Straight From the Senate - Dennis Hisey SD2

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ParkBull
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Straight From the Senate - Dennis Hisey SD2

Post by ParkBull » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:41 pm

Straight From the Senate
January 1 2019

Meet the New Guy

By way of introduction, my name is Dennis Hisey and by the time you read this I will be your newly minted and freshly sworn in state senator from Senate District 2 (SD2). It’s fair to expect this to be the first of many columns bringing you updates on the happenings under the gold dome – the gold coming from Teller County – one of the five counties that make up Senate District 2. Park, Fremont, Clear Creek and the rural portions of El Paso rounding out the list.

I would be remiss without thanking my predecessor Senate President Kevin Grantham for his eight years of dedicated, principled leadership in representing SD2. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I have big shoes/boots to fill. You would have been hard pressed to find a harder working or more committed legislator during his tenure and I have no doubt his finger prints are all over my election to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) by my fellow caucus members.

The six-member Joint Budget Committee is the only committee of reference (standing committee) that includes both House and Senate members. We began meeting shortly after the election in November and wrapped up our pre-session meetings on December 21st. It is also the only committee that requires all members to vote in the affirmative to advance a JBC bill – the budget of course being the most critical.

With counties being an arm of the state my tenure as a county commissioner was good preparation for this role and thus far it has absolutely been a great learning experience. For those of you wondering how a Senator-elect or Representative-elect can cast votes prior to taking office the solution was previous legislation allowing the “elect” to be a full participating member in pre-session JBC business.

For those of you I haven’t met, the last name (Hisey) is pronounced Hi-Zee or Hi-C depending on which family member you ask. With either or any pronunciation, I would just like to hear from you. So, feel free to visit – we are in session from now through May 3rd or call the office (303) 866-4877, you can also call or text the mobile phone (719) 351-2121 – if you text please include your name. Email is also good Dennis.Hisey.Senate@state.co.gov. Might even be able to get you onto the Senate floor if let me know you are in the building or when you plan to be there.

I appreciate that every resident of SD2 is a constituent for me to represent and I take that responsibility seriously. It is truly humbling and an honor to represent you at the state capital.

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Re: Straight From the Senate - Dennis Hisey SD2

Post by ParkBull » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:30 pm

Straight From the Senate
January 12, 2019

The real news coming out of the Capital this week was the Governors State of the State address. From my point of view it was a mixed bag. So here we go – kind of in the order they came up in the speech.

Free Full Day Kindergarten – it’s not really free, the taxpayers will foot the bill. Secondly full day kindergarten will not solve the very real and well documented problem of third grade reading deficiencies that continue to haunt those students for most of their school years. On the plus side it will simplify the lives of working parents who will know their youngsters are in a safe learning environment.

The Office of Saving People Money on Health Care – yes that state office now exists and I really hope it lives up to its name. The Governor and I agree that hospital stays, treatment and prescription drugs cost too much. We also agree that transparency in costs will be a good thing but in talking to hospital administrators it’s going take a lot more than that. Just the in network – out of network discussion takes an excel spread sheet to keep track of all the professionals and what insurance they accept for a relatively simple surgery. On the prescription drug front the Governor is expecting imports from Canada to make a pretty immediate impact. - It did for my mother when her medication got caught up the price escalation that resulted in congressional hearings.

Rural vs Urban Health Insurance Costs – I was glad to hear the Governor state “a family in Glenwood Springs or Gunnison should not pay twice as much for health care as a family in Denver”. He has hopes that the State Division of Insurance can get involved to solve that problem. I think if they could have they would have but this Governor expects results so I don’t think he is going let this one go easily but my guess is he will have to revisit this issue throughout his term.

Climate Change - he said its real “and there’ll be no pretending otherwise in this administration”. I’m not going to wade into that in this limited space but what I do know is that it is a fact that our fire seasons are longer and I have introduced a bill to create a state fire commission to make recommendations on how to mitigate and deal with the increase in and larger fires. More about that later.

Tax Code in Need of a Face lift – his take was “too much power to special interests that can hire expensive lobbyist”. That’s one way to look at it but I don’t blame the “special interests”. You don’t see me volunteering to pay more taxes than I absolutely have to. I agree with him that we need to look at the tax code some of which has been on autopilot since the 1930s. My hope is we look at the tax code to simplify and reduce taxes not to figure out what we are not taxing so we can fund more expensive government programs.

All in all it was a good week at the Capital, work with the Joint Budget Committee continued every afternoon but I am looking forward to seeing the full Senate in action as bills start coming out of committee and onto the floor.

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