The power of a parent’s influence on a child’s life cannot be overstated. Parents/Guardians are the best decision-makers for their child’s education. I support the full education menu— from choice within neighborhood public schools and public charter schools to homeschooling and private options. Teachers are a vital part of our public education system and should be fairly compensated for their skills and outcomes. I believe in high-quality school initiatives that focus on individual student improvement. I did not support HB-1032, the Comprehensive Sexuality Education bill which takes the power away from local districts, parents, and families.
Individuals should have control over their health care options. This includes choosing a physician and the type of insurance coverage we want. This is a particularly big issue for small businesses and individual policyholders. Before Obamacare, groups were allowed to join together forming associations in order to take advantage of better policy benefits. The current system is costly and confusing to most users. Policies offered on the current exchange are not affordable and do not provide the care people need. We need insurance companies who do not simply fill a government mandate, but instead compete with each other for our business. Additionally, greater transparency and accountability within the healthcare system itself is needed in order to ensure quality care for each of us as consumers.
Mental Health and Substance Use
Discussion needs to center around increased help for those who suffer from mental illness. We need to change the mandatory hold laws to allow for longer detentions when needed. We need to educate families and communities on how to help each other and remove the stigma folks often feel when faced with mental health challenges. Our current Red Flag Law challenges our constitutional right that we are innocent until proven guilty. Instead, we need to get to the heart of the problem to make our community safe.
Mental health issues and substance abuse co-exist. I work for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Jefferson & Gilpin Counties and see the high personal and social cost of substance use. Improving mental health issues requires community and family education and commitment in order to achieve life-changing difference. There are a lot of well-intentioned ideas about how to do this, but providing facilities to allow safe injection has not proven to be one of them.
The US Census Bureau reports that Colorado’s population grew by about 600,000 people between 2010 and 2017. Most of our transportation infrastructure is from the 1950’s, with few updates. While light rail and the bus system help, there is no substitute for a solid network of adequate roads. Additionally, considering public transportation as the only solution to infrastructure issues completely overlooks industries that bring our communities food, fuel, and other consumer products and services. Policymakers – at all levels – need to work together to find innovative solutions to meet our needs.
Energy is an important part of our state’s economy and future. The industry has changed dramatically from the oil wells drilled in the 1970’s. We should be staying in the forefront of energy technology. I support all options that would improve our energy independence, while preserving the environment we hold dear here in Colorado.