Amy Stephens

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Amy Stephens
Colorado-Rep-Amy-Stephens.jpg
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 19th district
In office
January 9, 2013 – January 7, 2015
Preceded byMarsha Looper
Succeeded byPaul Lundeen
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 20th district
In office
January 10, 2007 – January 9, 2013
Preceded byLynn Hefley
Succeeded byBob Gardner
Personal details
BornNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Ron Stephens
Alma materUniversity of California, Los
Angeles

California State University,
Fullerton

University of Colorado,
Colorado Springs

Amy Stephens is a Principal in Public Policy and Regulation Practice at Dentons, a multinational law firm;[1] previously, she served as Colorado House Majority Leader and House Minority Caucus Chairman in the Colorado House of Representatives.[2]

Biography[edit]

Stephens attended the University of California at Los Angeles and then California State University Fullerton, earning a bachelor's degree in communications. From 1991 to 2001, she worked as a public policy and youth culture specialist for the Christian ministry Focus on the Family. A sexual risk avoidance curriculum written by Stephens,[3] No Apologies, has been translated into over a dozen languages.[4] After leaving Focus on the Family, Stephens founded the consulting firm Fresh Ideas Communication & Consulting, assisting non-profit and faith-based organizations with communication, organization, and development issues. She also served as a panel expert on federal grant review committees for the federal Department of Health & Human Services.[4]

Before running for the legislature herself, Stephens was a veteran of numerous Republican campaigns, including those of Colorado Governor Bill Owens, 4th Judicial District Attorney John Newsome, El Paso County Commissioner Wayne Williams,[4] and U.S. President George W. Bush.[5] She served as a member of the El Paso County Republican Committee and as a delegate to the 1996 and 2004 Republican National Conventions. Governor Owens also appointed Stephens to the Governor's Commission on the Welfare of Children.[4]

Elected to the Colorado House of Representatives as a Republican in 2006, Stephens represented House District 20, which covers northern El Paso County, Colorado, including portions of Colorado Springs and the areas surrounding the United States Air Force Academy.[2] She served as the House Majority Leader during the two years of Republican control of the House from 2010–2012. Following redistricting, Stephens was elected as the representative for Colorado's 19th House District. She sought the Republican nomination to challenge then-U.S. Senator Mark Udall in 2014, but withdrew from the race on February 27, 2014.[6] In 2015 she was hired by Dentons, the world’s largest global law firm, to lead their Denver Government Affairs practice.[7]

Stephens is married; she and her husband, Ron, have one son, Nicholas.[8]

Political career[edit]

2006 election[edit]

In 2006, Stephens won a 3:1 victory over Democratic opponent Jan Hejtmanek[9] in an overwhelmingly Republican district.[10] During her campaign, Stephens identified infrastructure issues, including water, as among her major legislative concerns.[5]

2007 legislative session[edit]

In the 2007 session of the state legislature, Stephens sat on the House Judiciary Committee and was the ranking Republican on the House Business & Labor Affairs Committee.[11] Four bills introduced by Rep. Stephens were passed by the General Assembly,[12] most prominently a measure that would prohibit criminal charges against illegal immigrants from being dismissed without their deportation.[13][14] In November 2007, upon Rep. Bill Cadman's appointment to the Colorado Senate, the first-term legislator was elected to succeed him as House Minority Caucus Chair.[15]

2008 legislative session[edit]

In the 2008 session of the Colorado General Assembly, Stephens sat on the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. [16] Stephens sponsored a bill to tax in-room pay-per-view movies sold by hotels to fund child advocacy centers; after facing opposition from the hotel industry, Stephen asked for the bill to be killed in committee.[17] Stephens also sponsored a bill, passed by the General Assembly, to streamline the teaching licensure application process for military spouses,[18] and sponsored another bill to provide unemployment benefits to military spouses forced to relocate out of state.[19] She sponsored successful legislation to require hospitals to publicly publish charges for common medical procedures.[20][21] Stephens led Republican opposition to the 2008 state budget, criticizing it for excessive spending.[22][23]

2008 election[edit]

