Colorado House Republicans

House GOP Newsletter

Monday, March 6, 2017

♦A statewide education solution needs statewide input   ♦House GOP Weekly Update
♦Recent Press   ♦Upcoming Legislation   ♦In the News
♦Member Tweets   ♦Capitol Pictures
A statewide education solution needs statewide input   

By Representative Jim Wilson (R-Salida)

Education is my passion.  Having worked in education for more than four decades, I am seeing several trends with Colorado’s education system that are troubling.

There are over 22,000 students enrolled in chronically low-performing schools and more and more students are graduating from both high school and college without skills that will translate into meaningful employment. From my vantage point as a legislator, these and many other problems are becoming increasingly evident, and are being frequently discussed here at the capitol.
While the challenges are obvious, the solutions are far more complicated.  The process will require engaging every parent, every district and every partner in the education system to find a viable resolution.
During my time in education, I have seen the problems we face first hand, and I am hoping to lead the charge in bringing real reform to Colorado’s education system. Using a ground-up approach that pulls in the parents and local districts will help ensure the legislature understands the unique needs of Colorado.  School districts in rural areas, the Western Slope, as well as the Front Range must be involved in the process.  
It is no surprise that the needs of rural students are uniquely different from that of urban students. Attempting to paint urban and rural with the same brush is like trying to force Denver to have a Main Street and forcing Salida to have a stop light on every corner.  It makes no sense. 
In spite of the differences between districts, there are some fundamentals that should be consistent in a statewide approach. Each district should be held to the same standards and accountability. There must be a balanced approach to funding that ensures state taxes are distributed equally and fairly to students, and a minimum per-pupil amount that ensures every student has an equal chance to succeed.   We must, however, keep in mind the fact that the cost of educational services varies between urban and rural areas. 
It is imperative that we set some guidelines and standards.  If we do not, then we in the legislature will fail to hold our educators accountable.  Nonetheless, these guidelines should not inhibit the ability of our educators to make the best school for their students. 
Several of my colleagues in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle are working on a plan of action to address Colorado’s educational needs.  My hope is that open dialogue will lead to statewide solutions that are cohesive with independent districts. Colorado’s kids are our most important investment, and we need to get all Colorado involved to ensure our schools prepare students for tomorrow’s world today.   

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


Representative Jim Wilson
House GOP Weekly Update

Upcoming Legislation

  • Tuesday March 7
HB17-1172 - Penalties for Child Sex Traffickers (Representatives Carver and Navarro)
Judiciary Committee, Room 0112, 1:30 p.m.

SB17-110 - Accessibility Of Exempt Family Child Care (Representative Wilson)
Public Health Care & Human Services Committee, Room 0107, 1:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, March 8
SB17-062 - Student Free Speech Public Higher Ed Campuses (Representative Humphrey)
State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee, LSB-A, 1:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, March 9
SB17-033 - Delegate Dispensing Over-the-counter Medications (Representative Lawrence)
Health, Insurance & Environment Committee, Room 0107, 1:30 p.m.

HB17-1150 - No Bail for Stalking & Domestic Violence Offenders (Representative Navarro)
Judiciary Committee, Room 0112, 1:30 p.m.

In The News
  • A major effort at regulatory reform died for the seventh straight Colorado legislative session on Thursday, March 2, though Democrats on the House committee that killed it spoke as if they were just waiting to substitute a proposal of their own in its place. Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, had made it through the Senate on a bipartisan 24-11 vote. ("Colorado House Democrats kill regulatory-reform effort," Denver Business Journal, 03/02/17)

  • The two-year downturn that savaged the oil and gas industry — driving dozens of companies into bankruptcy and eliminating thousands of jobs — is done, according to two Denver-area analysts who follow the sector. “Yes, the bust is over,” said David Tameron, a Denver-based oil and gas analyst for Wells Fargo Securities LLC. But that doesn’t mean boom times are around the corner, cautioned Tameron and others. ("Colorado oil and gas: Up from the bust," Denver Business Journal, 03/03/17)

  • Mandatory arbitration for construction defects in condos and townhomes passed a Senate committee Monday, February 27. Senate Bill 156 is the latest in a piecemeal approach to throttling litigation that proponents say blocks construction of affordable housing. The Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee passed the arbitration bill 5-2. Democratic Sen. Cheri Jahn of Wheat Ridge joined the committee’s Republicans to support it. ("Arbitration the latest front on curbing construction-defects lawsuits,"  Colorado Politics, 02/28/17)

  • Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said she has invited U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a vocal marijuana opponent — and his staff to come and see the state’s recreational pot industry. Coffman told The Denver Post that the invitation was extended during a meeting Wednesday morning in Washington with Sessions’ top staffers. ("Colorado AG says she has invited Jeff Sessions’ staff to see the state’s recreational marijuana system," Denver Post, 03/01/17)

GOP Member Tweets

Paul Lundeen @Paul_Lundeen

Bring the bulldozers.  Request to accelerate I-25 South sent to D.C. #coleg  

Lori Saine @lorisaine

Good Samaritans shouldn't be prosecuted, dragged into court.  HB1179 changes that, gives surety to all parties right steps taken.  Passed 63-2

Justin Everett @Everett4Colo

Our PERA Reform bills were killed today.  Let's stop kicking the can down the road & balancing PERA's balance sheet on the backs of our kids.

Capitol Pictures

Representative Jim Wilson (R-Salida) meets with an 8th Grade class from Salida Middle.
Representative Lang Sias (R-Arvada) speaks in support of SJR-14, a resolution he sponsored designating March 2 as Colorado Arc Day, in recognition of the men and women who have dedicated themselves to helping Coloradans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Representative Phil Covarrubias (R-Brighton) reads Dr. Seuss to fifth graders at Mary E. Pennock Elementary School in Brighton.
Representative Kim Ransom (R-Douglas County) addresses the Parker Republican Breakfast Club.

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