House District

Colorado State Representative

  • Small Business
    Small Business
    Small businesses are our true job creators .... MORE →
  • Water
    Water is the “lifeblood” of Southern Colorado. MORE →
  • Energy
    It is time to create equal opportunities for all sources of energy ... MORE →
  • Agriculture
    Agriculture is the backbone to our culture, history and economy in Southern Colorado. MORE →
  • 2nd Amendment
    2nd Amendment
    The Second Amendment states that in order to maintain a free state, the people must retain the right to keep and bear arms. MORE →
  • Education
    Parents and local school boards know what is best for their children .... MORE →

Representative Navarro Hosts First Annual "Southern Colorado Day at the Capitol"

On April 27th Representative Navarro and other elected officials from surrounding districts will host the first annual “Southern Colorado Day” at the Colorado State Capitol. The objective of the event is to address and highlight important issues that impact the people of Southern Colorado (SOCO), and to celebrate the great attributes and rich culture that SOCO has to offer.

Special events of “Southern Colorado Day” begin with tributes in the House of Representatives and Senate, acknowledging all the counties, universities, and state parks located in the Southern Colorado region. The tributes say, “Colorado’s Western Spirit and history lives on in Southern Colorado”. The day will move on with more events that honor the grandeur, beauty and history of Southern Colorado. Presentations will be offered from 12pm to 4pm in the Old Supreme Court Chambers addressing important topics impacting SOCO. The presentations will focus on water issues, the budget process and funding, and education.

Representative Navarro said, “It is important to recognize and honor all of the great things Southern Colorado has to offer, and I want to give people the opportunity to hear about important issues concerning the Region. I am more than excited to see a whole day dedicated to the issues, beauty, history and rich culture of Southern Colorado.  It’s home to me, and I love my home and the people I am honored to represent.”

A Mixed Bag for the First 100 Days – Finish Strong

We have finally reached the 100th day of the 1st Session of the 70th Colorado General Assembly.  This has been a very prosperous legislative session, and you will see more about those events below.  I was able to successfully accomplish some good work for the people of Colorado, and that makes me very proud.  I am both grateful and honored to serve the people of House District 47, which includes Fremont, Otero, and Pueblo counties. 

There are many times during a session that I think it is too long, but not because the work isn’t rewarding.  Purely because it is my worry that every day the Colorado State Legislature is in session, the people of Colorado become more burdened with unnecessary laws and regulations that impede on their freedoms and make it more difficult to do business.  Although, we have seen a great deal of burdensome legislation this session, we have also made boundless amounts of progress; we have passed bills that will provide nothing but benefits for Coloradoans.

It is such a relief to have a State Senate controlled by a majority of Republicans.  It is only one seat, but that seat has made a difference.  Due to that Senate control, we have seen much more moderation from a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.  A balance of power is critical in protecting the people of Colorado.  The Senate has done an incredible job ensuring there are no “blank checks”; majorities matter and votes have consequences.  The budget is a wonderful example of pumping the breaks on unchecked, reckless spending.  Having served through the process of three budgets, this is the best I have seen so far.  Now that does not mean I am completely satisfied with it, but it certainly is a step in the right direction.  I was a 'no' vote due to what I perceive as unnecessary increases in spending; however, the Colorado State Senate did their job at “pumping the breaks”.

The following are a list of the bills, resolutions, and amendments that I sponsored and cosponsored in these first 100 days. They directly resolve problems and concerns from constituents within district 47, as well as all Coloradans statewide.  While there is a brief description of each bill listed, more information can always be found on the Colorado General Assembly website.

·       Veterans

HB 15-1136 - Gives veterans the option to get two handicap license plates and placards, instead of current legislation that limits them to only one license plate and placard. This balances the benefits given to veterans and non-veterans, because our veterans always deserve the best.

HJR 15-1008 - The U.S.S. Pueblo, named after the city of Pueblo, Colorado, was attacked and captured by the North Korean military on January 23, 1968.  Although, it is still commissioned by the U.S. Navy, currently it is being held captive in a museum in North Korea.  HJR15-1008 calls for the return of the U.S.S. Pueblo and designates January 23 as “U.S.S. Pueblo Day” in honor of its brave crew.

SJR 15-008 - Senate Joint Resolution 15-008 will establish a national medical treatment facility to diagnose, treat, and research conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic chemicals. They will be eligible for long-term medical treatment. Lastly, the bill requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Secretary of Defense to jointly conduct a national outreach and education campaign directed at service members, veterans and their families.  Our veterans have sacrificed too much not to be well taken care of!

·       At-Risk Youth

SB 15-182 - Provide the Executive Director of the Department of Corrections (DOC) the ability to transfer certain inmates, age 24 years old and younger from the Department of Corrections to the Youthful Offender System (YOS), in order for them to participate in age appropriate rehabilitation. If we can prevent recidivism, we should!

