Rep. Millie Hamner to host post-session town hall Saturday | SummitDaily.com
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Rep. Millie Hamner to host post-session town hall Saturday

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News
State Rep. Millie Hamner
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With her first bills signed into law and a legislative session under her belt, Rep. Millie Hamner is using her time away from the capitol to reach out to her constituents – and to begin her campaign work for the 2012 election.

“I’m going to be really busy,” Hamner said. “There really is no “off session,” but I’m glad to be home.”

Hamner was tapped to take Christine Scanlan’s seat representing House District 56 when Scanlan was called up to serve in new Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration. She will be home in Summit County Saturday afternoon for a town hall meeting set for 3:30 at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Breckenridge.

Hamner said she will overview the work she and the Colorado Legislature did during this year’s legislative session. For the assembly as a whole, it included painful cuts to balance an approximately $1 billion budget shortfall and voting down several high-profile bills. For her part, Hamner was able to push through legislation protecting police service dogs and cutting red tape in the teacher licensing process during the session.

But Saturday’s meeting, she said, will be more about looking forward than looking back. She hopes to get feedback from constituents on top priority issues that will need to be addressed next year.

“I’d like my talking to be limited and the listening to be the primary part of the agenda,” Hamner said. “I want to hear … ideas for legislation for me to carry into the next session.”

Looking ahead, some of next year’s big topics aren’t hard to predict.

“The budget woes will continue,” she said.

She also expects K-12 cuts, implementing health care exchange, finding higher education funding and Interstate 70 to be at the forefront of voters’ minds.

Hamner said she also wants to get involved next year with work on a bill to allow undocumented students who graduate from Colorado high schools access to in-state tuition rates at Colorado universities. The controversial proposal has been put before the Legislature twice, including this year, and has died both times. But, as former superintendent of the Summit School District, Hamner said it’s an issue she wants to stand behind.

“With my background in education and my belief in the power of education to open doors and help people move out of poverty and realize the American dream, it will be very hard for me not to get behind that effort,” she said. “At the same time I realize there are big issues around immigration … but in that gap I just think we have to do what’s right for people and our youth.”

Hamner encouraged anyone with comments or feedback who cannot attend the meeting to get in touch with her by phone at (303) 866-2952 or by email at rephamner@gmail.com.


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