Rippy: Someone to trust
It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as the state House representative for our district the past two years.
In the midst of all the negative campaigning going on in our state, I want to communicate a positive message to the people of District 61.
Ultimately, I believe people want someone they trust to work on their behalf at the state level.
As I talk with people throughout our district, three issues keep coming up: water, public education and health care.
As a member of the Agricultural Committee, I was instrumental in the passage of HB 156, arguably the most significant piece of legislation on water in the last 29 years; it preserves more water in our streams for the enhancement of our environment. This will benefit our ecosystem for generations to come. My goal is to ensure that our Western Slope towns, ranchers, farmers, fishermen, kayakers and rafters have the water they need.
I am a strong proponent of public education. My wife and I, and our three children, are all products of local public education. I voted in favor of HB02-1349, the School Finance Act. We are required by Amendment 23 to increase education funding to match inflation plus 1 percent (5.7 percent), but we went beyond the requirements, increasing overall funding for education by 7.24 percent to $4.13 billion. That translates into $279.2 million additional funds statewide. State aid for Re-1 alone increased by 14.98 percent or $1.26 million.
This bill also created the School Breakfast Program, which serves 62,000 students each month, and the Summer School Grant Program. We even increased the number of preschoolers funded from 1,000 to 11,050. I voted for HB02-1309, which provided a tax credit for educational donations, bringing additional funds to education.
I serve on the Appropriations Committee, which must weigh the budget impact of each piece of legislation. We had to responsibly adjust the amount of the increase for education to keep the state budget balanced, but we still arrived at an increase that went far beyond the minimum requirements.
I co-sponsored a bill creating the Interim Committee on Health Care Systems to work on making health care more accessible and insurance more affordable. That committee will bring five new bills to be considered in the next legislative session, addressing issues like care management under Medicaid, patient disclosure of medical charges, generic and mail order drugs, and prescription drug tax credits for seniors.
I wish space permitted me to say more about affordable housing, managing growth, the environment and the arts. I understand the issues, and I’ve been effective. I have the ability to create consensus with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. With diligence, sincerity and hard work, I offer you the continued representation our district needs and deserves. I welcome your input and questions – you may call me at 945-7731, or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Rep. Gregg Rippy is a Republican from Glenwood Springs.
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