Colorado State Senator Rollie Heath (D - Boulder and vicinity) and State Representative Jonathan Singer (D - Longmont and vicinity) were in Lyons last week (Wednesday, February 27) to hold a “Town Hall” meeting at The Stone Cup. About two-dozen area residents showed up to listen to what their elected officials were up to during the current legislative session, and to tell the gentlemen what issues were on their minds.
Heath and Singer both talked about the importance of education and the funding for it, and how the education of the State’s youth is connected to economic development and growth. Citing TABOR and other laws that limit taxation and thus funding for things such as education, both men cited states such as Mississippi and Louisiana as the only reason Colorado wasn’t last in the nation in per student funding.
The discussion eventually turned to fracking. Singer noted that since more voters in the City of Longmont had voted to ban the practice than had voted for him in the November election, he felt obligated to advocate for the City’s position at the State level. Heath pointed out the realities that Colorado has recently enacted laws requiring coal-fired power plants to switch to natural gas, and that we need to get that natural gas from somewhere, either Colorado or have it piped in from elsewhere. Singer explained to the crowd, that although fracking was a hot issue in Longmont and Boulder County, “its not even on the radar screen in places like Pueblo and other areas of the State.” He added that in some neighboring Counties, the prevailing sentiments were very much pro fracking.
Surprisingly, since Heath had just days before sponsored legislation concerning gun control, the topics of an assault rifle ban, universal background checks, and limits on magazine size, didn’t come up until the two-hour meeting was just about over. Heath told the audience that currently in committee there were bills to limit the size of a magazine to fifteen rounds; another that would allow universities and colleges to ban the carrying of concealed weapons on campus; a third bill extending background checks to include private sales between two citizens; and a fourth that would require the purchaser of a gun to pay the fee (approximately $10 to $12) for any background check.