Vision for Colorado

I look across Colorado now and I see the greatest state in the country, but I also see a lot of changes coming our way. We face a choice – we can either let change shape us, or we can shape that change and take control of our future.

Colorado is not going to just drift to a better place; we need strong leadership to steer us there.

In order to ensure our state’s success, we need focus on the following:

  1. Better job opportunities for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
  2. An improved state education system focused on student outcomes.
  3. An overhaul of our outdated and insufficient infrastructure.
  4. Solutions to our drug addiction and abuse problem.
  5. A reprioritized state budget.

We must ensure Colorado remains a great place to live for future generations.

To ensure a vibrant Colorado future, we need to have the courage to address the long-term issues we face now, before it’s too late. Over the past decade we have merely kicked the can down the road. My experience in the private sector has given me the leadership and vision needed to tackle these problems, ensuring a bright future in this state for generations to come.

Here are my priorities to build the Colorado of the future.

1. Ensure Colorado’s Economic Leadership - Jobs are created by private companies, not government, but government can take an active role in creating the right environment for businesses to thrive. In 2015 Colorado had the 7th highest GDP growth in the US.1 This is good, but we can do better to provide economic opportunity for our citizens by:

  • Promoting our vital industries - oil and gas, tourism, agriculture, technology, telecom, defense, health care, financial services, manufacturing - by performing a thorough regulatory review to reduce burdensome and outdated regulations.
  • Making ourselves a leader in emerging technologies. We have the ability to bring thousands of good jobs to Colorado through active leadership by engaging our universities, businesses and entrepreneurs to build our software, internet of things, cyber security and bio-science industries.

2. Make our Schools Great - Colorado has the 2nd most educated work force, 24% of our adults have bachelor’s degrees, yet our own school performance is unacceptable.2 In 2015, only 37% of our students met or exceeded the national standards for math and 38% for English.3 We can do better by:

  • Improving how we recruit, train, mentor and compensate our teachers.
  • Promoting charter schools and innovative approaches to learning.
  • Bringing more STEM education into our classrooms.
  • Providing more vocational and career training alternatives.

3. Build our Infrastructure - Our roads are aging and must be improved and expanded in order to meet the needs of the present and the future. The same is true of our water system. Additionally, there is not enough housing and it is too expensive. We can address these issues without raising taxes by:

  • Prioritizing and improving government efficiency in order to free the money needed for infrastructure investment.
  • Expanding public/private transportation solutions.
  • Implementing a reasonable construction defect law, one that will incentivize builders to build while protecting against severe abuses.

4. Address our Drug Problem - Our current leaders seem to focus on whether or not drug usage is increasing. The fact is that the level of youth use is unacceptably high. We can do better for our young people and all Coloradans by:

  • Implementing effective treatment strategies to reduce opioid addiction.
  • Putting in place a cohesive regulatory structure for our medical and recreational marijuana industries, which will drive tax compliance and take untested, potentially dangerous high-potency products off the market.
  • Promoting natural high alternatives to our youth through the expansion of in- and after-school programs.

5. Fix our State Budget Mess - Our state bureaucracy has grown at an alarming rate. Medicaid has expanded rapidly to 22.6% of our budget today, squeezing out other important priorities.4 We can fix this budget mess by:

  • Employing innovative models to provide compassionate care while reducing costs.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness and performance of our spending, rather than just auditing how money is spent. Are we the taxpayers getting our money’s worth? Our current budget is almost $27 billion.

We can successfully address these problems and prepare Colorado for the future without raising taxes. Colorado’s government currently spends more per capita than almost all of our surrounding states.

Let’s get Colorado ready for the future!