Sen. Jeanne Nicholson: Busy at the Capitol
As the newly elected senator from Senate District 16, keeping my constituents informed is very important to me. That’s why I will be writing a regular column that will focus on bills I’m sponsoring, issues affecting the district, and what’s happening at the Capitol. There is always a lot going on down here between committee hearings, meeting with constituents, and working on my bills.
In addition to my work in the Capitol, I also get many exciting opportunities to visit organizations and businesses around the state. I recently toured two of the nation’s leading clean energy labs located right here in Colorado: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Community Powered Corporation. At NREL, I had the privilege of speaking with experts in the field and gained firsthand knowledge about the exciting developments in renewable energy. Colorado has become a global leader in renewable energy, and it is exciting to see the new advancements being built to power our future. Biomass energy, in particular, has enormous potential for the economic growth to our region of the state. Colorado’s status as a global leader in renewable energy has attracted cutting-edge renewable energy businesses; these businesses are creating jobs and protecting our environment at the same time. I will continue investigating and supporting alternative forms of energy to keep our region a leader in renewable energy.
I’d like to tell you about three bills I’m carrying to support and meet the needs of the people in my district. My bills are designed to protect property owners and residents in mountainous areas, address traffic issues on I-70, and protect Colorado kids.
First, Senate Bill 110 will help prevent forest fires and promote forest health. It will direct county commissioners to create systems for residents to safely burn slash on their property without putting their neighbors at risk. Some counties already have such programs in place, and this bill will require communities without a burning permit process to develop safe and responsible permit procedures that are most conducive to their distinct needs.
Second, I’m working with Rep. Millie Hamner to pass House Bill 1210 which will help us find solutions to traffic problems in the I-70 corridor. As residents of mountain and rural communities, we are all aware of the serious problems presented by traffic and weather conditions on I-70. It is imperative that we keep mountain communities accessible for recreation, tourism and natural resource development.
Finally, I’m carrying Senate Bill 34, which will help protect kids by including WIC educators in the list of “mandatory reporters” of child abuse and neglect. The Women, Children, and Infants program (WIC) is a federal program that provides nutrition information and assistance to pregnant women, new mothers, and children up to the age of 5. In many cases, if a child is not in day care or is not seeing a health care provider, a WIC educator may be the only person other than the family who interacts with a child. By requiring WIC educators to report abuse we provide another experienced set of eyes to help spot potential abuse or neglect.
I value this opportunity to connect with you. Please contact me about local issues, bills I’m sponsoring, or any other questions you may have. You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (303) 866-4873. I look forward to hearing from you!
Sen. Jeanne Nicholson represents Senate District 16, which includes Summit County.
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