State Majority Leader Becker holds town hall meeting in Granby (with video)
Grand County’s representative to the Colorado State House, Democratic Majority Leader KC Becker was in Granby last week as she held a town hall meeting to hear from constituents and to get an idea of what issues are weighing on the minds of local citizens as she prepares for next year’s legislative session.
The town hall event was held in the Granby Library’s Community Room on Aug. 17 and featured Becker speaking in a roundtable style setting with over a dozen constituents who peppered the legislator with questions on a wide range of topics. Becker, who is a Democrat, was met with a receptive audience made up mostly of members of the County Democratic Party. Discussion for the evening focused on several topics, from healthcare and marijuana to water rights, Short Term Rentals and Colorado’s, often contentious, tax legislation the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, more commonly known as TABOR.
A recurring topic for the evening was healthcare and health insurance, which Becker acknowledged were questions for which she did not have good answers.
“I don’t have an answer on that,” Becker said of the high cost of health insurance premiums. “Nothing passed [the state legislature] that was meant to address rural premiums.”
Becker noted a statewide market bill but added, “I don’t know what the answer is.”
Becker also informed attendees she does not work on health care related committees in the State House and instead works on finance, agriculture, water and environmental committees.
Becker discussed marijuana regulation through the context of taxes and revenues.
“The State and local governments are generating a lot from marijuana,” Becker said. “It generated around $120 million last year. One of the impacts I thnk that we have from legal marijuana is a big influx of the transient population. There was a huge bump in marijuana taxes.
Becker said much of the bump would be applied to chronic homelessness issues in Colorado and nearly $15 million in housing would be spent through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, more commonly known as DOLA.
Becker discussed the need for addressing issues related to the black and gray markets in Colorado and highlighted legislation limiting the total number of plants for medical users at 24, if growers register with the state. Becker noted she encountered stringent opposition to the measure at a recent Town Hall in Nederland but added the bill passed the house unanimously.
SHORT TERM RENTALS
After receiving comments from the crowd about Short Term Rentals Becker highlighted her belief that the issue was primarily one for local governments, either counties or cities and towns.
The message she was getting from constituents and local government officials in her district is, “we don’t want the state to do anything,” Becker said of comments she has received. Becker said most of the comments she receives on the issues explicitly call for local control.
“Don’t expect the state to get involved,” she said.
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