It is hard to believe that the year 2011 is gone and we are diving headlong into 2012. Like 2011, 2012 will have its challenges, which we will welcome with open arms. Now is a time to make resolutions for the coming year.
I am resolved to work hard for the people of the 59th Colorado House District. Though I am spread thin, I am resolved to listen to the concerns of each one and respond where I can. I am resolved to be the best legislator I possibly can be, to attempt to understand all legislation and to vote based on the principles on which I was elected limited and effective state government. I represent the most beautiful part of the entire state. What a privilege.
We have good news for the economic forecast in Colorado. According to the projections of both the Legislative Council and the governors office, the states economy is showing modest growth, which will result in an increase in overall revenue. Growth in the business sector coupled with a reduction in unemployment has helped make the forecast for the next year more optimistic.
One of the big positive factors for business and jobs is the opening of the huge oil reserves in the Northeast part of the state. However, there are some factors over which we have no control that may affect the economic equation. If the European debt crisis is not resolved in the near future, all bets are off. This would have a huge negative effect on the world economy.
Hopefully, we can allocate $110 million to the state Education Fund to eliminate proposed cuts to K-12 education in Fiscal Year 2012-13.
There are other needs that also must be addressed. One of my continued concerns is that we are falling farther and farther behind on controlled maintenance. The governors office proposes to budget for all of the first-tier requests for controlled maintenance of state buildings.
First-tier requests are those that absolutely must be done because of safety and environmental concerns. We will not be funding second- and third-tier maintenance requests, which means we will have to play catch-up in future years. There are many other needs that must be addressed, and members of the Joint Budget Committee and the Legislature will have tough decisions to make.
Reapportionment is final. Montezuma County no longer will be in the 59th House District after 2012, and we will be joined by Ouray and Hinsdale counties and part of Gunnison County, with the towns of Ouray, Ridgway, Gunnison and Lake City. This doesnt make sense to most of us, but it now is reality for at least the next 10 years.
I plan to run for this House district seat, which I can truly say has more natural beauty than any other district in the state. It will be a great opportunity for me to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. I am excited for this year, 2012.
J. Paul Brown represents House District 59 in Colorados General Assembly. The district encompasses San Juan, Archuleta and La Plata counties and parts of Montezuma County. Contact Rep. Brown by phone at (303) 866-2914 or by email at email@example.com.
Editors note: State Rep. J. Paul Brown represents the 59th District as described directly above. When he runs for 59th seat this fall, he will be running to represent the newly constituted district he describes in his column.