By Clarke Reader (January 16, 2018)
The 2018 legislative session is just getting started, and there’s no shortage of work to be done in the coming months.
Lakewood residents are facing the same challenges many metro area residents are dealing with — development, education funding, and transportation needs.
Finding affordable housing is an issue for middle-class residents, too, said state Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-28) — and that includes teachers.
“Our education committee is looking at dealing with our teacher shortage,” Pettersen said. “Our teachers aren’t able to (continue to) live in communities they live in on their salary.”
Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-23, said opioid addiction will be a serious issue for debate as the session progresses, and Sen. Andy Kerr, D-22, said the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), Colorado’s public-pension system, is more than $30 billion underfunded, and that needs to be addressed.
This year will also be the last session for Kerr and Sen. Cheri Jahn, I-20, who have had years to work for their constituents.
“I have loved governmental affairs and policy and would like to continue that work,” Jahn said. “Whether in the private sector, nonprofit arena or possibly governmental agencies.”
We spoke with Lakewood’s legislators about the session, what’s important to constituents, and legislative goals: