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Colorado House District 58

The Colorado House of Representatives is the lower house of the Colorado general Assembly, the State legislature of the US state of Colorado. The House is composed of 65 members and representatives are electd to two-year terms, abb\nd are limited to four terms in office but can run again after a two year respite.

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    Seth Cagin
    (Dem)

  • Marc Catlin
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What would you cite as the number one issue facing constituents in the district you’re seeking to represent, and specifically what legislation would you champion to address it?

What specific changes, if any, do you think should be made to Colorado laws concerning access to abortion and reproductive health care?

What specifically are the most urgent needs of Colorado’s education system and the best legislative strategies for meeting those needs?

It is projected that Colorado will face a water shortfall by 2050 or sooner. What specific measures would you support to prevent a water crisis?

If elected, what specifically would you do to make health care more affordable in Colorado?

How would you address the growing lack of affordable housing in Colorado in terms of a specific policy or policies?

Contact phone 970 275-2093
Background Born and raised on the Front Range. Have lived on the Western Slope for 30 years. Writer and journalist, founded and published The Watch newspaper in San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties.
Twitter @scagin
Western Colorado has some of the highest health insurance costs in the country. The state must require insurance companies to treat the entire state as a single insurance pool. To the extent that this would marginally raise premiums in the Front Range, the state should seek to reduce premiums statewide by all means possible. The state should study other ways to improve access to health care in small towns and rural places, for example by incentivizing health care providers to work in those places. No family, no community, can thrive when affordable health care is not accessible.
I would support any legislation to improve access to health care, including reproductive health care, and would oppose any legislation that would in any way restrict access to abortion.
If Amendment 73 passes, bringing Colorado up from the bottom tier of states in terms of school funding, there will still be many issues in education to address, including increasing access to affordable trade school and apprenticeship programs, finding ways to reduce the costs of higher-education and alleviating student debt, addressing teacher shortages, reviewing and updating quality standards and testing protocols, and funding for full-day kindergarten and preschool. If Amendment 73 fails, then we will still have to find equitable ways to increase school funding. Underfunded public schools is most severe in small towns and rural areas, like Southwestern Colorado, where the property tax base that has historically funded public schools in Colorado is too small for the job. I support the philosophy behind Amendment 73, which is to shift the crucially needed increase in overall funding for education away from property taxes and toward progressive state income taxes.
While the Colorado Water Plan provides a roadmap to managing water resources, it must be financed. The plan speaks to currently available funding and potential additional funding and estimates that an additional $20 billion is needed to implement the plan. If elected, I would participate in the efforts to find this $20 billion and move forward as quickly as possible with the plan's implementation. Success is crucial to the 58th House District because the region's population is growing and because agriculture is a major economic activity and agricultural open space is a foundation of the region's beauty. If we don't successfully address water shortages, it is agriculture that will be threatened first. We must do everything possible to avoid dewatering Colorado's streams and rivers, and not only because rivers and streams are beautiful and provide recreational opportunities. A river sucked dry is a sign that human water consumption has reached the limit of sustainability.
Requiring insurance companies to treat the entire state as a single insurance pool would dramatically reduce costs in my district. While it would marginally raise insurance costs in the urban areas of the state and is therefore politically difficult, it would be the right thing to do because it is not in the state's interest to disadvantage the rural counties to the degree that unaffordable health insurance currently does. I support state subsidies where practical to reduce health care costs and legislation to underwrite or otherwise incentivize health care providers to serve underserved communities. A state mandated and designed reinsurance program could take the most expensive claims out of the insurance companies' pool and into a separate "high risk" pool, covered by modest surcharges on all insurance policies. This should allow insurance companies to reduce premiums significantly.
Deed-restrictions on housing built with government assistance have worked well in the Telluride region, and in other ski communities, housing hundreds of families. This strategy was devised where land costs and construction costs are high and wages are low. Now that flat wages and high housing costs are afflicting more and more of the state, the legislature should develop programs and policies that support the development of deed-restricted affordable housing in other communities that wish to pursue it. I believe this works better than publicly owned housing.
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