2007.02.28: February 28, 2007: Headlines: COS - El Salvador: Politics: State Government: Fort Collins Weekly: John Kefalas writes: A Report from the Colorado Capitol

Peace Corps Online: Directory: El Salvador: Special Report: El Salvador RPCV and Political Activist John Kefalas: 2007.02.28: February 28, 2007: Headlines: COS - El Salvador: Politics: State Government: Fort Collins Weekly: John Kefalas writes: A Report from the Colorado Capitol

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John Kefalas writes: A Report from the Colorado Capitol

John Kefalas writes: A Report from the Colorado Capitol

To close, here’s a slice of reality on the personal side so you can better understand how this job works. During the week I’m in Denver, and my days are typically spent deciphering legislation and listening to a wide variety of opinions on all manner of issues. Meanwhile, I’m working to get my own bills passed. I generally rise at 5:30 a.m. and lay my weary head to rest at 11:30 p.m., and if you ask my wife she will tell you that I’m not a morning person. El Salvador RPCV John Kefalas is a state representative in Colorado.

John Kefalas writes: A Report from the Colorado Capitol

A Report from the Capitol

By John Kefalas

It is hard to believe that we are approaching the halfway mark of the 2007 legislative session. The good news is that we are making progress in the areas of healthcare, renewable energy and education while building the “new energy” economy and strengthening our social safety net.

On healthcare, the legislature recently passed SB-097 that allocates tobacco settlement dollars to help pay for vital healthcare programs such as indigent care, children’s basic health, treatment of drug and alcohol abuse and mental health services. The bill also directs 49 percent of the funding to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center to help ensure the education of our future doctors.
I voted for the bill without amendments because a strong case was made for restoring cuts to the Health Sciences Center and adding funds to the prioritized healthcare programs. However, during the Health and Human Services Committee Hearing, there was compelling testimony in favor of re-directing funds to address the needs of people with developmental disabilities and to provide medical coverage for people on the Aid to Needy and Disabled (AND) Program. I commit to finding the means to fund these services.

On renewable energy, the legislature recently passed HB-1281 that raises Colorado’s renewable energy standard to 20 percent by 2020. This means that 20 percent of our electricity will come from clean and renewable energy sources like solar and wind within the next 13 years, bringing new jobs and investment to Colorado. I am a co-sponsor of this bill.

As your public servant, I am working hard to stay connected with the community. We’ve had three Saturday morning “community conversations” in various locations throughout the district and at each of these gatherings constituents have asked engaging questions and presented innovative ideas. I’ve intentionally held these gatherings at local venues like the Ever Open Café, Bean Cycle Coffee Shop and the Bear Rock Café. Please consider supporting these businesses and buying local whenever possible.

Over 50 people attended our educational forum, “Vanishing Mobile Home Parks—What Can We Do?” The participants included mobile home park residents and owners who were very interested in this issue because of the Dry Creek mobile home park closing. Six panelists provided excellent information and perspectives, and the dialogue resulted in potential solutions to the problems. As a result, we are convening a task force to further develop these ideas with 20 people interested in being involved. Democracy in action is a beautiful thing.

Our next town hall meeting is Saturday, March 3, 1-2:30 p.m. in Room 228 of the CSU Lory Student Center. All Larimer County legislators have been invited, and I expect there will be Democratic and Republican lawmakers present to answer your questions and discuss legislation. Everyone is welcome at the table of ideas and dialogue.

To close, here’s a slice of reality on the personal side so you can better understand how this job works. During the week I’m in Denver, and my days are typically spent deciphering legislation and listening to a wide variety of opinions on all manner of issues. Meanwhile, I’m working to get my own bills passed. I generally rise at 5:30 a.m. and lay my weary head to rest at 11:30 p.m., and if you ask my wife she will tell you that I’m not a morning person.

Occasionally there is variation on this theme, and recently two eighth graders shadowed me to learn more about the legislative process. Bethany (Colorado Springs) and Emily (Granby) were part of a student group participating in the Legislative Day of the Colorado Association for Gifted & Talented. It was a pleasure to host these delightful teens and suggest to them that we need more women legislators. Be well and stay in touch.

John Kefalas is the state representative for Fort Collins’ District 52.

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: February, 2007; RPCV John Kefalas (El Salvador); Peace Corps El Salvador; Directory of El Salvador RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for El Salvador RPCVs; Politics; State Government; Colorado

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Story Source: Fort Collins Weekly

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - El Salvador; Politics; State Government


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