Stephens again faced Democrat Jan Hejtmanek in the November 2008 legislative election.[24]

In September 2008, Stephens was named to the "Palin Truth Squad," representatives of the McCain-Palin presidential campaign tasked with countering alleged distortions concerning the record of Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.[25] In that capacity, she made a number of media statements in support of Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign,[26] spoke at an October rally in Colorado Springs featuring Palin,[27] and delivered the invocation at a Denver rally featuring John McCain.[28] In October, Stephens, with other Republican legislators, participated in a statewide "Save, Don't Spend" RV Tour critical of Democratic policies.[29][30]

After winning re-election with 76 percent of the popular vote,[31] Stephens was also re-elected Minority Caucus Chair by House Republicans, fending off a challenge for the post from Rep. Ellen Roberts.[32]

2009 legislative session[edit]

With Democratic Rep. Joe Rice, Stephens sponsored legislation allowing health insurance providers to offer discounts for participation in wellness programs.[33][34] Responding to a deal between labor and business leaders to remove several statewide referenda from the 2008 general election ballot, Stephens introduced legislation that would prohibit financial deals that would impact initiatives on Colorado election ballots.[35][36] The measure was defeated in a House committee.[37]

2012 election[edit]

As a consequence of redistricting in the state of Colorado, Representative Stephens ran for the State House in the 19th House District. The seat was previously held by Republican legislator Marsha Looper since the 2006 general election. Representative Stephens faced third party challengers from the ACN and Libertarian parties, but was reelected with over 80% of the vote.[38][39]

2013 Legislative Session[edit]

In the 2013 session of the Colorado General Assembly, Stephens sat as Ranking Member on the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee and House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee. Stephens played a critical role in passing a bill that identifies mandatory reporters for incidents of elder abuse and applies a class 3 misdemeanor as a penalty for failing to do so (SB 111 Require Reports Of Elder Abuse and Exploitation). She also made it easier for mental health care providers from other states to work in treatment facilities operated by the U.S. Armed Forces (HB 1065 Federal Professionals Mental Health Authority). Additionally, Stephens passed a piece of legislation targeted at reporting waste-prevention in health care (HB 1196 Report Waste-Prevention Methods Accountable Care), as well as another bill assisting home-schooled students in participating in extracurricular activities in public schools (HB 1095 Home School Students Participation in Activities).

2014 U.S. Senate Race[edit]

Stephens organized a campaign for U.S. Senate to run against Mark Udall. On February 26, 2014, while in the process of raising campaign funds and gathering signatures to petition onto the June Republican primary ballot, she announced her intentions to drop out of the race and support Cory Gardner.[40]

Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act[edit]

