Garcia on ag, transportation committees
The Pueblo Chieftain - Nov. 23, 2014
State Senator-elect Leroy Garcia will sit on the Senate agriculture, natural resources and energy and the transportation committees when the Legislature goes into session next year.
“I’m pretty excited about the appointments,” the Pueblo Democrat said Friday. “It’s great testimony to the work I’ve done so far.”
Amtrak: Southwest Chief grant ‘gets the ball to midfield’
The Denver Post - Sep. 10, 2014
The $12.5 million federal grant slated to keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief traveling through southeast Colorado will fix a stretch of severely battered line between La Junta and Newton, Kan.
“This is the single best piece of news in four years since we learned we might lose Amtrak service,” Sal Pace, chairman of the Southwest Chief Commission, told me Tuesday. “It’s a great story here.”
Southwest Chief grant
The Pueblo Chieftain - Sep. 10, 2014
RAIL ENTHUSIASTS and users in Colorado and Kansas have reason to celebrate. Federal transportation officials have awarded a $12.5 million grant for rail replacement to keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief chugging through Southern Colorado, en route from Chicago to Los Angeles. The grant means Amtrak pledged to maintain the route for another 20 years.
The threatened reroute spurred County Commissioner Sal Pace, State Rep. Leroy Garcia and a slew of other local officials to organize a multi-jurisdictional, state line-spanning coalition to save the route.
Ex-Broncos surprise loyal fan
The Pueblo Chieftain - Aug. 21, 2014
Longtime Denver Broncos fan Regina Dekoevend recently received a surprise when she was told she soon would be realizing her dream of watching her beloved team play live.
Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace, Pueblo West Fire Chief Brian Caserta and AMR paramedic Chris McMahan, along with several of Dekoevend’s caretakers, also attended the event.
Fundraiser set for scholarship program
The Pueblo Chieftain - July 21, 2014
The Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing scholarships, has scheduled its 26th Scholarship Awards Banquet Friday.
The event will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado State University-Pueblo Occhiato University Center Ballroom.
The foundation will recognize scholars for the 2014-15 school year.
The keynote scholar address will be delivered by state Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. Garcia is a first-generation college graduate, with a master’s degree in organizational management, a bachelor’s in management and an associate degree in emergency medical services.
In southern Colorado, concerns grow over high utility rates
Colorado Public Radio: Colorado Matters - July 1, 2014
Ever since Black Hills Corp. became the power company for tens of thousands of customers in southern Colorado in 2008, advocates for the poor have complained. They say the elderly, disabled, ill and working poor are having a tough time keeping up with some of the highest utility bills in the state.
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat, says a recent town hall took place to discuss issues residents are having with Black Hills.
There are homes without electric during the winter; there are homes without heating,” Garcia says. “You know, Pueblo can get a little warm in the summer; sometimes around 100 degrees. And when you’re having to plug in an extension cord to your neighbors to have a little electric refrigerator running, it’s really sad.”
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 16, 2014GOV.
JOHN Hickenlooper brought an upbeat message to Pueblo and other stops on his regional tour of signing bills of area interest into law Wednesday.
While in Pueblo, the governor signed four bills: [HB 1300, HB1311, HB1161, and HB1170]
Hickenlooper Signs Southwest Chief Commission Bill
KRCC.com - May 15, 2014
Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill in Pueblo today to create a commission aimed at keeping Amtrak’s Southwest Chief rolling through southern Colorado. KRCC's Shanna Lewis reports from Pueblo.
Train line gets back on track
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 15, 2014
With a stroke of an executive pen Wednesday a relic from the past was placed on track to having a brighter future in Southeastern and Southern Colorado.
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Sen. Larry Crowder R-Alamosa, would provide a solution to partner five parties — Amtrak, BNSF Railway and the states of Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico — to save the Southwest Chief line and add a stop in Pueblo.
Push for Amtrak's Southwest Chief to make new stop in Pueblo
KOAA.com - May 14, 2014
Colorado is joining the effort to preserve the current route of Amtrak's Southwest Chief.
Rep. Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo), says " "The Southwest Chief is vital for Southern Colorado's economy and way of life. This commission will tackle all available options to keep the Southwest Chief running through Colorado."
