Conversations with constituents

By Kevin Priola
Posted 10/5/09

Autumn is upon us. The kids are back in school, the nights are getting crisp, and the Halloween candy is even starting to appear in stores.      I hope everyone reading this has …

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Conversations with constituents


Autumn is upon us. The kids are back in school, the nights are getting crisp, and the Halloween candy is even starting to appear in stores.

     I hope everyone reading this has enjoyed their summer, and if not, we always have those beautiful autumn days that Colorado is known for to look forward to.

    Although I was able to squeeze in some great family time this summer, I also spent a good deal of time meeting with people across the district.

     Having visited with more than 2,000 constituents from across our district, I can tell you that people are feeling the pinch of the newly increased car registration fee. Touted as a way to raise funds for road improvements, this controversial new fee hit Coloradoans hard at a time when they can least afford it. Along with many of my colleagues in the state House of Representatives, I opposed the fee increase for this very reason.

    The governor signed this new car registration fee into law at the worst possible time for Colorado families. As Coloradoans across the state have been cutting back their budgets and making tough choices, this new fee only serves to increase their cost of living and add additional stress during an already difficult time.

    I have also heard a great deal about the major initiatives being debated in Washington. If the predominant mood of the people I have met with over the summer is any indication, now is not the time to be making massive changes to our health care system.

    Many will agree that our system is due for some fine-tuning. That is not to say that we need a massive overhaul. With our economy struggling and other more pressing issues at home and abroad, I hope that we can slow down this debate and focus on getting our economy back on track. The plan being debated in Washington is simply the wrong solution at the wrong time.

    I have opposed public option health care plans in the state House of Representatives and as I think Colorado is not suited for such a plan, neither is our nation. Rather, we need to look at health care reform that empowers the free market to spur innovation and advance technology. What we don’t need are more government bureaucrats meddling in our health care choices.


State Budget Update

    The good news on our state budget is that we are faring the economic situation far better than some states. The bad news is that in order to shepherd Colorado through the recession, some budget cuts will have to be made.

     There are going to be a lot of difficult choices to be made in the months ahead and the reality dictates that some state funded programs are at risk.

    The governor recently submitted his budget plan to reduce spending and make the necessary cuts. Budget cuts are always difficult, but it is important to remember that Colorado families have had to make many of these same difficult choices in their own budgets.  I have heard many of your concerns on these cuts and can assure you that I will take them into consideration as we move forward with these tough decisions.


Axing the Tax

    One of my ongoing summer projects has been to sit on a legislative interim committee that is charged with studying the best way to phase out Colorado’s onerous business personal property tax. This burdensome tax essentially penalizes business owners for expanding. Through the course of this committee we have heard from many members of the business community who believe this tax is a barrier to opportunity and economic growth.  I’ve also sat in on the Higher Education Commission meetings this summer.  It deals with the many issues that affect the education of our states college students.

     I will continue to update you on my work on this committee and am hopeful that we can come to a reasonable solution for removing this barrier to economic growth.  


One More Bit of Good News

    As you may have seen, an Omaha-based steel manufacturing company has announced that they will soon be opening their first plant in Colorado.

    Located in Aurora, the new plant will eventually create up to 50 new jobs. Company officials have stated that they will hire 20 new employees to open the plant and eventually fill the other new positions.

    This is a good piece of news in a struggling economy. Hopefully we will be reading more announcements like this in the coming months.

     That is it for this month! As always, contact me anytime, I look forward to hearing from you.


Kevin Priola (House District 30) can be reached at 303-923-5138 or by e-mail at 



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