Diane Mitsch Bush
EAGLE & ROUTT
January Greetings to Everyone in Eagle County and Routt County!
Let's keep the momentum and energy of the January 21stmarches all over our great nation and throughout the world, especially Denver and Steamboat Springs, by working together to build a better world for ALL!
The Oxford English Dictionary's 2016 word of the year was "post-truth"-an adjective defined as 'relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief'.
In this 2017 world of "alternative facts," it may be hard to believe that each and every one of us really can influence our elected representatives, but the history of our nation reminds us that " yes, we can"!
I believe that being your state representative is a sacred trust. You can count on me to listen to you, tell you the truth, and to be accountable. Many of you have heard me say "I am your employee, I work for you". That is what I believe, and I sincerely walk my talk. I invite you to please share your ideas, your dreams, your questions, and your concerns with me.
Here is a quick summary of what I have been doing since December and especially since opening day, January 11th:
As the new Chair of the House Transportation and Energy Committee, I have been working across the aisle with members on issues/bills and participating in oversight hearings for the Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
After many years of inaction on our Transportation Funding crisis, we are finally focused on bipartisan efforts to establish a reliable, predictable, sustainable source of funding so that we can build a 21st Century multi-modal, interconnected infrastructure that allows Coloradans real mobility choices. On January 5th, I spoke at the US 36 Commuting Solutions Legislative Breakfast, explaining how without adequate funding, our state cannot compete economically and the negative impacts of congestion will grow for individuals, families, businesses, and communities, especially rural communities. Since last summer Speaker of the House Duran and Senate president Grantham have been meeting to develop solutions.
Our Committee will deal with a multitude of Energy issues including transmission grids, renewables, energy efficiency, and impacts of currently volatile commodity markets for oil, natural gas and coal. The latter impacts range from decreasing and unpredictable severance tax receipts to short and long term impacts on communities. The Transportation and Energy Committee will hear our first bills on January 25th.
I am also honored to be the new Vice-Chair of the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee. We have held oversight hearings for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR includes Parks and Wildlife, all the water agencies, Mine reclamation, Oil and Gas commission, State Land Board. We will soon hear from the Water Quality Commission. We heard our first bills on January 23rd. One of them was my resolution asking the Federal government to help us protect our lakes from invasive aquatic nuisance species. It passed 13-0.
Potential Help for Constituents Cost- Burdened by High Health Insurance Premiums
As you may recall, I have been working with other Western Slope legislators on solutions to the outrageously high cost of health insurance premiums in our region. We asked the Division of Insurance (DOI) to convene stakeholder meetings, which were held from August- November. Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne Chaired these meetings, and by late November some bill ideas emerged. I am now working on a bill to provide temporary, short term (2017-2019) financial assistance to my constituents who are cost-burdened by high premiums until we find structural solutions. Please do stay tuned.
Colorado as a Laboratory of Democracy and as a Protector of Rights & Liberties for ALL
Colorado has long been at the forefront of innovative, evidence based bipartisan solutions to help people, communities and businesses thrive. In 2017, we will continue.
You can also count on me and the Colorado House to protect and preserve people's rights. We will work tirelessly to build a better Colorado for ALL, where everyone has the opportunity for an excellent education and real economic opportunity so they can reach their dreams. Where everyone lives in a healthy, whole environment, with access to: clean water and our magnificent public lands, resilient, thriving communities, and nutritious food, quality health care, attainable housing, high speed broadband, and a reliable, sustainable multi-modal transportation system.
Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!
Mark Your Calendars!
Feb. 26th--Avon Town Hall at the Avon Public Library in the Beaver Creek Room at 3:30pm
Mar. 3rd--Steamboat Springs Town Hall at 4:30pm (Location TBA)
Stay tuned for the Basalt/Roaring Fork Valley Town Hall in March!
Please do not hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (970) 291-1572
I am on the floor of the House or in Committee meetings most of the time Monday-Friday, but my wonderful Legislative Aide Selina Najar can help you.
On Tuesday's and Thursday's, Julianna Smolka, our CSU Legislative Intern will be in our office as well.
Join my CO House of Representatives Weekly Bill Tracking Mailing List to stay up to date with what bills will be heard each week!
to be added!
Saturday, April 22--Basalt Town Hall with Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Summit/Pitkin Counties) at the
Basalt Regional Library at 11am
Thursday, May 11--Eagle Town Hall in the Eagle County Building's County Room at 5pm
Friday, May 12--Steamboat Springs Town Hall at the Bud Werner Memorial Library at 5pm