Originally published in the Golden Transcript.
Lisa Cutter, candidate for House District 25 Profession: Legislator Residence: Unincorporated Littleton Party: Democrat Contact: www.cutterforcolorado.com What makes you the best choice for this office? I’ve worked hard over my first term to be accessible and work across the aisle. The vast majority of the legislation we passed in 2020 was bipartisan. I’ve listened to people with other perspectives, and worked to address their specific concerns. During my first term, I participated in 57 town halls, responded to thousands of constituents, attended 116 meetings or tours with constituents and community groups, and sent 53 newsletters out. I’ve championed significant policies to protect 1st amendment rights, increase access to mental health, protect public schools, support small businesses, address wildfire and protect the environment. If elected, what would your top issue be? My top issue is to ensure our state gets back on track for recovery from COVID. This means supporting policies that help our environment while putting people back to work, provide resources and support for our desperately hurting schools, increase access to mental health services, put our small businesses on a path to recovery and set up Coloradans to succeed in the future. I cannot best represent my diverse constituents by caring about and prioritizing only one issue. The best way to help our state is to learn from the weaknesses exposed by the pandemic and work together to rebuild. If elected, what would you want to accomplish in order for you to consider the term a success? I would be happy if we could find better funding for our schools (we currently rank near the bottom in the US in school funding), made more inroads to address climate change, wildfire mitigation policy and transportation issues, and most importantly have stabilized the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. We — as a state — prioritize issues by the funding we are willing to put behind them. I think most people will agree that our priorities are not being reflected. We are near the bottom in school funding spending in the entire US, and teachers are not paid adequately nor given the resources they need to succeed for our children. Your view on efforts to change TABOR? I have lived in Colorado all of my life, and I’ve seen our schools and roads/infrastructure steadily decline. Roads and infrastructure are important and pressing needs in Colorado, and directly impact the economy. Our schools are embarrassingly underfunded. TABOR has caused the state’s general fund to shrink over time because it doesn’t factor in the ups and downs of the economy. It is also based on inflation, and government spending doesn’t track the same way as consumer spending. Our needs are growing faster than the TABOR cap allows. If TABOR was effective, other states would have adopted it. The Red Flag law went into effect this year. Has it been a good law, and would you change anything? I believe the Extreme Risk Protection Order was necessary and well-conceived. It does not remove guns from people without reasonable cause as defined by a judge; there is an objective criteria that a court must reference before authorizing removal of guns. The defendant is provided with legal counsel, and there are extensive due process protections. Defendants are also provided with behavioral health treatment resources. I believe this law will help protect not only the friends and family reporting mentally unstable individuals but also police officers from potentially life-threatening confrontations.