Christine Scanlan: Focus for State House is families, small business in 2010 |

Christine Scanlan: Focus for State House is families, small business in 2010

Christine Scanlan

As we kick-off this 2010 legislative session, my Democratic colleagues and I renew our commitment to address Colorado’s challenges head-on. We’ll continue to take our lead from you, tightening our belts and making tough decisions.

It’s a difficult economy and a difficult time for the state budget. Gov. Ritter and lawmakers have been cutting government and working to balance the budget by closing a shortfall of $2 billion. As we continue to cut, we are remaking our government so it is leaner and smarter. We’ll see legislation that will demand a new level of government accountability, leading us to a strong recovery ahead of other states.

We will provide opportunities for businesses and families

We’ll continue to show steady leadership on the economy. Our new energy economy is growing, and we’re committed to bringing new, high-paying jobs to the state. We will continue with our aggressive job-creation agenda, and support innovative new small businesses.

This session will bring new legislation to increase the renewable energy standard, thus staking our claim as the undisputed national leader in new energy. And we’ll help reduce energy costs for families by boosting the use of clean, homegrown natural gas.

Working for families means we won’t allow special interests to write the very legislation that regulates them. And we will not allow reckless partisan games played by Republicans get in the way of your survival and prosperity. Instead, we are getting people back to work by making it easier for you to access job training and retraining, and providing incentives to encourage doctors and nurses to work in underserved and rural communities and to deliver primary care.

We’re also undertaking measures to make lives a little easier in these tough times. We’ll make sure no Coloradan goes hungry by expanding the SNAP program. We will curb predatory lending, which drives thousands of working Coloradans into a vicious cycle of debt. And we’re making it easier for those who have been laid-off or are changing jobs to save and pay for new job training.

We’ll help more Colorado kids take advantage of our majestic outdoor spaces. We’ll work to expand the arts, enhancing our economy and enriching the state. And we will make sure that even those neighborhoods blighted by foreclosure recover so that they are vibrant places to raise a family and buy a home.

We’ll work to ensure that Colorado continues to lead the Race to the Top, so that we may receive federal funds to improve public education here. We’re continuing to make our teachers better through more useful evaluations. A new school transparency bill will show teachers and parents what works and what doesn’t in our schools. And we’re going to save money and create a better student assessment tool by getting away from CSAP tests.

This is going to be a tough year, but we Democrats will continue to proudly work for you, your family and small businesses.

Christine Scanlan is State Representative for Colorado House District 56, which includes Summit County.

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