CO senator who questioned welfare change to lead Human Services committee


By Arthur Kane |

The Colorado state senator concerned about a welfare rule change that increased the time welfare recipients can spend on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will head the Senate Health and Human Services Committee next year.

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, didn’t know about last year’s rule change until told him about it. He was upset the state would change the time period to determine qualifications and payment amounts from monthly to every six months.

SPLIT SESSION: Republicans retook the state Senate and Democrats retained control of the House in Colorado.

“Far too many agencies shovel out the money as quickly they can,” Lundberg told last week. “It’s the entitlement attitude that the agency is there to provide benefits and the more people who get benefits, the more successful the agencies are. They are not supposed to be sugar daddies.”

The rule, which went into effect July 2013, also allowed benefits to go up in the six-month period, but not go down.

Colorado Department of Human Services officials said the change was necessary to reduce county caseload and provide more resources for recipients to transition from welfare to work.

Lundberg couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The Republicans retook the state Senate this month after nearly a decade out of power. The full committee list is posted on the Senate Republican website and is copied below.

Senate Health and Human Services
Senator Kevin Lundberg Chair
Senator Larry Crowder Vice Chair
Senator-elect Beth Martinez Humenik

Senate Business, Labor and Technology
Senator David Balmer Chair
Senator-elect Chris Holbert Vice Chair
Senator Randy Baumgardner
Senator-elect Tim Neville
Senator-elect Laura Woods

Senate Judiciary
Senator Ellen Roberts Chair
Senator Kevin Lundberg Vice Chair
Senator-elect John Cooke

Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs
Senator-elect Ray Scott Chair
Senator-elect Jerry Sonnenberg Vice Chair
Senator Owen Hill

Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy
Senator-elect Jerry Sonnenberg Chair
Senator Ellen Roberts Vice Chair
Senator Randy Baumgardner
Senator-elect Ray Scott
Senator-elect John Cooke

Senate Education
Senator Owen Hill Chair
Senator Vicki Marble Vice Chair
Senator-elect Tim Neville
Senator-elect Chris Holbert
Senator-elect Laura Woods

Senate Local Government
Senator Vicki Marble Chair
Senator David Balmer Vice Chair
Senator Larry Crowder
Senator-elect Beth Martinez Humenik

Senate Transportation
Senator Randy Baumgardner Chair
Senator-elect Ray Scott Vice Chair
Senator-elect John Cooke

Senate Finance
Senator-elect Tim Neville Chair
Senator Owen Hill Vice Chair
Senator-elect Chris Holbert

Senate Appropriations
Senator Kevin Grantham Chair
Senator Kent Lambert Vice Chair
Senator-elect Jerry Sonnenberg
Senator-elect Laura Woods