Roberts: It’s time to start work again with the Colorado Legislature (column)
It’s time to get back to work. On Friday, the 72nd General Assembly of Colorado will begin. Thanks to the voters of Eagle County and Routt County, I am honored to have the chance to continue serving in the State House. After a long election season, it is time to govern — and we have a lot of work to do.
The Colorado Constitution gives the legislature 120 days each year to get its work done. From passing a balanced budget to debating and approving legislation to improve our state, that is not a lot of time. That is why many legislators, including myself, have been working for several months to prepare for the upcoming session.
Here are some of the priorities I have been working on and updates from the Capitol:
First, I was selected to be the chair of two committees: the Capital Development Committee and the Rural Affairs Committee. With legislators from all parts of rural Colorado, we will dedicate our work to issues such as agriculture, water, broadband deployment, rural health care and much more. The Capital Development Committee is a year-round joint committee (Senators and Representatives) that reviews all capital construction and maintenance projects and makes recommendations to the Joint Budget Committee. As the only Western Slope member of the committee, I look forward to being a strong advocate for the universities and facilities in our region. Additionally, I will also continue to serve as a member of the Judiciary Committee.
There are also several pieces of legislation that I have been preparing that I will introduce during the first days of the session. While talking to thousands of you during the campaign, the most persistent topic was the need to do something about the rising cost of health care. That will be my No. 1 legislative priority.
On day one, I will be introducing a bill that will be co-sponsored by Senator Kerry Donovan to create a state-backed health insurance option. A state-backed insurance option will bring competition to the very limited market, especially in the mountains, and give you an affordable choice. I will also be the lead sponsor of a bill to bring price transparency to the prescription drug industry. Shedding light on the convoluted world of prescription drug pricing is an important first step in understanding how to stop the skyrocketing increase in the price of medicine that people need to stay alive and healthy. Finally, mental health must be included in our efforts on health care and that is why I am excited to have partnered with Saphira Klearman, a high school student from Eagle County, to bring forward the Youth Suicide Prevention Act of 2019, which will bring more resources to local schools and organizations to better combat the youth suicide epidemic.
Later in the session, I will be introducing bills to protect and conserve clean water, to support the deployment of more automated external defibrillators, to make our roads safer from impaired drivers and during winter conditions and more.
On the whole, the 2019 legislature will feature legislation from others that I look forward to supporting on topics such as better supporting our public school teachers and students, acting on climate change and supporting small businesses and workers, especially in rural Colorado.
As always, you can count on me to hold regular town hall and coffee meetings near you throughout the year. You can visit my website or social media pages to stay up to date and I invite you to contact me on my cell or email anytime.
Thank you for the privilege to serve.
Rep. Dylan Roberts is the representative for Colorado House District 26, encompassing Eagle and Routt counties. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 970-846-3054.