Zenzinger award

State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, second from the right, is congratulated by Alliance Colorado officials, from left, executive director Josh Rael, government and community relations director Emma Hudson and board member Cheryl Wicks.

State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger has been named legislator of the year by Alliance Colorado.

The alliance is a nonprofit organization that serves and advocates for people with developmental disabilities.

The annual award recognizes those lawmakers "who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to Coloradans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the community agencies that support them," according to an announcement.

“We not only have an obligation to protect our state’s most vulnerable citizens, but to support the home and personal care workers who provide them critical health services,”  Zenzinger, D-Arvada, said in a statement.

“I am honored to receive this award and incredibly proud of my efforts in the legislature to fight for both people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those who provide them care.”

Alliance executive director Josh Rael and Board President Cheryl Wicks cited Zenzinger's advocacy on the legislature's Joint Budget Committee.

Zenzinger helped put $22 million dollars for special education school programs and sponsored Senate Bill 202 to protect voting rights for people with disabilities.

She got a 1% increase in rates to service providers in next year's state budget, 25% more than Gov. Jared Polis proposed. 

She also sponsored an Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Day tribute on the Senate floor.

“We so appreciate everything you’ve done to be a powerful ally," Rael and Wicks wrote in a letter to Zenzinger. "Clearly, in your work at the General Assembly, you are committed to going above and beyond for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities."

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