It is nearly caucus and Assembly season – followed by the primary election on June 26 and the general election on Nov. 6. It is time for me to formally declare my candidacy for HD 60 for my forth and final term. It is hard to believe I am finishing my third term as the state representative for HD 60. Time does seem to fly when you are having fun.
It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve all of you in my four-county area. I have worked hard to be the voice for HD 60 in Denver. It has taken a while to gain respect for rural issues under the Golden Dome, but we are finally being heard. If re-elected, I plan to pursue this quest for the next two years. I will continue to keep you informed in this column of what is happening at the Capitol throughout the session. And, as always, I will endeavor to vote my conscience first, my constituents second and my caucus third.
Speaking of voting my conscience, it was challenged this past week in my Health, Insurance and Environment Committee. HB 1082: A Woman’s Right To Accurate Health Care Info, would have required a copy of the sonogram to be given to the pregnant patient prior to an abortion procedure. The presentation of HB 1082 rapidly disintegrated into a debate on abortion and choice. I thought I had heard nearly every argument on the pro-choice and pro-life sides of the issue. No – I heard something new. A female member of the clergy testified that she had watched an abortion, and it was “…a holy experience.” Needless to say, that was over the top for some on both sides of the aisle. The bill was killed on a straight party line vote: seven D’s opposed – six R’s in favor.
On a happier note, Chaffee County High School in Buena Vista came to visit the Capitol last Thursday. Mr. Kyle Graff’s Government class spent the morning on Capitol Hill. The day started with breakfast, during which the students asked questions of Sen. Donovan and me. The class then joined me on the House floor where four of the students led the Pledge of Allegiance. Thursday was also Gifted and Talented Day at the Capitol. In addition to hosting the CCHS students, a Gifted and Talented student shadowed me on the House floor during the morning. All the students witnessed a lively debate on HB 18-1097 – “Concerning the ability of a person eligible for prescription drug benefits to choose the pharmacy at which to fill a prescription drug order.”
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the tragic school shooting in Florida. As a former school administrator, I cannot imagine what that community is going through. I do not have the space in this column to take a deep dive into this topic. However, I will say that it is not acceptable for armed security officers not to engage an active shooter. In today’s world, it is not acceptable for school administrators not to instruct students and staff to ignore fire alarms that have not been verified. (We were doing this in Salida R-32J fifteen years ago!) And finally, it is not acceptable for authorities who have been informed of a credible threat to take little or no action.
FYI, some Colorado school districts have chosen to take action themselves rather than waiting on the Federal government. You may not realize there are at least three school districts in Colorado that have already chosen to arm staff members. Rather than a “Gun Free Zone” sign on the fence, one school district displays the following: “ATTENTION: Please be aware that certain staff members at _____ _____ School are legally armed and may use whatever force necessary to protect our students.” The debate goes on.
As always, if you have questions about bills or committee hearings or would like to schedule a visit to the Golden Dome, please feel free to call my office in the Capitol at 303-866-2747 or send me an e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours for HD 60,
Representative Jim Wilson