Bigger state crime lab to open in Pueblo West
KOAA.com - May 14, 2014
PUEBLO WEST - Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill keeping a regional office of the Colorado of Bureau of Investigations in Pueblo County. The law authorizes the state to spend up to $11 million dollars on a 20 year lease-purchase agreement for a new crime lab in Pueblo West.
The Pueblo Regional Office serves 125 local law enforcement agencies in the southeastern part of the state. The bill's sponsor, State Representative Leroy Garcia of Pueblo, said today's ceremony is the culmination of six years worth of work.
Train effort continues
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 9, 2014
GOV. JOHN Hickenlooper will join local leaders in celebrating the passage of legislation in support of saving Amtrak’s Southwest Chief route through Southern Colorado.
Gov. Hickenlooper plans to attend a bill-signing ceremony at Pueblo Union Depot at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday. He will be joined by the bill’s bipartisan sponsors — state Representative Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) and Senator Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) — and many others.
House panel kills bill to fight Black Hills rate hikes
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 5, 2014
State Rep. Leroy Garcia’s bid to give more powers to the state Office of Consumer Counsel to advocate for utility rate-payers didn’t make it out of committee Monday.
The House State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted 9-1 to lay over the bill until next year’s session, effectively killing it for a year.
Southwest Chief bill on its way to Hickenlooper
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 4, 2014
The Colorado Senate gave final approval Friday morning to legislation to help keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief passenger train service in Southern Colorado
The measure now goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper for signing.
State Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa, and state Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, were prime sponsors of the bill.
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 4, 2014
OUR THANKS to the Colorado Legislature for its encouraging support of our State Fair and facilities dedicated to youth programs.
In overwhelming fashion last week, the Colorado Senate voted 28-7 to allocate an additional $300,000 to the State Fair operation so that aging dormitories used by 4-H and Future Farmers of America clubs can be renovated.
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, helped carry the torch for the legislation, which was approved by the House on a 47-17 vote in April.
Garcia continues to question Black Hills
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 4, 2014
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said the time is now to fight steady rate hikes from Black Hills Energy.
“This isn’t only about Pueblo but about what’s going on within the region,” Garcia said. “We think this is the right time, especially given the fact that we collectively have been trying to have a conversation with our friends at Black Hills about the impact this is having on our community.”
Garcia: Still time to protect ratepayers
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 3, 2014
Frustration that consumers seem powerless against steady rate hikes from Black Hills Energy is the seedbed for House Bill 1398, the measure that state Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, introduced last week, despite the fact the General Assembly will adjourn Wednesday.
Fair improvements bill off to governor
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 2, 2014
A bill to spend $300,000 on renovating facilities at the Colorado State Fair is on its way to Gov. Bill Hickenlooper’s desk for final approval.
HB1300 bill cleared the Senate Wednesday by a vote of 28-7.
In April, the bill passed the House by a vote of 47-17.
HB1300, sponsored by Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, transfers the money from the general fund to the State Fair Authority Cash Fund to renovate and improve a pair of dilapidated dormitories at the State Fairgrounds that are used throughout the year by state 4-H clubs and the Colorado branch of the Future Farmers of America.
Garcia answers Black Hills with bill to fight rate hikes
The Pueblo Chieftain - May 1, 2014
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, launched a bill Wednesday he hopes will give consumers more clout to stop rate increases like the one Black Hills Energy filed for with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
“It’s ridiculous that we’re paying (electric) costs that are 21 percent higher under Black Hills,” Garcia said. “The OCC should be an advocate for consumers.”
Amtrak's Southwest Chief gets boost from local communities
The Denver Post - April 30, 2014
An effort to help retain Amtrak's Southwest Chief route through southern Colorado received a small, symbolic boost Tuesday with the announcement that local communities committed about $250,000 in matching donations toward a federal grant.
About a dozen southern Colorado stakeholders, including Pueblo and Otero counties and the Trinidad Tourism Board, committed the mix of tax and private dollars.
"It's seed money. It shows local entities are willing to put up money to keep the train in southern Colorado," said state Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo.
Tuition limit bill sent to Hickenlooper
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 27, 2014
DENVER — A bill to limit the annual tuition increase at Colorado colleges and universities to no more than 6 percent was sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper for his signature Friday.
