Rep. Jared Polis views Chromebook initiative in Grand County | SkyHiNews.com

Rep. Jared Polis views Chromebook initiative in Grand County

Lance Maggart / Sky-Hi News

U.S. Congressman Jared Polis paid a day-long visit to Grand County on Thursday.

The fourth term Democratic congressman was in the area for a series of school visits and community forums. Polis visited middle-schoolers at East Grand Middle School and received an overview of the East Grand School District's Chromebook program. He held a school town hall forum at Middle Park High School where he took questions from teachers and students and discussed his legislative priorities for the coming session.

In the afternoon Polis stopped by the Mountain Family Center in Granby to hear how the charitable program helps local families and he finished off the evening with a Town Hall event. The Town Hall was held at the Fraser Historic Church Community Center where the congressman fielded questions from local residents.

Polis has sponsored or co-sponsored a number of bills in past legislative sessions and will be looking at many of the same issues again for the 114th Congress. Polis has sponsored legislation that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and place marijuana under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

Congressman Polis pointed out that such legislation would not legalize marijuana at the federal level but would allow states and counties full regulatory authority regarding the substance within their jurisdictions.

Polis also has high hopes for the Arapaho National Forest Boundary Adjustment Act. The legislation was introduced last year and moved through committee but the bill died at the end of the 113th Congress. Polis reintroduced the bill at the beginning of March. The bill would allow the federal government to purchase a "wedge" of undeveloped land located between Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arapaho National Forest.

He said he is very optimistic the legislation will move out of the House and he is working closely with Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet to bring the bill to the Senate.

The congressman also said he expects to work once again this year defending the PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program. PILT is a federal program wherein counties with large amounts of federal land can receive federal funds. The funds serve as compensation for tax revenues counties do not collect because they cannot levy taxes on federal land. The State of Colorado received a total of $34.5 million last year from the PILT program while Grand County received $971,914.

Polis will again be on the House Education Committee and will be a member of the Natural Resources Committee for the first time this session. He is also one of 11 members of the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the rules for bringing bills to the House floor.

Polis represents Colorado's 2nd House District that stretches from I-25 to Eagle County. He started a series of successful internet-based businesses in the late 1990s. He was a member of the Colorado State Board of Education before being elected U.S. Representative in 2008.