I believe in an open, transparent, and responsive government and want you to know where I stand on issues that impact us in Colorado.
While I work every day to address Colorado’s immediate, urgent concerns, I am also committed to innovating long-term solutions so that today’s problems won’t grow to overwhelm our children and their children. A big part of this is recognizing the intersections between seemingly unrelated topics. For example, wildfire mitigation – one of my key issues – is connected to the economy, mental health and the environment. Small business success depends on quality education and equity for women and vulnerable groups. No single issue stands alone.
In the Senate I will continue to listen to all perspectives and work to balance diverse interests.
Click on any of the links below to read more of my positions and record on the issues.
The economy must work for everyone – families, workers and employers. Businesses need to succeed, and so do hard-working Coloradans. Anyone working full time should be able to afford a place to live and to feed, clothe and educate their children. This requires creating local responses to global economic events, safeguards against profiteering and price-gouging, and a tax structure that balances priorities. I have supported policies to help small businesses as well as provided relief for families.
As a small business owner, I’ve learned that balancing my company’s priorities with the needs of my employees doesn’t have to be a zero-sum proposition. Customers want to work with businesses that do the right thing, and governments should make doing that right thing simpler, especially as we rebuild from the pandemic. My work on projects as diverse as workforce development and shortening supply chains through recycling end markets will help small businesses do well by doing good for our communities.
Quality healthcare shouldn’t be a luxury – access for all is a basic right. And no one should risk mortgaging their future when they’re in the middle of a crisis. We need price transparency, rational fees and controls on unwarranted markups. New delivery technologies like telehealth along with old-fashioned support for rural hospitals and health care workers will improve outcomes and actually reduce costs over time. We’ve made significant progress on these issues over the past four years, including passing a public option that will cap premiums and make healthcare more accessible and affordable for Coloradans. We also reduced the cost of prescription drugs by creating the Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board. No one in Colorado will have to go without critical medications because they can’t afford them. I’m proud to have co-sponsored both of these bills.
Bills Prime sponsored: HB21-1232
I have forged deep and productive relationships with the firefighting and forest health community through my service on both the Wildfire Matters Interim Committee and the Forest Health Advisory Council. With their input, I have worked on creating dedicated, long-term funding to address the overwhelming amount of mitigation that must be done. Addressing global climate change will help in the long run, but right now we need to mitigate hazards close to home. This year, my legislation will provide approximately $18 million to support mitigation efforts throughout the state. I’m particularly proud that this legislation was crafted so that local governments have the resources for their unique and specific needs.
We must also support the hard work of the firefighters who protect our community, especially volunteers, and I’m proud to have helped provide them with access to mental health care, funds for proper personal protective equipment and reimbursement for missed work and out of pocket expenses. There is more work to do, and I look forward to continuing to lead in this important space.
I was born in Colorado and am deeply connected to its natural beauty. I know that most residents feel the same – it is part of our identity as Coloradans. Environmental stewardship and conservation should have no partisan boundaries. The water, air and land we all enjoy is bountiful, but ultimately finite and we must do everything in our power to protect these precious resources. Climate change is a real and significant threat to the future of our children, but Coloradans are smart and resourceful. I know we have the ability to help change this dangerous trajectory. I have passed a landmark policy to keep dangerous chemicals out of our water, and led state efforts to increase recycling and move toward a zero-waste circular economy, which is an investment in our future. It conserves land, reduces climate-changing methane emissions and keeps literally millions of dollars of potential resources out of landfills.
Mental health is health. Period. Like any health challenge, mental illness impacts people at school and work, in families and communities. And we all bear the cost of poor outcomes. I’ve worked to bring insurance parity between mental and medical health treatment, to support the behavioral health workforce, to provide reliable resources for mental health in disasters, support mental health in schools and more.
Bills Prime Sponsored: SB21-154
Quality public education is a pillar of our democracy and a foundational responsibility of our government. From Pre-K to post secondary education, we need to provide our children with the tools they need at every stage to forge a productive and happy life. In Colorado, we are fortunate to offer free, full-day Kindergarten for all children because of our legislation in 2019, and up to 10 hours a month of universal Pre-K, which we passed this year.. I’m also working on making public schools an even better investment in our future by addressing bullying, promoting media literacy and finding resources to improve students’ mental health. And I’m committed to working to make higher education more affordable.
Bills Prime Sponsored: HB21-1221
Bills Co-Sponsored here.
Everybody deserves to be cared for, but the fact is some groups are at higher risk than others just by virtue of race, age, disability or gender orientation. To be the society we aspire to be, I work and vote to support veterans, seniors, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled persons, all of whom are more vulnerable to poverty, hunger, bullying, discrimination, housing and food insecurity. I believe Colorado should not tolerate racism, bigotry or hatred in any form.
WOMEN AND FAMILIES
When women prosper, economies grow. But women as a group are economically disadvantaged, for a myriad of reasons, including the burden of caregiving. Pay inequity with men coupled with lower workforce participation results in higher rates of poverty. Equal pay, educational opportunities, support for caregivers, and access to childcare and healthcare are proven to benefit women, and that lifts families, businesses and communities.
Women also prosper when they have control over their own bodies and reproductive decisions. The government has no right to make intimate, personal decisions about what a woman does with her body. This is the antithesis of freedom. We were able to pass important legislation, supported by the majority of Coloradans, that protects the rights of women to make their own choices.
Bill Prime Sponsored: HB22-1364
I stand with the roughly three-quarters of gun owners who support common-sense regulations to promote gun safety and responsible gun ownership. It is not sound policy to allow criminals easy access to guns, and we need to continue working to keep guns out of their hands by passing sensible gun violence prevention measures.
Public safety also means standing with police, military and first responders. Anyone tasked with protecting us deserves our full support. To me this means giving them the assistance, training and tools they need to do the job we’re asking them to do. It also means not asking them to be our only resource to address mental health, homelessness and addiction. We need constructive alternatives to criminalizing these problems.
Bills Prime Sponsored: SB22-007
Bills Co-Sponsored here.