Like most Coloradans my family cherishes the majestic beauty of our state, which is also uniquely blessed with abundant natural energy resources.  I will support policies that preserve Colorado’s environment for us and for future generations, while encouraging responsible development of energy resources that are key to the prosperity of all Coloradans.

My approach to balancing energy development is well-summarized in this year’s House Bill 12-1315, passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support.  The Colorado Energy Office is now focused on promoting all forms of Colorado energy.  I agree wholeheartedly with this law’s emphasis on protecting our environment, while promoting energy-market advances that create jobs, improve energy efficiency, and spur the creation of Colorado-based clean and innovative energy solutions.

Colorado’s continued economic and environmental health will rely on developments in traditional, clean, and renewable energy sources.

Colorado already has considerable research and educational facilities with expertise in the fields of environmental and energy research.   We also have many businesses engaged in developing innovative energy technologies—such as wind, geothermal, solar, and biomass—as well as in improving the safety and efficiency of traditional oil, coal and natural gas production.  I believe in a comprehensive energy policy, through which we safely develop reliable and affordable energy for Colorado businesses and households, while serving as responsible stewards of our natural environment.

Colorado’s economy continues to struggle. In fact, more than 227,000 Coloradans remain unemployed, and the poverty rate for women in Colorado is now 13.1%. These figures represent real people suffering real economic hardships.

Yet Democrats keep trying to sell quick “fixes” like my incumbent opponent’s “Buy Colorado” and “Hire Colorado” bills. But if preferential programs are really good for business and job growth, why does the Colorado business community oppose these preferential programs? The business community opposed my incumbent opponent’s preference bills because they understand that it would drive up costs and drive away new investments and job opportunities. Not the results we want during this dismal economic recovery. Colorado simply cannot afford a jobs agenda that job creators oppose.

My vision is for Colorado to be the #1 state in which to do business.

That requires a partnership with the business community, working with them to reduce the regulatory burdens hampering job creation and growth, creating economic stability and lowering the tax burdens on families and businesses, while promoting free enterprise. This view is why I am endorsed by the leading business organizations in the state–Colorado’s State Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Concern.

A Republican majority in the Colorado State House will ensure that job-killing bills like my opponent’s are not passed, and that my true pro-jobs agenda and that of the Republicans will succeed to improve Colorado’s economy.

I am a product of public education, and my daughters are enrolled in public schools in Colorado Springs. We all know that a good education provides the foundation for our children’s success, and that well-educated citizens are critical to the social and economic health of strong communities. That’s why we need common-sense education policies that promote the success of all of our children in K through 12 schools. We cannot let children be stuck for years in failing schools.

Democrats Voted Against Parents

My opponent and the Democrat-controlled Senate voted against the House Republicans’ HB12-1149; they voted against giving parents the authority to request interventions for low-performing schools. This bill would have only required the state board to consider a request signed by more than 50% of the families of the students enrolled in a public school, if that school has already been operating under a priority improvement or turnaround plan for 2 years. It would have allowed 60% of the families of the students enrolled in any public school to petition the state board to step in to reform their children’s school.

5 Years Is Too Long

Instead, Democrats and my opponent voted to keep the status quo for those failing schools. Under existing law, a failing school has 5 years before the state board directs the local school board to reconfigure the public school. That’s five years when students get further behind academically. Five years means that parents will have given up, as their poorly educated children will have already gone on to the next school.

Where’s the common sense? I am truly interested in accountability and student achievement with public education in Colorado. This bill was a step in the right direction.

Thankfully, job creators, business owners, and taxpayers can count on the Republican’s single vote majority in the House to defeat the Senate’s proposed “preferences” bill approved on April 10 by a voice vote (SB-1). The Senate Democratic majority fails to understand basic free market principles and economic policies: preferences for certain employers over others (regardless of how enticing the preference may be) do nothing to stimulate jobs but instead serve only to increase the cost of doing state business, footed by the taxpayers. As stewards of taxpayer money, state government should work to operate with the most fiscally sound practices. Preferences would drive up the costs of state contracts at a time when picking the low bid is critical to a sustainable government.

Preferences also allow the state government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. Here, the Senate Democrats decide that “good” companies are those that certify a percentage of Colorado resident-workers and offer health care, retirement benefits, and apprenticeship training programs. The rest are “not worthy.” Want to expand your business outside of Colorado or the U.S.? Too bad – they might not want you, either, should Colorado enact protectionist legislation. The market, not a few elected state senators, best determines what defines winning employers.

A comparable ill-conceived proposal (HB-1113) sponsored by Rep. Pete Lee was defeated in the House. We must await a similar fate for SB-1.