On the Issues: Advancing the Common Good Work Hard, Be Honest, Serve Others.
Victories by John: Legislative Statistics
Senator John Kefalas was the prime sponsor on 18 bills during the 2016 legislative session, half of which were bipartisan. Highlights of the 2016 General Session include sponsoring bills related to strengthening Colorado's Climate Action Plan, improving Colorado's ability to effectively fight human trafficking, improving Colorado's system for Judicial retention recommendations, and expanding employment opportunity for individuals with disability in the state.
Employment First for Persons with Disabilities:Interview with Sen. KefalasState Senator John Kefalas is sponsoring a bill to address the high unemployment rate of persons with disabilities, including those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The bill (SB16-077) proposes a partnership model called ‘Employment First,’ designed to target the unique barriers and challenges people with disabilities face in finding meaningful employment. The ‘Employment First’ structure is modeled after similar initiatives adopted in many other states. In an interview with Catherine Strode, Senator Kefalas says the ‘Employment First’ framework supports an agenda of moving away from sheltered workshops and ‘segregated employment,’ and partnering more with employers in the private sector. Click this link to read more:
Economy: Working Together to Create Jobs
Our Fort Collins community, our state of Colorado and America all prosper when we have a strong middle class earning a decent wage – enough to raise a family and have financial security. As a long time advocate for working families and people on low and fixed-incomes, I am committed to building a resilient and sustainable economy that works for all of us.
In the state legislature, I have focused on creating jobs, rebuilding and maintaining our infrastructure, promoting clean, renewable energy, and manufacturing durable goods here in Colorado. I have voted to invest in our schools and to reduce taxes for small businesses to spur job growth. I have pushed to restore the Colorado Earned Income Tax Credit to reduce taxes for working families and the Colorado Innovation Investment Tax Credit to incentivize entrepreneurship and innovation. I have advanced economic opportunity and poverty reduction. In the 2012 legislative session, I promoted the “Hire Colorado Act,” which gives preference in state contracting to companies who hire at least 90% of their employees in Colorado. I will continue to advance these priorities.
Education: Investing in Learning and Protecting Children
Education is the key to expanding economic opportunity and development. Investing in our children today will prepare them for the future. I favor aligning curriculum standards to meet the needs of a changing work force. We must provide teachers with the resources and training to empower them in preparing students to meet the demands of a high-tech global economy.
In the state legislature, I have supported the BEST bill to rebuild crumbling schools, protected funding for higher education and needs-based financial aid, and invested in expanded preschools and all-day kindergartens. I have worked hard to restore and enhance funding for our schools and colleges. I want to ensure that children have a variety of options and opportunities beyond high school, including the trades and public service.
Investing up front in quality and accessible education and training from early childhood through post secondary is one of the smartest things we can do to build a capable and resilient work force and a more informed and engaged citizenry.
It is also important that we protect and support children that are at risk of abuse and neglect and to that end I’ve passed laws that improve our child welfare, child support and foster care systems. I will continue to advance best practices to make sure kids are safe and able to do well.
Health Care: Lowering Costs, Improving Health and Access to All
There’s no more basic human need than the need for good health. Quality, affordable health care that is accessible to everyone is common sense, and I will continue to work hard for a universal health care system that is high-performing. Doctors and other medical providers, through patient-centered health homes and coordinated care, are the ones to guide our health care decisions with us at the helm making informed decisions and with a focus on primary care, prevention and healthy living.
While working towards comprehensive changes to our health care finance and delivery systems, such as the Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act, I have supported important legislative steps to increase access, improve quality, and lower costs to individuals, families and businesses.
In the state legislature, I have worked to increase accountability and transparency for insurance companies, expand eligibility for public health insurance programs, and make sure children eligible for programs like CHP+ and Medicaid are signed up. I have also passed laws that improve the quality of kidney dialysis; provide data and analysis on best practices, utilization and costs; require insurance policies to be written so we can understand them and more if you are interested to know.
Environment and Energy: Creating Jobs
While meeting the increasing energy demands of our nation, we must ensure our water and air quality are not adversely impacted, whether from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas or coal-burning power plants. Colorado is blessed with abundant wind, solar and other renewable energy resources and can lead the nation with a sustainable energy economy. We can build a better energy future and create thousands of good-paying jobs through increased efficiency, conservation and development of clean and sustainable energy alternatives.
I support smart growth and transit-oriented development, conservation of open spaces and protection of our rivers and forests.
I helped pass a landmark law to make in-situ leach uranium mining operations more transparent and accountable to protect our critical groundwater and public health. I passed laws to increase energy efficiency standards for state and local governments. have supported renewable energy tax credits, and holding companies accountable to reasonable environmental standards. I’ve received 100% rating from the Colorado Conservation Voters during my service in the State House.
Effective Representative Government: Listening and Building Bridges
Our government works much better when we the people get involved. Civic engagement makes our government and public sector more effective. We all want our tax dollars spent wisely in ways that are efficient, competent, accountable and responsive. Public policy is a reflection of the values of those who participate, and we need to open up the system so more people can are informed and engaged.
During my time in office, I have held monthly town hall meetings, issues forums, and community conversations on a regular basis to involve the people of Fort Collins in self-governance. I’m always available to hear your thoughts and concerns, and I do my best to take your ideas right back to the State Capitol. I listen and I hear you loud and clear: we must move beyond partisan politics and focus on common sense solutions for our community, our state and our country.
Call me at 720-254-7598 (c) or 303-866-4841 (o), e-mail me at email@example.com, or write me at 604 Sycamore Street, Fort Collins CO 80521.