Vail Daily column: Record shows work accomplished so far
I am honored to work for you. I am running for re-election on my record and on promises kept. I promised you I would work effectively across the partisan divide and the Continental Divide for practical, fiscally responsible solutions to build a better future for all Coloradans. My record shows that I have done that.
I have earned a reputation for working across the aisle and bringing people together to solve problems. I am known for careful, complete scrutiny and analysis of bills. Colorado Capitol Watch, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, named me the most effective freshman representative in 2013.
I am proud to have worked on and supported two balanced budgets that fund much-needed programs to build a better future for all Coloradans, including:
• Tax incentives for small business investment, job creation and targeted job training.
• Child care tax credits for middle class families.
• Veterans assistance.
• Disaster relief.
• Funding for creative industries and tourism.
• Increased funding for preschool, K-12 and higher education.
• Wastewater and drinking water projects, especially for smaller rural communities.
• Overhaul of Colorado driver’s license offices, technology and processes.
Moreover, we increased our reserve from 5 percent to 6.5 percent without asking you for a tax increase. A solid rainy day fund is critical when disaster strikes or if the economy worsens.
I supported bills that provide for:
• A 3 percent cap on tuition increases at our state colleges and universities to ensure all our children have the opportunity to succeed.
• Adult education and literacy programs to increase economic opportunity and help struggling adults find jobs to support themselves and their families.
• Job training partnerships matching veterans with employers.
• Energy and water efficiency and conservation.
• Protection of our air quality, water quality and wildlife habitat.
• Rural broadband and a 21st century telecommunications infrastructure.
• Childcare tax credits and enhanced childcare program assistance.
• Grants to provide legal representation for victims of family violence.
• Housing tax credits and low-interest loans to expand construction of affordable housing.
• Tax credits for community solar gardens.
• Stronger safety net for vulnerable, needy seniors.
• Liability protection for agritourism.
• Rural family medicine residency programs.
• Health Care Cost Commission to make transparent the costs of health care in Colorado.
In both 2013 and 2014, all my evidenced-based, fiscally responsible bills passed with bipartisan support. This is unusual; rarely do all the bills of one legislator pass. I believe this accomplishment is due to my inclusive approach — I invite all stakeholders to work with me before the bill is drafted and throughout the process.
Of my 13 bills, here are five examples:
• Insured that we received our fair share of much-needed federal transportation dollars.
• Tightened up spill reporting for oil and gas to protect our water.
• Assured continuation of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
• Reduced red tape to streamline permitting of small hydro power projects to create more rural jobs and increase our use of renewable energy.
• Protected funding for Safe Routes to School, a proven, successful grant program that helps make our communities safer and more bike and pedestrian friendly.
I believe in building bridges (not barriers), using partnership (not partisanship) and relying on evidence (not ideology) to build a better future for Colorado. When we all work together, we can create a more just, equitable, sustainable and prosperous Colorado for all!
You can count on me as your strong mountain community voice in our capitol. Please contact me at email@example.com with your concerns, issues and ideas.
I would be honored to have your support in the 2014 election!
Diane Mitsch Bush, of Steamboat Springs, represents Eagle and Routt counties in the state Legislature. She will face Republican Chuck McConnell in the November election.