The measure was sponsored in the House by state Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Mike McLachlan, D-Durango. The House gave it final approval on 48-16 vote.
Legislators detail final push of bills
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 27, 2014
The Republican senator from Alamosa [Larry Crowder] was joined Saturday by fellow Sen. George Rivera, R-Pueblo, and Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, for the final installment of the breakfast held at the Pueblo Convention Center before an audience of about 70 local leaders and citizens.
Act aimed at boosting rural communities’ economies
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 24, 2014
A bill to restore historic buildings and boost rural economies across the state has passed the House.
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, sponsored HB1311, the Colorado Job Creation & Main Street Revitalization Act.
The bill passed 50-12 on Monday.
Long-Deserved honor a reality: Edmund Vallejo honored for duty as Navy photographer
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 20, 2014
It’s been 61 years since Edmund Vallejo left the battlefields of Korea.
He served on combat missions risking his life almost daily as he recorded the history of the war through photographs.
Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Ed Vigil, D-Pueblo, held a special ceremony Saturday at Pueblo’s Vietnam Memorial to recognize Vallejo for earning numerous Naval service awards.
Fruit bill goes bad
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 17, 2014
The great fruit wars may have subsided for now.
A bill that would have designated the Palisade peach as Colorado’s state fruit was pulled from House business Wednesday afternoon.
The HB1304 was laid over for lack of support until May 9, essentially killing the measure for this session, said Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo.
House OKs renovation funds for Colorado State Fair
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 16, 2014
A bill to spend $300,000 on renovating facilities at the Colorado State Fair passed the House Tuesday by a vote of 47-17.
HB14-1300, sponsored by Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, transfers the money from the general fund to the State Fair Authority Cash Fund to renovate and improve a pair of dilapidated dormitories at the State Fairgrounds that are used throughout the year by state 4-H clubs and the Colorado branch of the Future Farmers of America.
New lease for lab
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 11, 2014
THE COLORADO Bureau of Investigation is one step closer to opening a new regional office and laboratory in Pueblo West.
We thank the bill’s sponsor — State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo — for his efforts to keep a lab operating in Southern Colorado. And now that the House is behind the bill, we call on Colorado state senators to vote favorably on the bill that has been forwarded to them.
No peach of a bill
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 11, 2014
As Colorado lawmakers consider a bill that would name the Palisade peach as Colorado’s official state fruit, the idea has one Southern Colorado representative questioning the focus of the House session.
Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said Thursday that he does not support the bill because it is not a priority in a session that has only 27 days left.
“I believe that we should focus on a lot more important issues,” Garcia said. Colorado doesn't have a state fruit.
House supports new CBI lab
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 8, 2014
Legislation to build a new Colorado Bureau of Investigation laboratory in Pueblo West was approved Monday in the state House of Representatives and the measure now moves to the Senate.
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, is sponsoring the bill. He said the current CBI facility in Pueblo is 30 years old and the state investigative agency has said that without a new, accredited laboratory in Pueblo, it would consolidate its forensic labs to Grand Junction and Denver.
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 8, 2014
THE SENATE Transportation Committee has passed the bill to keep alive the Southwest Chief Amtrak route through Southern Colorado.
The Southwest Chief bill, sponsored in the House by state Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, already has been approved by the House on a 44-20 vote on March 19.
Southwest Chief could be rerouted from rural Colorado in two years
The Denver Post - April 6, 2014
From the towns of Lamar and La Junta on the Eastern Plains, south to Trinidad, the Southwest Chief has made stops since 1971 as it shuttles passengers between Chicago and Los Angeles.
But soon the picturesque views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that passengers have enjoyed could be replaced by the flat plains of Oklahoma and Texas. Amtrak is considering a plan to reroute the historic train from Colorado in two years to better-maintained tracks.
Garcia is the sponsor of a bipartisan measure making its way through the state Capitol. Though it's not a direct answer to the funding issue, Garcia's proposal would form a commission to find funding and figure out the cost for an additional stop to be added in Pueblo.
Colorado legislature looks at funding for Southwest Chief
Hutchnews.com - April 4, 2014
DENVER – A bill to protect the route of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief continues to move through the Colorado legislature.
HB14-1161 passed the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday, according to La Junta City Manager Rick Klein, one of those pushing to maintain the route.
