Rep. Dylan Roberts should be legislative Rookie of the Year, deserves re-election (letter)
Rep. Dylan Roberts has one legislative session in the state assembly under his belt thanks to his vacancy appointment last November when Diane Mitsch Bush stepped down to campaign against 3rd Congressional District incumbent Scott Tipton.
At the time, I opposed Roberts’ appointment, both in the vacancy committee meeting and then shortly thereafter in the pages of the Vail Daily. I believed his opponent at the time, County Commissioner Jill Ryan, had more experience as an elected official than he did. My choice to fill the vacancy was not selected, and I could continue to grumble about the outcome or I could hope Roberts succeeded.
One legislative session later, I happily admit that Rep. Roberts exceeded my expectations spectacularly and in a way that should make his constituents in Eagle and Routt counties proud. In his first legislative session, he was the lead sponsor on 12 bills, six of which ended up being signed into law. In a divided state assembly, it is a testament to Roberts’ ability to craft legislation with bipartisan appeal and foster bipartisan support.
Some examples of the work Roberts did include HB1286 “Quintin’s Amendment,” which allows school nurses or nurses’ designees to administer medical marijuana to qualified students — a lifesaver for kids with severe epilepsy; and HB1366 “CMC Financial Security,” which allows CMC’s board the ability to sell or lease land in its possession, thereby providing much-needed revenue.
Not all of Roberts’ legislative efforts were successful. Notably, the bill Roberts authored to hold mining companies accountable for safeguarding waterways in their area of mining was defeated along party lines in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee. I am confident Roberts will revisit that legislation, as well as his effort, along with our State Sen. Kerry Donovan, to require diabetes drug pricing transparency.
In his freshman session, Conservation Colorado named Roberts one of their “Fabulous Five.” Conservation Colorado selected five Colorado lawmakers who were exceptional advocates for Colorado’s lands, water and air, and Roberts made that very short list.
If there was an award for rookie of the year for the state assembly, there is a good chance it would go to Rep. Dylan Roberts. His efforts demonstrated a firm command and prioritization of the issues that matter to his constituents in Eagle and Routt counties: health care costs, clean energy, environmental stewardship, economic development, infrastructure and affordable housing. Rather than platitudes, Roberts now has a solid track record of tackling those issues and, more importantly, a road map forward.
Recently, former President Barack Obama and the American Federation of Teachers Colorado have endorsed Roberts. In the coming weeks more endorsements are sure to follow for this dynamic legislator. This November, we have the opportunity to continue this outstanding level of representation by returning Representative Dylan Roberts to the state assembly for a full term. I hope you will join me in doing so.