FOWLER — Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill (SB) 17-267, the Colorado Rural Sustainability Act, into law, creating the Hospital Provider Fee enterprise and providing much needed transportation and education funding for rural Colorado.
The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and its member hospitals and health systems worked tirelessly on this issue during this year’s legislative session (as well as the past three years’ sessions) as a way to avoid managing the state budget through annual cuts to crucial Medicaid funding.
The bill received strong bipartisan support in the legislature, and Gov. Hickenlooper reiterated that this bill was a key component of making this year’s session the most productive of his seven years in office.
Bill sponsor Rep. KC Becker (D-Boulder) was in attendance, as well as Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City), Sen. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) and Reps. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) and Donald Valdez (D-La Jara), to witness the final step in this significant achievement.
Many member hospital representatives were able to make the drive to Fowler to witness the signing as well and thank our legislative supporters in person, including SLV Health CEO Konnie Martin and Public Relations Director Donna Wehe.
The Colorado Hospital Association, under the leadership of Steven Summer, has been so proud to work on this issue on behalf of the member hospitals and health systems, and it was only with a strong partnership, commitment and consistent involvement that this was accomplished. In the end, the real winners are the patients and citizens, especially in rural Colorado.
Pictured below from left are: Konnie Martin, Cheri and Senator Larry Crowder, Tanya Kelly-Bowry with Policy Matters, and Katherine Mulready with CHA.