Noting that the Affordable Care Act had already been passed in Colorado,[41], Stephens and Senate President Pro-tem Betty Boyd co-sponsored bill SB-11-200, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act, dubbed by some critics as “Amycare,” in an attempt to create a free market within the healthcare system. [42] [43] "AmyCare" was not well received by fellow Republicans and Coloradans in general. [44] “The bill allowed individuals and small businesses to band together and negotiate in marketplaces for health care coverage the way large companies do.”[45] “Stephens sponsored the legislation that created[46] the Connect for Health Colorado insurance marketplace, arguing, “The only thing to decide was if we would exercise our state rights or put people in a federally run exchange.”[47] Stephens set up an implementation review committee to provide oversight and hold the exchange accountable to the legislature and to state audit. [48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amy Stephens". Dentons. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  2. ^ a b "State House District 20". COMaps. Archived from the original on 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
  3. ^ "A Better Approach to Teenage Pregnancy Prevention" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b c d "Biography". AmyStephens4hd20.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  5. ^ a b "Amy Stephens - Colorado - State House District 20 candidate". RockyMountainNews.com. Retrieved 2007-11-14.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Bartels, Lynn. "Amy Stephens drops U.S. Senate bid, calls Cory Gardner "the great uniter"". Denver Post.
  7. ^ "Former Rep. Amy Stephens joins prominent Denver law firm". The Denver Post: The Spot. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  8. ^ "Representative Stephens". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  9. ^ "Campaign 2008". AmyStephens4hd20.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  10. ^ Wilson, Jennifer (September 28, 2007). "District 20 is a GOP bastion". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  11. ^ "House Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  12. ^ "Legislative Agenda". AmyStephens4hd20.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  13. ^ Associated Press (May 28, 2007). "Bill aims to stop illegal immigrants from escaping prosecution". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on July 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  14. ^ Sealover, Ed (June 2, 2007). "Casino smoking ban gets Ritter's approval". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  15. ^ Associated Press (November 10, 2007). "CGOP Elects Amy Stephens Caucus Chairwoman". cds4denver.com. Retrieved 2007-11-14.[dead link]
  16. ^ "House Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
  17. ^ Staff Report (13 February 2008). "Representative drops plans to tax hotel pay-per-view movies". Durango Herald. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  18. ^ Sealover, Ed (3 March 2008). "Monday in the General Assembly". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  19. ^ Paulson, Steven K. (17 March 2008). "Bill eases rule on jobless pay". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  20. ^ Davidson, Michael; Ed Sealover (20 April 2008). "This week in the Legislature". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
  21. ^ Moore, Paula (28 May 2008). "Governor signs business bills". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  22. ^ Hanel, Joe (27 March 2008). "State tackles budget". Durango Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-28.[dead link]
  23. ^ Gathright, Alan (28 March 2008). "House's OK of budget bill hailed, flailed". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  24. ^ Swanson, Perry (16 October 2008). "Democrats contesting all 11 El Paso County seats in state Legislature". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  25. ^ "McCain-Palin 2008 Launches Truth Squad to Counter Attacks on Governor Sarah Palin" (Press release). McCain-Palin 2008. 9 September 2008. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008.
  26. ^ Sealover, Ed (22 September 2008). "Palin fires up state races". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  27. ^ Scanlon, Bill (20 October 2008). "Palin speaks in Colorado Springs, Colorado". Vail Daily. Archived from the original on 23 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  28. ^ Bunch, Joey (2 October 2008). "McCain fires up Sheraton crowd". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  29. ^ Montero, David (17 October 2008). "Colorado GOP takes message on the road". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  30. ^ Hoover, Tim (17 October 2008). "Republicans on an austerity drive". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  31. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 General Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-12-04.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ Luning, Ernest (6 November 2008). "Carroll named speaker as Colorado legislative leadership takes shape". Colorado Independent. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
  33. ^ Schroyer, John (21 January 2009). "Lawmakers looking to make healthy lifestyles pay off". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  34. ^ Mook, Bob (21 January 2009). "House panel OK's bill giving insurance breaks for wellness programs". Denver Business Journal. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  35. ^ Marcus, Peter (6 October 2008). "Union deal angers GOP". Denver Daily News. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  36. ^ Marcus, Peter (12 January 2009). "GOP seeking revenge?". Denver Daily News. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  37. ^ Bartels, Lynn (28 January 2009). "Ballot measure fails in committee". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  38. ^ "CO - Election Results - Colorado Secretary of State". Archived from the original on 2017-03-14.
  39. ^ "State House 2012 Election Results - Denver Post".
  40. ^ Bartels, Lynn (27 February 2014). "Amy Stephens drops U.S. Senate bid, calls Cory Gardner "the great uniter"". Denver Post. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  41. ^ Miller, Blair (2017-05-05). "US House passes American Health Care Act onto Senate 217-213; see how Colorado reps voted". 7NEWS. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  42. ^ "OUR VIEW: Amycare protects us from Obamacare (poll, video)". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  43. ^ "Colorado House Majority Leader Stephens under siege from the right". The Colorado Independent. 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  44. ^ {{Cite web|url=https://www.coloradopols.com/diary/53767/greg-brophy-slams-stephens-amycare
  45. ^ "Stephens says health exchange bill still alive and kicking". The Spot. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  46. ^ Post, Lynn Bartels | The Denver (2014-08-25). "Rep. Amy Stephens to advise Colorado Health Institute". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  47. ^ "Stephens takes heat for sponsoring 'Amycare' bill". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  48. ^ "SB-11-200" (PDF).

External links[edit]