(Sept. 12) – Speaker Pro Tempore Claire Levy announced today that she is resigning from the Colorado House of Representatives to become executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, a Denver-based research and advocacy organization that promotes economic security, access to health care and sound fiscal policy.
Rep. Levy (D-Boulder) was originally elected to House District 13 in 2006. Due to term limits, the 2014 legislative session would have been her last. Her resignation takes effect Oct. 31.
“I truly love the Colorado General Assembly, and I will miss my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” Rep. Levy said. “But as my time as a legislator grew short, I began to think about ways I could continue to make Colorado a better place for all of its citizens. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy is a perfect fit, and I am honored that the CCLP board invited me to join them.”
Rep. Levy has been a prolific legislator. She has been chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, was vice chair of the powerful Joint Budget Committee, and serves as Speaker Mark Ferrandino’s speaker pro tempore. She has focused on a wide range of issues, with special emphasis on criminal justice reform, civil liberties, energy and budget policy.
“Rep. Levy is my go-to expert on countless subjects,” Speaker Ferrandino said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to lawmakers and advocates, ‘Just talk to Claire. She’ll know the answer.’”
“She’s been an outstanding lawmaker, mentor, confidante and friend,” Speaker Ferrandino continued. “The work she’s done on criminal justice reform, on civil rights, and on our budget will have deep and lasting impacts on Colorado. We’re a better state because of her service. I’m sad she’s leaving the legislature. But I know that in her new position she’ll continue to make a huge impact for this state, and I’m very happy for her.”
A tireless advocate for criminal justice reform, Rep. Levy has been an active member of the Colorado Criminal & Juvenile Justice Reform Commission in addition to serving as chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee under Speaker Terrance Carroll. Rep. Levy sponsored and helped steer a host of legislation to create a more effective and equitable criminal justice system, including laws to limit the transfer of underage suspects into the adult criminal system and to require that youths detained in adult jails be given access to education.
A champion for the underserved, including members of the LGBT and minority communities, Rep. Levy co-authored the Job Protection and Civil Rights Act to provide those who have faced workplace discrimination the first state-level process to pursue remedies.
In response to the Lower North Fork fire, a devastating 2012 wildfire started by a controlled burn, she co-sponsored legislation raising the liability caps of the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, so those impacted could receive larger payments.
For more examples of the breadth of her interests, Rep. Levy is also the author of bills to enact Colorado’s first statewide building code, significantly improving energy efficiency for all new construction in the state; to make voting simpler for members of the armed forces serving overseas; to prohibit texting while driving and to prohibit all cell phone use by young drivers; to prevent insurance companies from shortchanging their customers on casualty claims; and to create a transit and rail division within the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“Claire’s legislative record is simply amazing,” said Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, who has formed the city of Boulder delegation with Rep. Levy since 2009.
“We have served all of our time in the legislature together,” said Rep. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), who has been Rep. Levy’s sparring partner in scores of floor debates and Judiciary Committee hearings. “While we have served different parties and have different philosophies, on many occasions we have worked together. When we were adversaries, she was always respectful, but formidable. I wish her the very best, and I will miss her.”
Rep. Levy will take the helm of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy after her resignation takes effect on Oct. 31. A vacancy committee will be established following Rep. Levy’s departure to fill the seat in House District 13, which includes part of Boulder County and all of Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand and Jackson counties.