaceful place of rest. It is filled with nightmares,” Shelley told the committee. “The abuse shouldn’t have ever happened. Today I ask you to support the Patient Safety Act because we have an obligation to add this protection for those who cannot speak.”



Tom RamstackTom RamstackOctober 14, 20168min390

A lawsuit over gun laws pending in Washington, D.C. is being closely watched by the Denver-based Independence Institute to determine how it could affect the rights of private citizens to carry concealed guns. The Independence Institute is a libertarian public policy group whose advocacy work for personal and economic freedom includes support for laws granting some private citizens rights to carry concealed guns. The organization is planning legal action to bring gun rights back to the forefront in Colorado politics.