Q&A with state Rep. Susan Beckman

House District 38 representative says highways, elder care are big issues

Posted 12/29/17

Susan Beckman represents state House District 38, which includes Littleton, Columbine Valley, Bow Mar and west Centennial. Beckman, a Republican, was first elected to the Legislature in 2016. She has …

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Q&A with state Rep. Susan Beckman

House District 38 representative says highways, elder care are big issues

Posted

Susan Beckman represents state House District 38, which includes Littleton, Columbine Valley, Bow Mar and west Centennial. Beckman, a Republican, was first elected to the Legislature in 2016. She has served as an Arapahoe County commissioner and as the director of the Office of Administrative Solutions in Colorado’s Department of Human Services. Her husband, Bruce, is the former mayor of Littleton.

What is the most important issue for the Legislature to tackle this session, and what needs to be done?

The most important issue for the Colorado Legislature to tackle this session is prioritizing additional revenue for roads and highways. Colorado’s latest economic and revenue forecast is positive. It shows that the state’s general fund will have an additional $850 million this year, and in future years, to spend on priorities set by the Legislature. For the past 10 years, the Legislature has ignored infrastructure and has focused almost exclusively on budget increases for Medicaid and Human Services. This year we must prioritize our efforts to serve all Colorado. The citizens of Colorado deserve to have a great highway and bridge system, including clean and maintained medians and intersections, and a gridlock-free and safe highway system.

Describe two pieces of legislation that you plan to sponsor.

My first bill concerns appropriate disciplinary actions that the Colorado Department of Human Services, or CDHS, can take when an employee is found to have mistreated a vulnerable person. CDHS manages the employees at the state institutes across Colorado including veterans’ nursing homes and state mental health hospitals. Responsible managers and executives need to be able to discipline, and if necessary fire, employees who injure, mistreat or fail to care for these residents. My second bill is legacy legislation that will modernize existing laws within the Alzheimer’s/dementia framework so that better treatment and care is authorized for seniors suffering memory loss and other dementia-related disabilities. In HD 38, and in many communities throughout Colorado, residents are reaching an age where major life concerns include being able to stay in their homes and living a quality life. This legislation will expand opportunities and provide additional support for our seniors.

For this session to be deemed a success, what must happen?

A successful session will be one in which the Legislature and governor come together and finally accept the challenge to create a strategic plan for the improvement of Colorado’s roads, highways and bridges. We must commit to a multi-year dedicated funding source identified from revenue in the existing Colorado budget. Coloradans already provide enough taxes to allow such a plan to be carved out of the budget. This plan must be flexible to meet the needs of both rural and urban Colorado, and to make our roads cleaner, better and safer. That is what the taxpayers deserve.

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