Dear Editor:

Last Friday, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law HB14-1222, “Clean Energy Project Private Activity Bonds,” here in Pagosa. This bill will help make our county a national leader in geothermal energy. Anyone attending the bill-signing ceremony could not help but be impressed by our State Representative Mike McLachlan, principal author and cosponsor of the bipartisan bill. The Governor called Mike one of the hardest-working legislators he had ever worked with and praised his willingness to work across the aisle, as he did on the geothermal bill. High praise indeed.

Mike’s record in his first term in the House certainly proves the truth of the Governor’s tribute. He serves on the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee and the Judiciary Committee, both important to Archuleta County. In the 2014 session, he has produced and sponsored legislation which will help needy families obtain healthy food, support clean energy, allow charter schools to hire armed security officers, address the rabies epidemic in rural Colorado, and encourage young prosecutors to work in rural Colorado. Of local interest, he authored a bill to provide a tax exemption for the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes. As we approach fire season, we must recognize Mike for cosponsoring SB 164, which directs the state Division of Fire Prevention and Control to obtain small fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Both of these bills had bipartisan support and have been signed by the Governor.

During the 2013 legislative session, Representative McLachlan sponsored legislation that helps high-tech Colorado companies export their products by providing small grants and consultation services. He also sponsored a bill to help bring doctors to rural areas through rural residency programs, and he also co-authored a bipartisan bill that created a grant program to encourage wildfire mitigation.

This fall, Mike will run for reelection. His opponent will be his predecessor in the 59th House District, J. Paul Brown. I encourage all voters in Archuleta County to investigate Mr. Brown’s record in the House. Compare it to Mike’s. Check out the League of Women Voters’ assessment of the two legislative records. I think you will find that Mike is a representative whose main interest is in speaking forcefully on behalf of his constituents — no matter their party.

The choice this fall cannot be more clear. I am proud of our representative, Mike McLachlan, and encourage immediate and robust support for his reelection effort.

Becky Herman

This story was posted on June 5, 2014.