It is hard to believe that the year 2011 is gone, and we are diving headlong into 2012.
Like 2011, 2012 will have its challenges, which we will welcome with open arms.
Now is a time to make resolutions for the coming year. I am resolved to work hard for the people of the 59th Colorado House District. Though I am spread thin, I am resolved to listen to the concerns of each one and respond where I can.
I am resolved to be the best legislator that I possibly can be, to attempt to understand all legislation and to vote based on the principals for which I was elected — limited and effective state government. I represent the most beautiful part of the entire state. What a privilege!
We have good news for the economic forecast in the great state of Colorado. According to the projections of both the Legislative Council and the governor’s office, Colorado’s economy is showing modest growth that will result in an increase in overall revenue. Growth in the business sector coupled with a reduction in unemployment has helped to make the forecast for the next year more optimistic. One of the big positive factors for business and jobs is the opening of the huge oil reserves in the northeast part of the state. However, there are some factors for which we have no control that may affect the economic equation. If the European debt crisis is not resolved in the near future, all bets are off. This would have a huge negative effect on the world economy.
Hopefully, we can allocate $110 million to the State Education Fund to eliminate proposed cuts to K-12 education in FY 2012-13.
There are other needs that also must be addressed. One of my continued concerns is that we are falling further and further behind on controlled maintenance. The governor’s office proposes to budget for all of the first-tier requests for controlled maintenance of state buildings. First-tier requests are those that absolutely must be done because of safety and environmental concerns. We will still not be funding second- and third-tier maintenance requests, which means that we will have to play catch-up in future years.
There are many other needs that must be addressed and, like any other year, members of the Joint Budget Committee and the Legislature will have tough decisions to make.
Reapportionment is final. Montezuma County will no longer be in the 59th House district, and we will be joined by Ouray, Hinsdale and Gunnison counties with the towns of Ouray, Ridgway, Gunnison and Lake City. To most of us, this doesn’t make sense, but it now is reality at least for the next 10 years.
I plan to run for this House district seat — a district I can truly say has more natural beauty than any other in the state. It will be a great opportunity for me to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. I am excited for this year, 2012.