Feb. 2015 Capitol Update

Friends,

It is great to be back at the State Capitol for the 2015 session.

It is great to be back at the State Capitol for the 2015 session. It is because you believe in the work WE are doing that I am here. I am proud to represent the people of Pueblo County at the legislature and will continue working for the betterment of Southern Colorado. I appreciate hearing from you and want to encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts and ideas with me.

I would like to update you on several bills that I carried that were signed into law this past year.

State Fair bill - This bill allocated $300K in funds to our Colorado State Fair to update facilities and provide needed services to our 4-H and FFA members.

Southwest Chief bill - This bill created the SW Chief Commission. The commission is tasked with finding a way to keep the vital rail line running through Southern Colorado.

Groundbreaking! We broke ground for our new Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Building. It will serve Southern and Southeastern Colorado.

The building currently under construction, will be located at 79 N. Silicone Dr. Grand opening will take place in August 2015.

This year, I’m following through on the work I started and remain committed to helping our hardworking Colorado families. Colorado's unemployment is down and our small businesses are flourishing. Our veterans are being provided with supportive services like those being offered at Ft. Lyon. Rural Colorado is slowly but surely gaining economic stability.

Here are a few bills I am sponsoring this year.

SB15-176 - The bill requests $8.9 million for funding to keep the Southwest Chief rail line moving through Southern & Southeastern Colorado. This line is vital to regional and local economies and will help bolster tourism in Colorado.

Courthouse funding bill -This bill will ease the costs for Colorado counties by having the state cover courthouse facility funding. This bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Agritourism - This bill will promote and expand agritourism opportunities in our state, specifically in our smaller, rural communities. Colorado has a rich Western history; this bill will promote that history and bring tourists to our state. This bill passed unanimously in the Senate Agriculture Committee and with bipartisan support in the finance committee. The bill is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

My staff this year is eager and excited to help me in executing the duties of my office.

My legislative aide this year will be James Lucero an experienced and proven go-to guy. A Colorado native, James was born and raised in the San Luis Valley in Alamosa. During the past three years, he has proven himself invaluable.

I also have three great interns who assist us in our office.

Sharice Bass is a student at the University of Colorado – Denver. She brings a year’s experience to my office and handles much of the administrative work. She graduates in May of 2015.

Cooper McCollum is an Air Force Reservist who is currently working towards earning his degree. A novice to state legislative politics, he tells me he is learning how state government functions.

Maili Rael is joining us a CLARRO program intern, a program designed to help create Latino/a leaders in the community. She volunteers in her community by working with victims with the Lakewood Police Dept.

I am fortunate to have such hard-working and dedicated staff working for the people of Senate District 3.

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