The pandemic has taken a toll on the people of Colorado. Hundreds of our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and neighbors are struggling to make ends meet in these unprecedented times.
In these times we need steady, empathetic leadership. I'm proud that my colleagues and I rose to the occasion to ease the economic burdens that many Coloradans are facing.
We passed legislation to help Coloradans pay for their rent, mortgages, and utilities. We passed legislation that supports the small businesses, the backbone of Colorado's economy, with grants and loans. We passed legislation that protects the people of Colorado from price gouging. We passed legislation that provided $500,000 to food pantries that are feeling the strain now that so many Coloradans are struggling to get by.
The hard times are not behind us, we still have a long way to go before we can truly begin to recover from these unprecedented times. But I know that together, we can build a better Colorado.
We can build a Colorado that works for us all. I promise that if I am reelected that I will work for you in these uncertain times to ensure that you and your families will be taken care of and not left behind.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has shown us just how important it is to have access to affordable healthcare. We have seen what can happen if our healthcare systems are overburdened and our frontline workers are overworked. Still, our healthcare workers have performed admirably in the face of an unexpected crisis.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, 40 percent of Colorado employees didn't have access to paid sick leave. As a caucus, we knew that the lack of paid sick leave would only exacerbate the current crisis. Hardworking Coloradans deserve to be able to take a day off to recover with having to worry about not being able to put food on the table or pay for rent.
In the coming months, access to healthcare will be vital to the health of our state. That's why I support the expansion of Medicare to cover primary care and allow for anyone to opt into the program.
This proposal would bring down monthly insurance prices, without increasing state funding for the program, thanks to younger, lower-risk patients opting into the insurance pool.
Additionally, private insurance will be used for specialized care. This approach will lower the cost of private insurance rates, as they would no longer be responsible for primary care, and be more competitive.
As a public school teacher for 20 years, I have worked hard on building a robust education program on the Western Slope.
Despite the budgetary constraints, I worked across the aisle to pass several pieces of legislation that benefits Colorado's students. I passed a bill that gives non-traditional students the ability to earn college credit for the learning that they do while working.
As higher learning institutes move away from using standardized tests as a measure of success, I knew that it was important to pass legislation that gives students the choice to include their national test scores on their official high school transcripts.
I also worked across the aisle with my Republican colleagues to pass legislation that eliminates unnecessary testing. This bill eliminates the state-wide social studies assessment requirement, which hasn't been administered since the 2014-15 school year.
I also worked to streamline the requirements for educator stipends to increase the number of quality educators in rural areas, increase accountability in educator preparation programs, and remove arbitrary limits on the number of applicants for the educator loan forgiveness program to increase participation across the state.
Coloradan children and their families will need help adjusting to the new normal under COVID-19. This session, I will work together with my colleagues to ensure that all Colorado families have access to a quality, safe education whether they choose to educate their children at home or send them to school.
The tragic wildfires have shown us that climate change needs to be addressed now before these tragedies continue to ravage our beautiful state and displace Colorado families.
One of the biggest concerns we on the Western Slope share is our diminishing water level. Not only does it impact our farmers and towns, but also our economy and environment.
The largest threat to our water security is trans-mountain diversion projects, which pull Western Slope water to the Front Range. This next year will find me re-evaluating the diversions, and continuing to pass legislation that prioritizes water storage in aquifers and reservoirs statewide.
I have also been working with our farmers to focus on crops that are low-water intake and have a high monetary yield. The most notable of these is the growing hemp industry.
Because this crop requires less water and less overhead, it can be a boon to our current and future farmers, helping them become more financially and environmentally secure.
Many people are concerned about our public lands, I want to reaffirm my support for our beautiful state and stand ready to continue bi-partisan work preventing the selling of, or development on, our protected lands.
Representative Barbara McLachlan for HD 59
P.O. Box 2341, Durango CO 81302
Paid for by The Committee to Elect Barbara McLachlan, Registered Agent: Barbara McLachlan. Copyright © 2020 Representative Barbara McLachlan for HD 59 - Todos los derechos reservados.
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