I have represented Colorado’s 13th House District in the Colorado legislature since 2007. I love my work representing House District 13.
House District 13 reaches from the former coal mining town of Marshall in Boulder County to the continental divide in western Clear Creek County and from the heart of the city of Boulder to Kremmling. It encompasses all of Gilpin, Clear Creek, Jackson and Grand Counties along with the western half of Boulder County. House District 13 is a wonderful blend of rural and urban, mountains and plains. From major research institutions to quaint mountain towns, horse farms to hard rock mines, fourteen thousand foot peaks to gold medal trout fishing and white water, the land and people truly reflect the diversity of Colorado.
I will serve on the Joint Budget Committee as vice-chair and will chair the House Committee on Appropriations. The JBC consists of three members of the House of Representatives and three members of the Senate. Until the 2012 election the JBC was evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. With Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, I will be part of a four-to-two majority of Democrats. I hope to begin restoring funding to education, increase access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, improve the child welfare system and be sure our criminal justice system is preventing recidivism.
As a steward of the precious tax dollars my constituents send to the state, I will fight wasteful tax giveaways to corporate interests and continue to scrutinize corrections spending. I support economic development programs that work, such as tourism promotion, small business development centers, and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. But I oppose funding for programs that could not demonstrate their efficacy or were not based on solid evidence.
More important than specific programs, I believe in creating the conditions that allow the people of Colorado and their businesses to thrive. That means funding a first class system of public education from early childhood to post-secondary education; a transportation system that offers mobility and multi-modal options; and an environment and quality of life that attracts well educated workers.
As I begin my last term representing House District 13, I will be working to strengthen education at all levels so our children and young adults have the opportunity to succeed in today’s competitive environment. I will keep working to foster energy efficiency so we reduce consumption of fossil fuels. I will work to rebalance control over hydraulic fracturing so communities have a say in where and how hydraulic fracturing is conducted, and ensure oil and gas operations do not pollute our air and water. I will continue my work on reforming criminal laws so we reduce recidivism and protect public safety as cost-effectively as possible, reserving expensive jail and prison beds for those who cannot be safely supervised in the community. I will work for civil unions so all Coloradans have the same rights regardless of who they love and for the ASSET bill so all our bright high school graduates have the opportunity to continue their education.
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I hope you believe my service in office has made a difference.