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  • I am a 4th generation Coloradan. Graduated University of CO with a Bachelor of Science degree. Member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church – 35 yrs. Mother of two daughters; grandmother of 6 grandsons.
  • As a County Commissioner (1993-2000; 2009 – present), I led Weld County to ZERO debt and Weld is considered the most “Taxpayer Friendly” County in the Nation. I was a member of Gov Owens’ cabinet running a state department, overseeing the CO Office of Emergency Management and managing Colorado’s response to Hurricane Katrina. I successfully co-owned/operated a small business for 15 years in Fort Collins. I have a strong agricultural background co-owning/operating a dairy farm in southwest Weld for over 15 years and owning farming operations for 27 years. Named Colorado County’s Commissioner of the Year twice; served on Gov. Romer’s Blue Ribbon Transportation Panel and named one of the top 40 “Women in Energy” in 2015.

Why do you want this job?

  • To make a difference – we cannot let Colorado become another California. I’m running to stand up against a liberal, oppressive government.  As a grandmother of 6, I want all our children and grandchildren to live in a better Colorado.   Leaving future generations in Weld County debt free is perhaps my proudest accomplishment.  I want to take that track record of fiscal conservatism on the Weld County Commission to Denver and rein in government spending and regulation.  I will work to repeal any job killing legislation such as Senate Bill 181 (targeting oil and gas workers), oppose government overreach into private business, defend personal freedoms (for instance, we must repeal the unconstitutional “red flag” bill), promote market-oriented health care reforms instead of government-run health care, and make sure government lives within its means. I support getting education dollars to the classroom, investing in our students, while promoting choice and opportunity.

Budgeting in tough times 

(Choose one to answer)

> What is one bill you plan to sponsor that won't cost taxpayers anything?

> What new ideas do you bring in a time of budget cuts?

  • Too many legislators are not informed when it comes to the budget.  More time needs to be spent on strategic budgeting, like what we do in Weld County. All departments should be required to define every program within the department, the purpose of the program, the sources of funding and staffing associated with that program and benefits to Colorado citizens.  All departments should be identifying at a minimum a 15% cut of General Fund revenues. All legislators should be required to attend budget work sessions that give a thorough review of the State’s budget.  Bills having a fiscal impact should be referred to the Joint Budget Committee staff for review and analysis of the impact on out-year budgets and that should be stated on the fiscal note. Overhead and indirect costs for each department need to be accounted for.  Too many departments have learned how to skim “off the top” of federal funds to increase staff and expand programs and services. Every year at close out time departments find pockets or pools of unspent funds that they shift to overspent areas within their department. As a Senator, I will lead a coalition of business interests, local governments and key industries to develop strategies to reduce or eliminate red tape and overburdensome regulations and down-size state government by eliminating wasteful spending and special interest programs.

Perennial budget issues 

> How do we pay for education/transportation?

  • I support empowering parents and students with educational options and utilizing choice.  The School Finance Act, which has not been updated since 1994, needs to be revised. Fewer and fewer of our education dollars are getting to the classroom. The Colorado legislature needs to tie funding to student-centered results and achievement rather than giving districts a blank check. Investing in our students and getting money as close to the classroom as possible is how we close the achievement gap.  We need evidence-based, student- centered models that advance reading levels among elementary students.  Finally, we need to expand vocational and trade school opportunities, so students who choose not to go to college can obtain needed job skills.
  • Transportation and infrastructure are core functions of state government, yet a smaller and smaller portion of the state’s budget goes toward road maintenance and expansion. The State needs to prioritize transportation providing for a stable funding source – fragmenting funding over several years costs more money to get the roads completed. I think we should bond our top transportation projects and get them built. True partnerships with local governments need to be developed and the regional transportation plans that determine prioritized projects, need to be executed. Funds for expansion should be spent on projects that are of statewide significance to create a viable transportation network.

Issues of the pandemic

(Choose one to answer) 

> Is the state reopening too quickly or too slowly?
> Are health care reforms an immediate priority?
> What are the best steps to rebuilding the economy?

  • Job one is getting Coloradans back to work. The State is opening too slowly.  I support President Trump’s efforts to re-open our economy.  As a Weld County Commissioner, I challenged Governor Polis’ lock-down orders.  Our commission published best practice guidance and choose to rely on the Constitution.
  • Job two is creating a jobs-friendly business environment.  This means repealing Senate Bill 181, the disastrous regulations on our oil and gas workers, and other job-killing regulations; keeping our tax rates low and predictable (I oppose proposals by some Democrats to impose an “emergency” tax); and providing liability reform for Colorado companies and employers from unfair or frivolous COVID-19 based lawsuits. If HB20-1421 passes, I would work to repeal it.  It by no means is a "Tax Fairness Act" and will increase taxes on businesses.

Working together

(Choose one to answer)

> What is an idea or approach your primary opponent has proposed that you intend to take to the Capitol?

> Name a current or former legislator from the opposing party you admire, and why.

  • Roy Romer, who served as a State Representative. Governor Romer is a fiscal conservative, from rural Colorado.  We could agree to disagree and do so in a respectful manner.  He is not afraid to look you in the eye and tell you where he stands on any given issue.  I appreciate his philosophy of listening  and taking the “Dome on the Road” reaching out to all Coloradans. He included versus excluding people, businesses, local government officials from the conversation and the discussion.

Managing Editor

Linda Shapley has more than 30 years of print and digital news experience. She was Managing Editor of The Denver Post until 2017, overseeing news operations and coverage.

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