(May 14) – Gov. Polis signed bills sponsored by Colorado Springs Democratic Reps. Tony Exum and Marc Snyder into law today.

This morning, Rep. Tony Exum, Sr. traveled to Pueblo to join Gov. Jared Polis as he signed into law SB19-065, a bill he sponsored with Senate President Leroy Garcia to create a peer-to-peer assistance program to help EMS paramedics who are struggling with the stresses of their job.

“Being an EMS paramedic is one of the most stressful jobs out there,” said Rep. Tony Exum, D-Colorado Springs. “This new law will open doors for emergency medical providers to peer assistance when they are going through challenges in their life and are not able to perform their duties. This law puts a focus on mental health and can help ensure Colorado’s EMS workers are in the best shape physically and mentally to help save lives and respond to a crisis.”

Rep. Exum is a retired battalion chief in the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

SB19-065 is a bipartisan law that creates a fund that will pay for a peer health assistance program which will evaluate, assist, and counsel EMS paramedics who are dealing with the stresses of their job. Whenever an EMS worker becomes certified or renews their certification, a small fee of $2.55 will be applied to create the program within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Sometimes the toll and exposure to traumatic events in these positions can lead to depression, aggressive behaviors, substance abuse, and even suicide.

This afternoon, another bipartisan Exum bill was signed into law at Centennial Elementary in Colorado Springs today. HB19-1013, will extend the low-income child care tax credit to help ease the childcare burden on roughly 32,000 hardworking families in Colorado for another eight years.

“The high cost of child care places a burden on hardworking families in Colorado Springs and our state,” Rep. Exum said when the bill passed the House. “I was proud to sponsor this bill when I first got to the state capitol and hope we can continue helping thousands of Coloradan families afford child care every year.”

Gov. Polis then signed a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs.

“The goal of this program is to help those with traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries. This update will help expand services to Coloradans with brain injuries who deserve proper assistance,” said Rep. Snyder.

HB19-1147 makes revisions to the traumatic brain injury program, including requiring the traumatic brain injury trust fund board to include members who have experienced a brain injury, family members of persons who have experienced brain injury, and those with specific personal or professional experience with traumatic brain injury.  The Senate sponsor is Sen. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs.

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