Many have asked how I like my new job.
I have to answer that I love my new job, and I am having fun, so much fun that I feel a little guilty. Every job that I have ever had has been fun, and this is no different. Every day is a learning experience, and I meet and learn from some very interesting and very smart people.
I am impressed by the Republican caucus in the Colorado House and in the Senate. They are men and women who have the same core principles that I do, of limited government, more freedom, lower taxes, and individual responsibility, where we as government enable the free enterprise economy that has sustained our state and country for centuries. They are all very smart, likable and knowledgeable. It is no wonder they were elected to represent their constituents.
I am equally impressed by the friendliness of my dedicated Democrat colleagues. Even though we have many philosophical differences, we can still greet each other and enjoy our company together. I really appreciate their friendship; it makes life in Denver much easier. There is no one that I know in the Legislature who does not have the best interest of Colorado in mind. We just have different ideas on how to get there.
Last week we took the first step in eliminating one of the dirty dozen tax increases of 2010. The House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee voted in favor of House Bill 11-1005 which will rescind the sales tax on products used by farmers and ranchers in producing food. Sales tax has always been levied on the end product and not on the items that are used in production. An example outside of food production is computer production. Sales tax is paid on the computer, the end product, and not on all of the little parts that went into the computer. Agriculture production has always had a very small profit margin, and these taxes hurt.
Another problem with these sales taxes is that neighboring states don’t charge the taxes, and that puts Colorado businesses at a disadvantage. There are many examples of producers going to New Mexico, Kansas or Oklahoma to buy repair parts or other items. While they are in that state, they will more than likely spend other money that could be better spent in Colorado. We hope to get this tax repealed. The bill still must get through the House Appropriations Committee and second reading in House, then it must go through the same process in the Senate, and then must be signed by the governor.
We also heard in the House Health and Environment Committee, House Bill 11-1058, by Dan Pabon, that will outlaw food stamp recipients from getting cash from an ATM machine that is in the vicinity of a strip club. I support this bill. More next week.
I will be at the Southwest Livestock Association meeting in Cortez on Saturday Feb. 12, at the Elks’ Club beginning at 9 a.m.
I thoroughly enjoyed the party for Lavenia McCoy at the library in Bayfield last Saturday. What a great lady! Thanks for your example of service.