Delivering Quality & Affordable Health Care
I’ve fought alongside Governor Hickenlooper to help save the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to make improvements to it. The ACA has been a success, especially here in Colorado where we have cut in half the number of people who didn’t have health coverage – it’s now less than seven percent of our population – with more than half a million more Coloradans getting coverage they didn’t have before.
But more must be done. As the Lt. Governor and Chief Operating Officer, I’ve worked on legislation to expand access, increase transparency, and make health care more affordable for all Colorado families.
I think health care is a right, not a privilege, and I support universal coverage and will fight to make it a reality for all Colorado families.
Donald Trump wants to move us backwards by taking health care away from hundreds of thousands of Coloradans – this is wrong. As governor, I’m going to keep working to expand coverage, improve care, and lower costs.
Providing a Quality Education
Over the last 13 years, I have worked inside and outside of government to improve our education system, focused on helping every Coloradan have the best possible opportunity to succeed. While funding our schools will continue to be a challenge due to TABOR and our constitutional issues, I have and will continue to focus on improving funding and outcomes for all Colorado students.
We know that by 2020, more than 70% of the jobs in our state will require some kind of post-secondary degree, and right now we aren’t doing well enough. We need to increase post-secondary degree attainment across the state, but in particular for our state’s minority populations which face significant equity gaps relative to our white students.
As Lt. Governor and Chief Operating Officer, I’m working to address this critical issue, and as governor, I’ll continue the progress we’re making. One of our goals is to increase the number of minority high school students also taking college courses. This is a proven way to reduce the cost many students pay to obtain a college degree and ease the transition from high school to college.
We need to do more to ensure our teachers at every level have the resources and support they need to be effective in the classroom. We have a real teacher shortage in our state – especially in our rural regions – and as governor I will work to address this.
As a co-chair of the state’s Early Childhood Leadership Commission, I understand how pivotal the right support for our youngest learners is to their long-term success, and as governor I will have the experience to deliver for them.
And while it will be a difficult challenge, I also believe that we must make critical changes to our K-12 school funding formula to better address the needs of all our students.
Protecting Our Environment
Part of what makes our way of life so unique is the incredible natural treasures we have throughout our state. As governor, I’ll continue the progress we’ve made ensuring our environment is protected for generations to come.
Climate change is real, and we must do all we can to slow its effects. I’ve worked to improve Colorado’s air quality, ensure we have clean rivers, streams and drinking water, and increase our conservation efforts.
We’ve set real goals to reduce nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and other emissions in our state. We’re making progress, but more must be done. We’ve already begun to see our energy providers make plans to speed up their transition from coal-based energy to renewables, and I applaud those decisions.
As governor, I’ll work with our energy providers to continue the transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy production while keeping costs low for consumers, and ensuring that we provide retraining for workers who have been affected.
Ensuring Opportunity for All Coloradans
Colorado’s economy is so strong that the US News and World Report Best States ranking put us at #1. Our unemployment rate is low, businesses are adding jobs at a rapid clip, and we have a highly skilled workforce. But there is more we can do to make sure everyone benefits – especially in the rural parts of our state – and to ensure Colorado stays a great place to start and build a business.
As a long-time business leader, I have created thousands of good paying jobs in our state and focused on providing the right support for our employees to succeed. I’m a strong supporter of raising the minimum wage and doing more to help hardworking Coloradans get ahead.
I also know that there is real income inequality in this country and our state, and this is especially magnified among our minority and rural communities. Focusing on education at all levels is an important way to address this challenge, and we should continue and expand our career training and apprenticeship programs.
One of my priorities as Lt. Governor and Chief Operating Officer is to make government services easier to access and navigate, so that it’s easier for entrepreneurs to get started here. We have moved more than a hundred professional license applications online, and reduced by 30% the amount of time it takes to complete these. This helps people spend less time in line, and more time building their business and supporting workers.
Building the Infrastructure We Need For the Future
Colorado’s population grows by the thousands each month as more people move here to enjoy our quality of life and our strong economy. But to ensure we maintain what makes our state so attractive to natives and newcomers alike, we must invest in our infrastructure – from roads, to water, to broadband.
Anyone who has spent time sitting in traffic on I-70, I-25, or many other roadways knows that we have real work to do. We need to address our funding challenges head on and build on the down payment Governor Hickenlooper and the General Assembly negotiated this past session with Senate Bill 267.
As one of only two headwater states in the country, our state plays a unique role in ensuring a sustainable water future for all Coloradans. Our statewide Water Plan provides the blueprint for the kind of conservation, storage and innovation we need to protect and fund our water future, and as governor I will continue this work.
We cannot sustain a strong statewide economy without universal broadband availability. Our entrepreneurs, our students and our health care workers can’t get the information they need to succeed without this connectivity. We’ve set an ambitious goal to reach 100% across the state, and as governor I will make sure we achieve it.