The beginning (again)

I’ll keep it simple – thank you! I feel so incredibly humbled and honored to have received your support with your time, energy and contributions to the campaign this year. Whether you were writing postcards to neighbors, knocking on doors or helping to raise money for the campaign, you played a crucial role in this effort and helped me to be elected to the Colorado State Senate. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Despite the myth that things slow down after the Election, I have been working nonstop to prepare for the 69th General Assembly, which starts officially on Wednesday!!! Each legislator must have his/her bills prepared to ensure that work can start on opening day. As my closest friends and supporters, I wanted you to be the first to know of the issues I’ll be working on this year on behalf of the people of Senate District 21.

On the campaign trail, voters spoke with me about their hopes for Colorado. The issues I’m working on this year reflect the core values I heard from community members on their porches and in their living rooms. Here are the first few items I’ll be leading on this year:

1) Responsibility – With federal health reforms taking hold, I will be working closely with the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Department of Corrections to determine a better way to pay for the required hospitalization and inpatient treatment for our inmate population. Other states, including Alabama, Washington and Louisiana, have adopted policies that allow the state to share costs of care with the federal government and have experienced millions of dollars in savings for their state budgets. These savings can be reinvested in the broader health reforms to ensure that all Coloradans can have access to high quality, affordable health care. I’ll also be working with our leaders in the Senate and House Education committees to find a long-term fix to school financing to ensure equity and accountability in the classroom, while also getting more money into our schools.

2) Opportunity – Every person I meet wants a fair shot to succeed and achieve the American dream. This year, I will be working with Senator John Kefalas and others within the Senate to extend state tax credits to working families. Specifically, this economic stimulus package will allow parents, those caring for aging parents or dependents with disabilities, and/or middle-income workers to receive a state match of the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, or Child Care Tax Credit, to help make ends meet in this recovery. Also, I’ll be sponsoring additional legislation that ensures individuals that have faced financial difficulties during the Great Recession are not unfairly denied employment opportunities. This bill will stop employers from using credit score information in hiring decisions; no one should be denied a job because they have hit hard times.

3) Fairness – I’m coordinating with law enforcement officials, nonprofit organizations, and victims of crime to develop policies related to the appropriate use of emerging technologies in law enforcement. The policy will balance how law enforcement officials can access cell phone location data and automated license plate readers to ensure public safety and also safeguard our constitutional rights to privacy. I will also be working to develop policy solutions with law enforcement to determine how we can encourage vulnerable victims of crime, including our immigrant neighbors and friends, to come forward with information without concern about retribution.

Please come visit at the Capitol, follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or give me a call if you’d like to know what I’m working on. My new contact information is listed at the bottom of this page.

I will also be co-hosting town hall meetings in conjunction with House Districts 30, 31. 32, 34, and 35 during the legislative session to connect with community members one on one. I will be posting a full list of town halls and in-district events as soon as the calendar is finalized. Again, thank you so much for your support. I look forward to continuing on this exciting journey with you.

With gratitude,

Jessie

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