The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, passed the House on a 44-20 vote March 19.
Chief bill moves forward
The Pueblo Chieftain - April 3, 2014
A bill to protect the Southwest Chief Amtrak route keeps chugging along through the state Legislature.
HB14-1161 passed the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday.
The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, passed on a 44-20 vote in the House on March 19.
Fair improvement funds narrowly pass committee
The Pueblo Chieftain - March 24, 2014
A bill that would help allocate extra funds for the Colorado State Fair passed the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee this week on a 7-6 vote.
Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said the bill passed by a slim margin because several legislators from the Denver metro area said they don’t support the Fair. He said they even suggested moving the Fair from Pueblo.
Rifle salutes legalized at Colorado military funerals; Memorial Day gunfire still forbidden
The Colorado Springs Gazette - March 23, 2014
Honoring fallen veterans with three volleys of rifle fire is now legal, officially.
"Currently, firing blanks, even at military funerals where it is customary to carry out a 3-volley salute for fallen members of our armed forces was considered disorderly conduct," Rep. Leroy Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat who sponsored the bill, said in an email.
Railroad West: Colorado Lawmakers Weigh In on the Southwest Chief
KRCC.org - March 20, 2014
The Southwest Chief line runs through the towns of Lamar, La Junta, and Trinidad. It’s part of a longer passenger route stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles.
“There are some state funds that could be used,” said Representative Leroy Garcia (D- Pueblo).
Measure to save rail line passes state House
The Pueblo Chieftain - March 19, 2014
A bill to save Amtrak’s Southwest Chief rail line through Southeastern Colorado passed the state House Wednesday, Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace said.
HB14-1161, sponsored by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, passed on a 44-20 vote.
Refurb project touted, Chamber supports effort
The Pueblo Chieftain - March 16, 2014
Saturday at the third legislative breakfast of the year, Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, spoke about a bill he is sponsoring that would use commercial tax credits to help refurbish historic buildings in Pueblo and throughout the state.
“I’m happy to have bipartisan support on this,” Garcia said. “What this bill does is looks at historic properties and a tax credit is used to restore these historic buildings. It’s one of the bigger bills of the session and will really make a significant impact in Pueblo.”
House floor next stop for Amtrak's [S]outhwest Chief
The Pueblo Chieftain - March 15, 2014
A bill to save Amtrak’s Southwest Chief rail line continued to climb the legislative hill Friday by passing through the House Appropriations Committee.
It’s next stop is the House floor.
HB14-1161, sponsored by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, passed the committee on an 11-1 vote.
Garcia introduces historic preservation bill
The Pueblo Chieftain - March 9, 2014
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, is sponsoring a bill in the House to restore historic buildings across Colorado.
“These are beautiful, historic buildings that could be rehabilitated. This is a great bill for Pueblo,” Garcia said.
Small town fear loss of vital Southwest Chief rail line
LAMY, N.M. — For 18 years, Maryalice Garrigan has been taking the train from this wisp of a town near Santa Fe to visit her family in Albany, spending four days to reach New York via a connection in Chicago. She cherishes the annual ritual: Sipping the whiskey she packs in a cooler and tracing the creeks and mesas that whiz by with a map she brings on each trip.
Leroy Garcia, a Democratic state representative from Colorado, recently introduced legislation to preserve the train route and add a stop in Pueblo. Under his proposal, which has drawn bipartisan support, a commission would be created to find funding and figure out the cost for an additional stop.
“By adding the stop to Pueblo, you’d now have access to 165,000 more people in the county,” he said. “We have heard over and over that rural and southern Colorado is really struggling for jobs — this could serve as a hub for growth.”
In search of a fair deal
The Pueblo Chieftain - March 2, 2014
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, plans to introduce a bill Monday in the Legislature that would help allocate extra funds for the Colorado State Fair.
Garcia’s bill would allocate $300,000 to be used to add new carpet to the 4-H dorms, install new air fans in the Livestock Pavilion and the Palace of Agriculture, and add a new sound system for the Livestock Pavilion. The money also would be used to purchase new portable goat pens.
