GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – Representatives from the West Slope Colorado State met with local business owners as part of the Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast after the end of the Colorado State Legislative session in 2022.
The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the post-session breakfast each year in an effort to provide lawmakers with a window to meet with local businesses to share and discuss what transpired during the session. which can have a direct impact on businesses.
“It gives people the opportunity to ask our lawmakers questions,” said Diane Schwenke, president and CEO of the House. “It gives our lawmakers a chance to say here’s what we’ve done, here’s where we’ve made a difference.”
House Representatives Matt Soper and Janice Rich along with State Senator Don Coram attended the breakfast held at the Courtyard by Marriot on Horizon Drive. The three representatives talked about what they were proud of during the legislative session and the things they were able to accomplish.
Rep. Rich said one bill she was happy to pass was SB172, Colorado’s Rural Health Workforce Initiative. The bill aims to bring more medical professionals to the West Slope.
“Instead of just doctors, we’re going to expand it to nurses, dentists, and various health care providers to come to rural Colorado,” Rich said.
Rich also participated in the fentanyl bill as lawmakers squabbled to the wire, passing it just over an hour before the midnight deadline on the last night of the legislative session.
“I realize that the fentanyl bill isn’t all that everyone wanted,” Rich said. “But for me it was important to at least do something. We are losing too many people to fentanyl.
Soper also played an important role in the fight for the fentanyl bill. For him, it was about getting drug dealers off the streets.
“I want to arrest the drug dealers,” Soper said. “I want to take fentanyl off the streets. I want to disrupt the business model and the only way to do that was with this particular bill.
According to Rep. Matt Soper, one of his proudest accomplishments is the online availability of HB 1091 Court Notices, which aims to make case law accessible.
Both Soper and Rich are up for re-election and look forward to continuing to serve their communities. As for what they’re looking forward to, Soper said he’s looking forward to enjoying a little break now that the session is over, but he’s excited to meet the community members and learn from them. more about the issues that interest them.
“Certainly as the summer rolls on and I meet a lot of different voters and hold town hall meetings, that’s really when ideas for bills come to me,” Soper said. “I mean all the bills I’ve run come directly from voters.”
“Hopefully we can have a more balanced government,” Rich said. “I’ve always liked working across the aisle, but I think if we had a more balanced government, everyone would be more willing to work together and see that we were really doing good for the people of the city. Colorado.”
Senator Don Coram has just completed his final year in the state legislative session. After 12 years of service, he decided it was time to move on to new things.
“It was a great race,” Coram said. “12 years in general assembly. It’s very rewarding, I enjoyed it. »
Coram credits part of his success in the state senate to building good relationships.
“I think the thing I’m most proud of is my ability to problem solve, negotiate, and bring better legislation to the state of Colorado through relationships.”
Coram is running against Congresswoman Lauren Boebert for her seat in Colorado’s Third District in the upcoming primary election in June.
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