Miller visits Frisco to announce bid for fourth term |

Miller visits Frisco to announce bid for fourth term

Reid Williams

FRISCO – Carl Miller will seek a fourth term as state representative in November, and he wants Summit County voters to know he serves his district above all else.

Miller, a Democrat, currently represents District 61, encompassing Chaffee, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake, Mineral, Park, Pitkin, Rio Grande and Saguache counties. Census 2000 numbers required the realignment of districts, and in November, the life-long Leadville resident will vie for a seat as representative of District 52, representing Lake, Eagle and Summit counties.

“The biggest difference in these districts will be the emphasis on resorts,” Miller told a luncheon audience Saturday at the Uptown Bistro. “I had resorts in the old district – Monarch, Aspen and Crested Butte – but the old district was much more agricultural. This district will be easier to serve and I think the people share a lot in common.”

Miller considers himself a conservative Democrat, is pro-choice and takes pride in having 24 of the 29 bills he proposed in his six years passed into law. Voters in attendance asked Miller a wide variety of questions about his stances on proposed bills and what issues he would focus on if re-elected:

What are your priorities as the legislative session comes to a close?

We have 18 days left in the session and I expect the budget to take up most of the debate. The Republican Caucus has proposed cutting $1 million from the arts, and a million from libraries. I do not support that. There’s a move to get more money in transportation, which I’m for, but how we’ll get it there, I don’t know. Another problem is if we reduce the budget, under TABOR (the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights) that becomes the threshold for next year. We might have to borrow from our reserves and other funds to maintain the budget.

Do you support the “concealed carry” bill (HB 1410, which would change laws governing permits for concealed weapons)?

It’s a better bill than the existing law. Under the new law, a permit can’t be issued without a background check, training and the discretion of the local sheriff. Today, it’s purely discretionary.

Will there be any important growth-control bills this year?

With only 18 days left, I don’t think so. On growth, I look to the rural counties for advice. Having served as a county commissioner for 12 years, I believe in local control. I want local officials to be able to make those decisions, and the state to give them the tools to do it – not mandates. I think the slumping economy is part of the reason we haven’t seen any big growth bills this year.

Summit County officials are concerned that state budget cuts will affect transportation funding. How will you address local transportation needs?

I know this is a major, major issue. The last recession we had (in the late ’80s-early ’90s), the legislature took transportation money out and never gave it back. I voted for HB 1310 ,which would add back 1 percent of the sales and use taxes over the next five years to transportation money.

The availability of child care in Summit County is scarce. Will you be able to work with state agencies to bring more grant money for these services to Summit County?

If there’s one department I have a good rapport with, it’s local affairs. But this is the sort of thing I need to hear about from people – what the need is, and how I can help. I can serve you better if I hear from you.

One of the budget items in question is providing for a new judge in the Fifth Judicial District. Will that get cut?

The funding – I think it’s about $2 million – is out right now. This item will come up in debate on the budget next week. I predict a compromise, but it’s hard to say what that will mean for Summit County.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237 or

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