The 2017 Legislative Session wrapped up on May 10th. We had a challenging session as we grappled with many difficult issues facing our state and worked to expand opportunities for every hard-working Coloradan. Check out my news page and my blog for all kinds of information about what we did this session. You can also visit my official state page for a full list of bills I sponsored.
Everyone who works hard and does their fair share should have a fair shot at a good, middle-class life. This is what the American dream is all about. As we deal with challenging and changing times, we must work hard to make sure this land remains a land of opportunity.
This year, we worked to expand opportunity by supporting K-12 and higher education, investing in our transportation infrastructure, and addressing the high costs of housing, health care, and child care. Our agenda also included equal pay for equal work, paid family leave, retirement security, and supporting small business. We achieved a number of bipartisan successes, but a number of our efforts were killed by Senate Republicans who hold the majority by one seat. Learn more in my end-of-session report, and check out this video to see some excerpts of my speeches on the House floor. You can also see all of the House Democrats’ press releases here.
Moving forward, we continue to face major challenges, particularly when it comes to adequately funding priorities like education, transportation, and affordable housing. Colorado faces a very unusual situation with two of our Constitutional amendments. TABOR, passed in 1992, has forced cuts to education and transportation funding that have put our state in a terrible position. The Gallagher amendment, passed in 1982, is forcing a reduction in our residential property taxes next year. That might sound like a good thing, but the result is a multi-million dollar cut to school funding, which we’ve had to back-fill by cutting elsewhere in the budget. Together, these two measures have tied the hands of the state legislature and have forced big cuts regardless of whether our economy is growing or contracting. Ultimately, we will need to present the voters of Colorado with a ballot question to either amend our Constitution or increase taxes so that we don’t fall even further behind on funding our schools and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.
In addition to our economic agenda, we must continue to make progress on criminal justice reform, getting dark money out of politics, and protecting our clean air, water, and public lands for the next generation. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fear felt by so many Coloradans because of the actions of President Trump. Colorado is better than this, and we will not stand idly by as he violates the rights of our friends and neighbors. Together, we share the responsibility of working for a better future.
What are your priorities? Please contact me to let me know.
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