FOWLER: ALL ABOARD! Let’s get back on the track with the Southwest Chief and economic development
The Colorado Statesman - February 28. 2014
AMTRAK has operated two trains through Colorado since Congress excused the national railroads from hauling people and assigned the job to that ongressionally chartered corporation. Most Denver folks are aware of the famous California Zephyr, making two stops a day at the soon to be re-opened Union Station on the way to San Francisco from Chicago.
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo and Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa, have introduced HB 1161 to deal with this problem. The bill was unanimously reported out of the House Local Government committee and has many sponsors.
Chief bill passes committee
The Pueblo Chieftain - Feb. 15, 2014
An effort to keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief riding the rails through Southern Colorado, and possibly adding a stop in Pueblo, passed its first hurdle.
“We had a huge turnout in the committee room, and many experts from throughout the state — and even a few from outside the state — testified in support of the bill,” said Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, a sponsor of the bill. “I’m proud of the collective effort of Southern and Southeastern Colorado to save the Southwest Chief.”
The Pueblo Chieftain - Feb. 4, 2014
The [recent] gathering to rally support for saving Amtrak’s Southwest Chief route through Southern Colorado was encouraging. Approximately 100 people attended to indicate their backing for the emerging plan, and the updated information boosters shared was clearly positive.
State Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, told the crowd about a legislative bill he’s introduced to address state funding and ridership issues on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. The bill also paves the way for a new stop on the Chief route in Pueblo.
Saving Amtrak's Southwest Chief line
Colorado Public Radio - Jan. 29, 2014
Twice a day, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief makes three stops in Colorado: Lamar, La Junta and Trinidad. Then it continues to either Chicago or Los Angeles.
So far, the states are balking, but Rep. Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) has introduced a bill that could set the stage for a solution. The bill has bipartisan support, and its sponsor in the Senate is Larry Crowder, a Republican from Alamosa whose district covers much of Southern Colorado.
Puebloans show support for Amtrak bill
KOAA TV - Jan. 25, 2014
A large crowd came to Pueblo Railway Museum Railyard today to support a newly introduced bill. Rep. Leroy Garcia, of Pueblo introduced the Amtrak Southwest Chief bill last week, that's intended to save the Southwest Chief route which is a line that runs from Chicago to L.A. Amtrak has proposed dropping that line due to a decrease in riders. In addition to preserving the line, Garcia says he's also supporting the addition of a stop in Pueblo, which he believes will help the local economy.
Garcia has broad support to keep route here
The Pueblo Chieftain - Jan. 25, 2014
The fight to keep the Southwest Chief Amtrak train route alive gained some steam this week with a new bill introduced by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo.
Garcia introduced legislation to create a financing authority to oversee Colorado's portion of the route.
The fight to keep the Southwest Chief Amtrak train route alive gained some steam this week with a new bill introduced by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. - See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/home/2226905-120/pueblo-garcia-route-bill#sthash.NjbPVGf4.dpuf
Keeping the Southwest Chief passenger train in Southern Colorado
KRDO.com - Jan. 25, 2014
PUEBLO, Colo. - Colorado, along with Kansas and New Mexico, could lose the Amtrak Southwest Chief if rail lines are not improved.
Colorado Rep. Leroy Garcia is looking for a solution.
"Saving the Southwest Chief is a primary focus," Garcia said.
Garcia introduces Amtrak bill
The Pueblo Chieftain - Jan. 22, 2014
One of the first bills to be introduced by Pueblo’s state representative has the potential for implications throughout Southern Colorado. Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, has introduced a bill into the session this year that could help to solve the funding and ridership issues on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief and add a new stop on the route in Pueblo.
“Essentially what we’re doing is creating the framework,” Garcia said Tuesday. “If you think of it like building a house, this would be the frame that supports the roof.”
Lawmakers: Reconsider CSU-P cuts
The Pueblo Chieftain - Jan. 15, 2014
State Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Ed Vigil, D-Pueblo, are urging Colorado State University Chancellor Michael Martin to reconsider his decision to impose a $3.3 million budget cut on CSU-Pueblo.
“Now is not the time to be weakening CSU-Pueblo, but strengthening it,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter. “Now is not the time to be cutting jobs, but creating them.”
Fort Lyon gets high marks
The Pueblo Chieftain - Jan. 15, 2014
A report to state legislators shows that a homeless shelter at Fort Lyon, near Las Animas, is fulfilling the intent of lawmakers after its first quarter of operation.