The 2014 legislative session began officially at 10 a.m. Jan. 8. I look forward to a session where we can work across the aisle to develop evidence-based, common sense public policy that solves problems and improves life for all Coloradans. One example is a bill I am co-prime-sponsoring in the House with my Republican colleague Don Coram, of Montrose, that streamlines the process for small hydropower permitting. It removes red tape while protecting our environmental and community values.
Prior to the session opening, I traveled all over our beautiful House District 26 (all of Eagle County and all of Routt County), meeting with and listening to residents at town halls, local governments, nonprofits and businesses. I have been working with stakeholder groups on my bills, and I closely have been following a series of discussions on potential legislation for expanded, improved rural broadband service. In December, I also participated in oversight hearings at the Capitol for the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Energy Office.
In my travels, I was very pleased to learn that several local businesses already have used and benefited from small business bills passed with broad bipartisan support in 2013 to expand. A manufacturing business used the job creation tax credit to hire new employees. When I was visiting that business, one of these new employees was busy filling out forms for the procurement technical assistance process that was created by 2013 legislation. The founder/owner was really excited about new opportunities.
Water quantity and quality are essential for our economy, our health, our environment and our quality of life. During the summer and through October, I served on the Joint House/Senate Water Resources Review Committee, traveling throughout the state to better understand water quality and quantity issues facing our river basins.
As you have heard, Gov. John Hickenlooper has requested that a draft Statewide Water Plan be developed by December 2014. The plan will create both opportunities and challenges for our headwaters counties on the Western Slope. We must take an active role. I will keep you informed. During session, I serve on the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee, where water bills, oversight and water issues are assigned.
I am so honored to be your Colorado state House representative. Please do contact me with your ideas, concerns and issues at firstname.lastname@example.org or at my Capitol office at 303-866-2923. My legislative aide Tate Carpenter or my intern JT Stepleton will help you. I will get back to you as soon as possible.
I look forward to working with you and for you and everyone in our beautiful, headwaters district.
You can count on me to continue to be effective, diligent, transparent, accountable and bipartisan, firm in our shared conviction that by working together we can build a better future for all Coloradans.
Yours for a just, equitable, sustainable and prosperous Colorado for all.
State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush represents House District 26 in the Colorado Legislature.