These important issues are dominating our conversations at Action22 right now. It sounds like a lot, and it is. We perch on that interesting (rural) Colorado rock formation where it’s not immediately obvious how these things intersect, but if you are looking at it from where we are sitting, you’ll see it.
AND the 2023 Legislative Session delivered 500+ NEW laws on Coloradans. While it is widely agreed this 2023 Session was the most grueling in recent memory, the number of bills passed is average in this state. The difficulty of the Session swirled around three things: hostility laid over from a particularly brutal mid-term that yielded a super majority, most of the legislators were brand new and some of the most important and impactful legislation was pushed off until the last day of the Session. For some reason, this comes to mind when I think about it: [HD] Pixar - For The Birds | Original Movie from Pixar - YouTube
There is a lot of money on the line right now as what could be best described as a generational transition in broadband, energy, economy and natural resources. The thing is: time frames on getting this all right are tight. Resources, even though there are more than we are used to right now, are finite and one time. Our internal, simple litmus is based on what the impact will be. We are asking in all cases: is burden imposed vs. lifted? Are barriers set vs. removed?
Recently, I heard a State Legislator refer to Pueblo (and by extension, all of Southern Colorado) as always being the “little brother” of the State and that our “big brother” up north was proud of us. I’m embarrassed to say, I took exception to that level of condescension. It should not have bothered me, but it did. Maybe it the fact that someone who was voted to represent us, perhaps don’t have that high of an opinion of us.
On a more positive note, my frustration led to this wildly interesting thing I learned about Colorado History today. You gotta check this out. https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/university-penitentiary-were-prizes-in-colorado-territory/article_7ae64d04-a645-11ec-b268-6ff04cad5bc0.html
We are good at a lot of things in this part of the State, but top of the list is “making it work”. My earnest request to our decision makers is simply this:
PLEASE consider, as part of your decision-making process, the burden 500+ new laws each year, often without a clear ROI, have on Coloradans.
We would really appreciate it.