At the Gilpin Library on March 13th
By Jaclyn Schrock
Representative KC Becker of the State of Colorado General Assembly arranged a Town Hall meeting at the Gilpin County Library 7 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2018. She represents District 13; Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand and Jackson Counties, and is the Democratic Majority Leader. Her assigned committees are the Legislative Council and the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council.
KC Becker introduced herself speaking in a manner that presented an interest in knowing what we thought along with confidence to explain how she has used her time as a public servant since 2016. Gilpin County Commissioners, some county employees along with approximately 20 people and as many seats unoccupied listened to what she had to say.
Her recap of the effectiveness of Colorado’s General Assembly complimented our States running record to actually pass a balanced budget consistently. This time it occurred in 55 days. Many States cannot get a budget passed.
Representative Becker gave a recap of many of the bills she has worked with including education, housing, transportation, Veteran’s Affairs, natural resources, State and local governments, elections and redistricting, marijuana taxation and pesticide issues, PERA, and the increase in state funding with Trump’s tax changes. At least nine of the bills she has sponsored have been postponed, three are continuing through committees or the Senate, and 16 have been signed by the Governor of Colorado. She gave detailed explanations of her most recent activities in 2017 and 2018.
She was not thrilled to be assigned to working up legislation regarding Public Employee Retirement Association( PERA) since she was not part of what has brought the program to shaky futures. It seems that longer life expectancy than originally designed in the program, and State employees who do not stay in their position to keep their funds invested, has contributed to the problems her legislation has made efforts to resolve. These recommended reforms have been researched so that PERA can have a more stable future. This bill has passed the House and is currently in the Senate. She expects when the Senate comes back with recommendations, she will likely counter them to make it work best. She believes that PERA will become solvent in five years with the changes her latest bill will facilitate.
As Majority Leader, KC Becker has been saddened to investigate the sexual harassment complaints in the Colorado House and Senate. A committee, convinced that accusations had been justified, took action in the House to remove an elected Representative for the first time in our history. This man was elected as a Democrat, but when he walked up to give his last testimony before his peers just before the vote to establish if he had been acting appropriately as a Representative, he gave notice to the Minority Leader that he was switching political parties. When the vote revealed he was expelled, that party switching action made it so the Republicans would select his replacement instead of a Democrat for the remainder of his term. This historic event has left her still recovering from the recent investigation and vote.
Rep. Becker is still very concerned that many counties still have limited or no access to health care. Gilpin at least has access to nearby Denver for health care, while other rural counties she represents do not have those options. She spoke of the Broadband grants that have been working to bring internet to rural counties. It is not hopeful, as yet, with some major companies seeking to provide this opportunity of Broadband connectivity while others more in control of economics have encumbered the growth.
Becker answered many questions along the way in her explanations. Her response to comments and questions our specific Gilpin County concerns left a sense of hope and willingness to work with our system that is in place.
KC welcomes contact with Coloradoans at her office 200 E Colfax, Room 307 Denver, Colorado 80203, 303-866-2578, or email to email@example.com.