I would love to see more funding in education, innovative technologies that create 21st century economic opportunities and improved rural health care funding. 

 

I know that our Department of Education has been giving up money for other areas of the budget for too long.  I would write new legislation that would reverse these old practices and pump resources into, in my opinion, our biggest infrastructural need... our youth.  We can't have bright, well informed citizens if we are chopped at the knees financially by poor budgeting for our kids.  Sure, property taxes are a great funding mechanism for our schools and other things; but unless we get a voter approved tax increase, they don’t show as a promising way to increase school funding.  A solution is to adjust some numbers where we have some wiggle room, Retail Marijuana Sales Tax.  Colorado Revised Statutes 39-28.8-201 delineates the percentages of disbursements in this statute.  I would create legislation that moves the percentage points to favor the Public School Fund in a new manner.  As of now, only 12.59% of this budget is awarded to the Public School Fund.  The General Fund receives 15.56% and the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund receives the rest of 71.85%.  I would bring forward legislation to increase the Public School Fund portion to 40% and decrease the Marijuana Tax Cash fund by 27.41%.  I am sure that a lot of these programs funded by the MTCF are valuable, but with time, we have been able to gain common knowledge and less ignorance about certain aspects funded by this fund.  $103,150,277 were collected for these three entities in 2019.  If the percent for PSF increased to 40%, this would bring in $40,260,110.80 as opposed to $12,986,619.90.  This is an increase of over $27 million.

 

I would love to pressure the Joint Budget Committee to start implementing new spending practices towards our public higher educational systems that promotes innovative technology towards green, lucrative industries. I feel that our community and  junior colleges would be great institutions to start these programs as most vocational schools are a two year program.  This would also help improve the lives of our blue collar citizens who are in decline as it is.  We can tackle our climate change challenges while providing good paying jobs.  The Rural Jump Start program is a great start but it needs more funding.

 

In order to improve our health care providers in rural Colorado, we need to set aside money from our Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.  I would like to create legislation that opens up funding opportunities for non profit health care providers so they can work in conjunction with the traditional for profit entities.  Essentially, this would create subsidies for the brick and mortar hospitals so that way more care can be given to people that have less money, yet are not eligible for medicaid.  This would help rural hospitals stay open while providing quality care and hopefully, giving the care the patients need so they don't have to be shipped off to city hospitals.

 

We live in an area that has gone through days of booms and busts.  Whether they are from coal or natural gas, I want to look to the future for transitions into the energy sources of the new millenium. 

I have been fortunate to be a Board Member of the Arkansas River Power Authority, a position I was appointed to by the City of Trinidad’s City Council.  With this board I have been learning about new, innovative ways to diversify our electrical power portfolio for our co-operative members (six cities in total).  I plan to take this knowledge and elevate it to a legislative level in order to create jobs for all of those who want to be apart of the future of energy production. 

We are poised to reap large benefits from geothermal, solar, wind and even pyrolysis, a new technology turning our consumer waste (bio mass) into synthetic gas that can be used to fuel our power plants.  This also alleviates waste going into our aging landfills.  I am dedicated to assisting our farmers’ fallows so they can have mobile solar pannels to create a passive income while allowing clover cover to grow until the time comes to utilize that revitilized plot of land.

 

Last but not certainly least, I want to protect our natural resources from exploitation.  I want to make sure that the water in our part of the state stays in our part of the state.  I want to ensure that we have great air quality and pristine areas for recreational opportunities that last for generations to come.  I will create legislation to protect our assets for our rural needs and not for the interests of developers who live outside the district.