Senator is optimistic about the legislative process |

Senator is optimistic about the legislative process

summit daily news

DENVER ” While the number of counties Senator Dan Gibbs represents expanded this year, so did the variety of bills he’s sponsoring.

Last year as a representative in the House, Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, focused on environment and transportation. Now, he is in the senate and is carrying more than 15 diverse bills.

A chalkboard in his Denver office is covered with the list that is continuing to grow. The bills range from forest health to identity theft to education and business topics. And particular to Gilpin County, he’s sponsoring a bill that will clarify the language of slot machine resale.

The bills he sponsors are determined by needs he sees in the state, communities. For example, tackling the pine beetle issue is one he can see from his home in Silverthorne. Another bill, about school nutritional beverage standards, interested him out of a concern for health and wellness.

Often times people ask him how he deals with lobbyists and the process. He replies that he enjoys it because this is how to create positive change.

“I just love being a state senator,” Gibbs said. “I enjoy the process. I’m very optimistic about the process.”

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Part of that optimism may be related to the visible impact a bill he fought hard for last year is having. The controversial bill to increase penalties associated with the state’s chain law died before making a successful comeback.

“It’s exciting to see,” Gibbs said. “I see more truckers chaining up … and it’s a safer environment to chain up.”

For Gibbs, days usually start with a commute to the Capitol. He does his homework on the bills he’s sponsoring, and by 9 a.m., he is in session voting. He is serving on the transportation, agriculture, livestock, natural resources and energy, and judiciary committees, which also fill his days.

“It’s a very demanding job, but it’s very exciting as well,” Gibbs said. And because the legislature only runs from January to May, he “puts everything in it and then some.”