Colo. Rep. KC Becker tours Grand County
July 30, 2015
Colorado State Rep. KC Becker spent some time recently in Grand County, getting to know the area and its people a little better.
Becker is a Democrat from Boulder who, since 2013, has represented Colorado's 13th District, including Grand, Boulder, Jackson, Gilpin, and Clear Creek counties. At the invitation of Grand County Democratic Chair Sandy Doudna, she spent two days last week, visiting with both Democrats and Republicans from across the county.
Becker joined the monthly meeting of the Grand County Democrats on Thursday, July 23, at the Silvercreek Inn in Granby, speaking and answering questions about her legislative efforts on behalf of the district and state.
She stayed in Grand Lake and visited Fraser and Granby on Friday. Friday morning provided the opportunity to enjoy the county's out-of-doors and some of its best recreating. Besides the scenic beauty of the county, she enjoyed a river trip down the Fraser River with longtime resident and river advocate Kirk Klancke.
The visit was rounded out by a luncheon on Friday for the regular meeting of the High Country Conservatives in Granby. In a format similar to Thursday evening, she provided a general introduction to her work and goals and then participated in casual Q&A discussion with other attendees.
In addressing both meetings, Becker explained her place on various House committees, including Finance, Capital Improvements, and Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources. She discussed her interest in wildfire concerns, health care and rural development.
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She expressed frustration at the recent legislative process, in which she felt she and other House members had worked hard to pass bills with bipartisan and sometimes unanimous support, only to have them repeatedly blocked by a small group in the state Senate.
Examples were the proposed creation of a Tax Expenditure Evaluation Committee and the proposed authorization of General Fund dollars for Long-acting Reversible Contraceptive or LARC services.
The first bill proposed a process by which there would be review of Colorado's 185 statute-defined tax breaks, some dating to the beginning of the 1900s. Becker explained that 45 new tax-credit bills were proposed this year, which would only add to the estimated $5 billion in potential revenue that the state doesn't take in, and of which none are regularly reviewed.
The second blocked bill would have continued funding for what was a 5-year, $5 million contraceptive program, previously funded by a grant from the Warren Buffett Foundation. Becker discussed how the program's success was marked by an "unprecedented decrease in unwanted pregnancies, teen pregnancies, and abortions throughout the state."
She said it had been recognized world-wide and was estimated to have saved the state millions annually in pregnancy and family support costs such as Medicaid; WIC or Women and Children assistance; SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps); and TANF, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (cash welfare assistance).
Becker also stressed concerns around Colorado's TABOR Amedmnet, or "Taxpayers' Bill of Rights." With details that seemed to shock all present in the meetings, she described the bill as having been designed with "hidden bombs." Those "bombs" are compounding the state's education funding woes, health care implementation, and the ability to put the millions collected through the so-called marijuana tax to its taxpayer designated use on school capital, she said.
While emphasizing that she did not want to eliminate taxpayer rights, she argued the urgency of purging these bombs from the legislation, in order to allow the state's budget to grow in accordance to economic growth and not merely in relation to population numbers.
More information on these and other issues can be found at colorado.gov/state-legislature. For more information about Rep. Becker and the issues she is addressing, visit ballotpedia.org/KC_Becker or KCBecker.org. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through office staff at 303-866-2578.