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A district with passionate constituents

It has been a very active week at the Capitol.

Last Monday, we voted on four gun safety bills that passed and are on their way to the State Senate.

Over the week, I received an outpour of calls, e-mails and letters discussing these bills, and I held a town meeting at the Durango Library last Saturday. At least 400 people came to voice their opinions on gun safety.

To all who have contacted me, and those that came out for the town hall meeting, thank you. Although many of your communications have been disapproving of my votes, I do believe it’s an important aspect of our government for elected officials to be questioned rather than blindly accepted without a struggle.

I’m proud to represent a district with such passionate constituents, and I look forward to respectful discourse on the issues to come. Thank you also to the many constituents who contacted me and support what I believe are common-sense solutions.

My first bill will be signed by the governor tomorrow. HB13-1076 removes the requirements that the Director of the CBI be certified by the Peace Officers Standards and Training board. Without fiscal impact, the bill will give more job opportunities within the CBI by removing the POST certification.

HB13-1193 is a jobs bill I am co-sponsoring with Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp that passed in committee and is now ready for the House vote. The Colorado Advanced Industries Export Accelerator Act is a tool for small and medium-sized businesses in the advanced industries that do not have the resources needed to engage in international export development. It will offer financial resources, training and consulting services to these businesses to boost job creation in the advanced industries of Colorado. I am proud to bring this bill through the General Assembly because it will help create jobs and spur economic development in Colorado.

Another bill of mine, HB13-1164, continues an income tax checkoff for voluntary contributions to help the state’s unwanted horses. About 6,000 unwanted horses entered the state system last year, and the form checkoff brought $93,000 in for these animals. This House passed this bill unanimously and is in review in the Senate.

My bill to remove a fee for wounded veterans passed a House committee this week and is now up for a vote on the floor. HB13-1232 authorizes a person assigned to the warrior transition battalion to obtain a fishing license free of charge. This is but one way we can honor our veterans who have fought for our freedoms in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fishing provides great benefits to our wounded warriors and assists with rehabilitating our soldiers who have come back from war with mental and physical injuries. I am glad to have such overwhelming support for this bill.

As you know, everything we do up here is not directly related to legislation. We are also fortunate to have many groups to raise our awareness of important issues in Colorado. Last week, I was fortunate to participate in an awareness day luncheon for individuals with developmental disabilities sponsored by Alliance Colorado. In our efforts to improve public safety for all Coloradans, we need to remain constantly vigilant for these special communities.  The House also passed a unanimous resolution honoring those who are developmentally disabled.

Finally, I was pleased to meet with the Board of Trustees for Western State Colorado University. I am the only state representative who has two state colleges in their district. And I send my congratulations to President Jay Hellman upon his successful retirement. He and the board of trustees served Western well, and I look forward to working with their new leadership.

I continue to be honored to serve as your State Representative for District 59.

This story was posted on February 28, 2013.