(May 24) – Gov. John Hickenlooper traveled to Bent County today to sign a bill that includes an amendment to repurpose the Ft. Lyon campus in Las Animas to provide transitional housing, supportive services and vocational training for hundreds of homeless Coloradans.

SB13-210, sponsored in the House by Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver), directs the Department of Corrections to alter several of their personnel practices, including improving the overtime pay system for employees, providing all DOC employees with a pay stub that includes hours worked, rate of pay, overtime and paid leave and establishing regulations to create greater flexibility in staffing.

“This will provide safer and better working conditions for employees of the Department of Corrections, which will improve the system overall,” Rep. Duran said. “This bill is really important for the safety of our hard working state workers. It’s good for the personnel system and good for Colorado.”

In the closing days of session, SB13-210 was amended to include the provisions of HB13-1261, sponsored by Reps. Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) and Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth). The amendment, also sponsored by Reps. Garcia and Dore, repurposes the Fort Lyon campus, which was a minimum-security correctional facility, into a full-service treatment and rehabilitation center for Colorado’s most vulnerable homeless individuals to help end veteran homelessness, reduce chronic homelessness and sustain an economic driver for Southeastern Colorado.

“This is an innovative and pragmatic plan that will have a significant impact on reducing homelessness and ensuring economic stability for a rural area of Colorado that has faced hardship since the closing of the correctional facility,” Rep. Garcia said. “I applaud Gov. Hickenlooper for his leadership, and I’m glad we got this done for the people of Colorado. We worked in a bipartisan way, putting our minds together for common-sense, innovative solutions that will help cure difficult problems while creating jobs and boosting the Southern Colorado economy.”

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