Colorado State Representative
Created on Monday, 16 May 2016 14:12
This legislative session has illustrated the undeniable differences between Democrats and Republicans and the importance of majorities. Working day in and day out to represent the people of House District 47 has been another rewarding and humbling experience. It is an honor to serve the people of Pueblo, Otero and Fremont County.
I have consistently supported legislation that protects our second amendment rights, protects small businesses, allows for local control, improves education, ensures transparency and protects taxpayers from unnecessary tax increases.
During this legislative session, I have been able to tackle a wide variety of issues that have been brought to my attention by the people of Southern Colorado. The following issues have been heavily researched, and legislation has been thoughtfully created in order to address these issues in the best way possible. As a legislator, I work to remain accessible to my constituents and find solutions for community concerns in order for Colorado to grow and prosper. Below is a description of the bills I have sponsored and co-sponsored. More information on these bills and other bills can always be found on the Colorado General Assembly website.
House Bill 16-1147 - This bill shed light on the importance of of mental health services. The wait times for state employees to receive counseling services was alarmingly long and required extensive travel for most. The bill went to the State Affairs Committee and failed by a party line vote. The bill would have simply required that the Colorado State Employees Assistance Program make a purposeful effort to use any extra funding to reduce wait times. Democrats failed to see the value of mental health services. Mental health should be an important issue for all people. It is an issue that effects everyone. I will continue to create and support legislation the brings awareness to, prevents and treats mental health conditions.
House Bill 16-1162 – As a conservative, it is of critical importance that we are using funding efficiently and appropriately. This bill would increase transparency by requiring school boards to give parents public notice when there is a proposed salary increase for an administrator of a failing school. There certainly are not many jobs that reward poor performance and superintendents, principals, and vice principals should not be an exception. This bill was killed in the Education Committee by a party line vote. The bill would not have impeded on the decision making authority of the school board, it would simply have been a first step in making sure that we are making the students our number one priority and utilized funding to improve education and student resources.
House Bill 16-1124- It was brought to my attention from constituents in House District 47 that the process of buying and selling horses requires intensive and unnecessary branding and inspections. I worked hard to create legislation that addressed these concerns, however the ag department, and various organizations found there to be too many concerns with the elimination of the inspections. The bill was postponed indefinitely in the Agriculture Committee. This is an issue that I will continue to research and find alternative solutions for.
House Bill 16-1204 - I was proud to be a co-sponsor of this bills, and support the right to bear arms. This bill was one of five gun rights bills that went to the State Affairs Committee and was killed by a party line vote. This bill would have permitted concealed carry of handguns on public elementary and secondary schools. It is disappointing to watch Democrats deny Coloradoans of their constitutional rights, but as a strong conservative, I will continue to support legislative efforts that protect our rights.
In the waning hours there is always a rush of legislation that was not addressed throughout the session. Legislation that was talked about and politicized, but nothing was done. This session is no different. The Hospital Provider Fee, grocery stores vs. liquor stores licensure, and the primary election bill. All of which, I’ve taken a clear stand on. We get elected to make tough votes, and there were plenty.
The Hospital Provider Fee was killed in the Colorado State Senate. Early on I knew this was not going to be a bill that I could support. It was written and pushed as a means to usurp the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Like TABOR or not, it was put in place by the voters to address out of control spending in Colorado, and to a large degree, although there are many problems with it, it does just that. There will be many conversations in the coming months about how we support our medical care providers, and I expect to be a part of those. I contend that the $800 million dollar “shell game” deserved a vote of the people.
Another issue that I heard about was the issue of having a Presidential Primary vs. a Caucus. I’ve clearly articulated that I believe it’s time for a Presidential Primary, but I’m only open to “closed” primaries where there are firm guidelines and timeframes so that Democrats are voting for Democrats and Republicans are voting for Republicans. After all, that is what a Primary is all about. This doesn’t eliminate the Caucus system. The Caucus system is the most basic of grassroots politics, and it should stay in place as a means of electing party leadership, but a Presidential Primary would give voice to those that feel unheard. I also believe that a Presidential Primary would make Colorado more relevant on the national political scene. Unfortunately, the bill that came before the legislature was flawed, and I don’t believe it would have done what the ultimate goal was without doing harm. Again, this is an issue that will undoubtedly receive attention in the coming months, and rightfully so. It’s time!
