Colorado House Republicans

House GOP Newsletter

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Addressing veterans’ issues requires input from the veterans community
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Addressing veterans’ issues requires input from the veterans community

By Representative Kit Roupe (R-Colorado Springs)

Two weeks ago I hosted the second annual Veterans Legislative Summit in Colorado Springs, and I was very happy to see such a strong turnout. This summit brings legislators and veterans together, and creates a forum to discuss issues veterans are facing today. Active-duty members are leaving the military at a rate of 500 to 1,000 per month, and for many, acclimating to a civilian lifestyle is difficult. At the legislature, we often talk about ways to help veterans, but surprisingly I found very little input came directly from them. As a veteran, I don’t think anyone can understand the mental and physical challenges that are associated with military service or the transition out unless they have personally served. I am proud that my fellow legislators have been eager to help, but to best understand what new policies or changes to existing policies are needed, legislators need direct input from veterans.

One of the most common issues I heard at this year’s summit was how difficult it is for veterans to find gainful employment. It’s frustrating to see how many highly-trained veterans are struggling to find work. There are specific military tasks that may not be directly transferable, but the leadership, management, organization and numerous other skills that service members develop can be valuable to employers. We need to streamline processes to help veterans receive the necessary training to move into the civilian workforce, without requiring duplicative efforts for skills they already possess.

Another area of critical concern is how many veterans are struggling with mental health issues. Some estimates put the number of veteran suicides at 22 per day nationally. At the summit, many veterans talked about how difficult finding mental health providers has become, or that they aren’t getting the kind of help they need. This is simply unacceptable and we need to find ways to get veterans the mental health help they need to manage the stress they endured during their service.

Solutions to these and many other problems facing veterans are not yet clear, but I know the only way legislators will be able to make meaningful progress is through close cooperation with the veterans community. The veterans summit and the veterans caucus - which we created last session at the state capitol - are both conduits to help legislators personally connect with individuals, and I look forward to building on these outreach efforts and strengthening communication with the veterans community. Additionally, if you have thoughts or ideas about how to improve services for veterans, please feel free to contact me directly. The more input legislators can get, the sooner we can begin to find real solutions for vets. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and you can keep up with all of our caucus updates by following us on Twitter and Instagram, liking us on Facebook, subscribing to our YouTube channel or visiting  


Kit Roupe
In The News

  • Denver certainly has had its share of corporate headquarters relocation “gets” over the years, from DaVita to Arrow Electronics. But when one technology company — Kudelski Group of Switzerland — wanted to open a North America headquarters, it checked out Denver, but chose Phoenix instead. It came down to workforce quality and pro-business environment. That’s why we’re coming," said Richard Fennessy — CEO of Kudelski Security, the group's cybersecurity division. (“Passing on Denver: Why one company chose another city for its HQ,” Denver Business Journal, 10/05/2016)

  • The Kansas attorney general says marijuana from Colorado is “permeating” every part of Kansas. Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release Monday that he got that information from 320 law enforcement agencies and 70 prosecutors’ offices that responded to a survey. Schmidt says Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana has led to high grade marijuana from that state largely replacing lower grade marijuana from Mexico and home grown marijuana in Kansas. (“Colorado pot “permeating” every part of Kansas, says attorney general,” Associated Press, 10/10/2016)

  • Colorado brewers won 38 medals — including 13 golds — at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, distributing them largely among newer breweries and reaffirming the state’s place as the cradle of up-and-coming beer makers in the United States. The total medal haul was second only to California whose breweries captured 68 medals and one of the seven brewery-of-the-year awards. It far exceeded third-place Oregon’s 20 medals. (“Colorado breweries score 2nd-highest medal haul at Great American Beer Festival ,” Denver Business Journal, 10/11/2016)

  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is just one of several sources granting flood-recovery money to eastern Colorado communities affected by rushing waters in 2013. For Lyons, at least $2.8 million of HUD money has been earmarked for three infrastructure and planning projects, disbursed in the first round by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, state spokeswoman Denise Stepto said.(“ Lyons earmarked for $2.8 million of HUD money in first flood-recovery allocation,” Longmont Times Call, 10/06/2016)

  • The summer of 2016 turned out to be quite lucrative for Colorado’s marijuana industry. Legal marijuana shops tallied up $126 million in medical and recreational cannabis sales in August, setting a new monthly record, according to Colorado Department of Revenue data. The young industry’s previous monthly high was set just a month before, with $122.67 million of revenue in July. (“Colorado pot shops sold a record-breaking amount of marijuana in August 2016,” Denver Post, 10/13/2016)

Tweets of the Week

Jon Becker @RepJBecker

It is an honor to be recognized as a Champion for Rural Schools with my very good friend @JerrySonnenberg. Thank you to the Rural Alliance. 

Kit Roupe @Kit Roupe

Protecting the Environment is critical to all Colorado -… 

Stephen Humphrey @SteveHumphrey48

It is an honor to be recognized by the Colorado Republican Business Coalition: "...CRBC's legislative issues...  

Capitol Pictures

Representative Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) attending the Navy Ball with friend Jim Downing, the oldest living survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack. 
Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose) touring Colorado Stone Quarries in Marble, Colorado.
Representative Jon Becker (R-Fort Morgan) and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg both receiving the Rural Schools Champion awards.

You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on YouTubeTwitter and Instagram, liking us on Facebook, or visiting

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