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Final day of session quickly approaching

Much like the weather out here on the Front Range, this past week was lively, to say the least.

Despite the often long days and nights at the Capitol, I still had the opportunity to attend a few special events and work on several bills that are close to my heart and important to our district.

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the Class of 2013, and in particular, the Fort Lewis College graduating class. I was unable to attend Saturday’s ceremony because we were in session until 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, and I am terribly disappointed that I missed it. College graduation is a great accomplishment and a very special time in one’s life. Congratulations to you all, and I wish you the best of luck in your life after college.

Last week, my bill regarding Fort Lewis College and Colorado School of Mines passed the House and is now on its way to the Senate. House Bill 1297 grants investment authority and fiduciary responsibility for all funds and appropriations to the board of trustees at Colorado School of Mines and Fort Lewis College. I believe that these schools deserve to manage their funds in a more direct way, and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Reps. Schafer and Gerou in the House and Sens. Roberts and Nicholson in the Senate. The House Finance Committee passed this bill unanimously, and I look forward to its passage through the Senate Finance Committee as well.

Another bill that I am sponsoring this year is Senate Bill 138, which will benefit Colorado’s students and educators. This bill defines and clarifies responsibilities related to School Resource Officers (SROs). This bill refines current duties to help SROs adopt, implement, review and revise plans for campus and Internet safety. These men and women are committed to prioritizing safety for all students and staff at every public school in Colorado. Student Resource Officers are an important bridge between public and school safety.  Any bill that facilitates the job of a School Resource Officer benefits us all and makes our teachers and our children safer. It passed both the State Senate and House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support and it will soon be on the Governor’s desk, awaiting his signature.

Last Wednesday, I also had the opportunity to attend two very different but equally enjoyable events. It was Music Day at the Capitol, and I went to the Music Matters luncheon held by the Arts Education Partnership. I listened to local middle and high school bands, orchestras and choir performances, as well as a small presentation on the importance of music education. I believe that the arts are an important part of a child’s education, and I support funding arts in our schools. I enjoyed the performances a great deal and want to thank the Arts Education Partnership for hosting this event.

Wednesday evening, I attended a barbecue co-hosted by the Colorado Brewers Council and the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association (CLBA) with my staff. We shared a few delicious craft beers and discussed the role of breweries in our state. Colorado has over 160 breweries and ranks fourth nationwide in breweries per capita. Furthermore, CLBA members provide the state with thousands of jobs and inject more than a billion dollars into the Colorado economy through the responsible sale of beer, wine and spirits. Breweries are a vital part of our economy as well as our state’s culture. Thank you to the Colorado’s Brewer’s Council and the CLBA for sharing a drink with me.

May 8, the final day of session, is quickly approaching. We do not take our responsibility as state legislators lightly, and we are working late into the evenings to make sure that all bills receive the debate and scrutiny they deserve before the session comes to a close.

I continue to be proud to serve as your State Representative for the 59th district.

This story was posted on May 2, 2013.