Finally, the grocery stores vs. the liquor stores bill came to my Committee on the 10th. I’ve never been an advocate for the LARGE grocery stores having the ability to sell “regular” alcohol. I’ve always felt it created an uneven playing field for the “mom and pop” liquor stores that are scattered throughout the state. However, compromises were made and I heard from my small business community that they were fine with the bill because the compromises created a good bill that allows for a competitive yet fair business environment. I ultimately supported the bill after hearing that.
I am looking forward to returning to Pueblo and spending more time with my family and friends, however this line of work weighs heavy on my mind. What can I do to best serve the people of Colorado? What issues are people experiencing? What kind of legislation would be most productive in combating them? I whole-heartedly appreciate and respect the people of Colorado and am hopeful for another opportunity to serve as a State Representative.
Created on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 18:10
A bill I've been hearing a great deal about was finally heard in Committee today. The "grocery stores" vs. the "mom and pop" liquor stores. After a great deal of testimony today I voted for SB16-197 (link to bill attached below), and I'm pleased with the compromises that were made that made this a bill that the small businesses in my District and across the state could support. I'm always leery about bills that come before the State Legislature that will have a negative impact on small businesses. I'm pleased with the end result, and I will continue to support the small businesses that provide so many jobs to the people of this great state.
Click the following link to view a bill that has garnered a lot of attention on this issue:
Created on Monday, 09 May 2016 15:02
May 06, 2016: I was taught the significance of a hard-earned dollar and the importance of giving back to the community by my single mother in Southeastern Colorado. My family has its roots within small business. I spent many years working at my grandma’s restaurant, and now I run my own small business. Values of hard work and philanthropy are traits I’m hoping to pass along to my own daughters.
Today in my role as a State Representative for House District 47 (Fremont, Otero and Pueblo counties), I take these values with me every day. My voice, and votes, impact all of Colorado, including the smaller Colorado communities I represent.
These values serve as my personal reminder that we all benefit from a strong economy. When Colorado’s diverse industries thrive, there is a powerful trickle-down effect to Colorado’s smaller, vibrant communities that are critical to our state. This is why I am a firm believer that Colorado’s oil and natural gas industry is essential to Colorado, and that industry helps communities like the ones I represent see growth and opportunities as other areas around the state do.
For example, Colorado’s oil and natural gas industry has contributed $1.2 billion to state and local governments that allow us to directly invest in our local communities in critical ways. In 2012 alone, communities across Colorado felt these economic benefits first hand:
It is because of these economic benefits that we are able to make our local communities the best that they possibly can be. The economic benefits create value for family-owned restaurants, like my grandma used to own in Rocky Ford, manufacturing, transportation, and schools. When communities prosper, so do nonprofit organizations. In short, energy impacts us all.
To ensure Colorado’s future remains prosperous, we must cut through party politics and work together to find solutions that benefit all Coloradans. Affordable, abundant energy for all Colorado residents is a non-partisan issue. I am proud of my record supporting the development of our natural resources and property rights in Colorado because every Coloradan, regardless of political ideology, benefits from a strong economy.
State Representative Clarice Navarro
Created on Friday, 06 May 2016 08:33
It might be a late night, but it's not too late to fight for the CO State Fair.
Created on Thursday, 28 April 2016 18:25
From the Pueblo Chieftain: A bill to create rules that prohibit edible medical and retail marijuana products shaped like a human, animal or fruit, passed the Colorado House on Wednesday by a 49-15 vote.
The bill, 1436, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Dan Pabon of Denver and Joann Ginal of Fort Collins, is designed to protect kids from accidentally ingesting marijuana edibles that are easily confused with candy passed out of the House
Pueblo Rep. Clarice Navarro, a Republican, was a co-sponsor of the bill.
“This is a common-sense bill to protect our kids,” said Pabon, according to a press release. “My 3-year-old can’t tell the difference between a gummy bear with THC and one without. When voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012, they didn’t intend to allow edibles that are easily confused as candy by children.”
“Marijuana products are designed for adults over 21 years of age and we are asking that these products don’t mimic products marketed to children,” said Ginal, a physician. “It’s a smart, reasonable approach to protecting Colorado children.”
The bill has the support of Gov. John Hickenlooper, who highlighted his concern with edibles in his State of the State speech this January.
The bill now goes to the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.
— Compiled by Peter Strescino