·       Domestic Violence

HB 15-1174 - Concerns the protection of personal information on the internet of individuals involved in the address protection programs, as well as protecting individuals affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  This bill helps to protect our law enforcement officers along with individuals affected by the aforementioned crimes. Crime prevention is just as effective as being tough on crime.

·       Roadways

SB 15-234 Amendment J.124 - The Amendment adds a footnote to part of the budget, directed at the Department of Transportation.  Stating it is the General Assembly’s intent that the Colorado Department of Transportation will work with local communities to study the economic development benefits of improving Highway 50 between the Kansas State line and Salida, CO.  This Amendment positively impacts the following counties:  Prowers, Bent, Otero, Pueblo, Fremont, and Chaffee counties. Amendment J.124 passed with a 46/19 vote and will be added to SB15-234.

·       Education

HB 15-1104 - This bill will provide eligible educators a state tax deduction of $250.00 per fiscal year on school supply expenses, in the instance that the tax deduction is not renewed at the federal level.  This bill will help protect our teachers by assuring them a deduction for their out-of-pocket expenses.  It is a win for both our educators and our students.

As we wrap things up here at the State Capitol, I cannot tell you how anxious I am to get back to my district.  There is no place like home, and I am always happy to be surrounded by the hardworking and honest people of District 47, where a rural way of life is preferred.  I look forward to what the General Assembly can accomplish next session; I intend to keep fighting the good fight for the great people of Colorado, and the constituents I represent.

Please take a look at some of the highlights I’ve experienced this session.  More information may be found here on my site.   As always, I like to remain accessible to the people of Colorado.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.  It is a pleasure to serve you.

It’s Not Our Money to Spend – You Earned It – You Spend It

The 2015 Colorado State Legislative Session brings a number of big issues to the forefront for the Legislature and the people of Colorado: energy development, the marijuana industry, gun restrictions; the list can go on and on with topics that will change the lives of many Coloradans. One topic that has just as much prominence, and has made a big wave among concerned legislators is the tax refund issue and TABOR.  If you read nothing further, please take this advice…HOLD ON TO YOUR WALLETS COLORADO TAX PAYERS.

The exact repayment figures and who would qualify remains unclear, but analysts estimate $137 million in TABOR refunds for the 2015 fiscal year. 

Many Democrats in the State Legislature aren’t realizing that there are some positives to TABOR.  I’m already hearing some on the other side of the aisle offering the tired rhetoric that TABOR makes it harder to restore budget cuts, but in reality, TABOR is a system that provides some benefits.  TABOR prevents government overspending, and frankly, I am appalled that there is even the consideration of not returning this money to the people of Colorado.  This is money that they are legally entitled to.

An economic viewpoint is, yes, the TABOR refunds will be taking surplus money from the government and giving it back to the people of Colorado. That does not mean that this money will not be put to use to benefit the state as it would if it was left in the hands of politicians. Most people will use this money to pay their bills, some will save it, and some will impulsively spend it. The increase of investing, saving, and consuming will expand the private sector and benefit Colorado’s economic growth. TABOR keeps the growth of the government in line with the growth of the private sector thus creating more economic stability, which in turn benefits everyone.

The people of Colorado enacted TABOR in 1992; therefore by law, it is money that belongs to the people of Colorado. There is always something that the government can spend excess money on, no matter the amount of money the state has control of.  Politicians will always find something to allocate it towards. The plain and simple fact of it is, the excess money is not the state’s money in the first place, and that money belongs to the tax payers of Colorado. It is our duty as fiscally responsible representatives of the people of the state of Colorado to honor the TABOR refund and honor the people of Colorado. The people who earned it know best how to spend it.

Schools Need Accreditation Like Classrooms Need Books

Pueblo School District 60 needs our help.  The school district cannot afford to lose its accreditation.

Why do people across America flock to Starbucks?  No matter where you go, if you order your favorite iced vanilla latte you expect to enjoy the same crisp, refreshing, sweet taste of espresso and milk.  Accreditation offers the same for our students.  By maintaining its accreditation, schools are recognized across the country as having standards of excellence in both its content and instruction.

Pueblo District 60 is at risk of losing this valuable accreditation.  House Bill 15-1326 is being offered as a solution to this problem.  The bill allows Colorado post-secondary institutions to disregard accreditation in their decisions on student admissions and financial aid awards.  Is this a solution or just a temporary Band-Aid?

Everyone wants the best for their students.  I firmly believe Colorado has the ability to provide the best education.  I also believe it is important that other states recognize the quality of our students. 

Losing accreditation is rare.  A student from an unaccredited school would not be viewed in the same way if they applied out of state.  They would need to go the extra mile to show they received a quality education.  Why put this burden on our students?  Simply the fact that they graduated from one of our schools should speak to their abilities.

Our schools need more than a Band-Aid.  The Department of Education’s latest report shows that District 60 scores the lowest in its Achievement Gap.  This means that students who need the most support are not receiving enough basic instruction in order to excel. 

The district can offer various programs such as STEM schools that focus on science and technology.  These are excellent ideas.  However, if a student does not have the basic building blocks to stand on, true change will never occur.

We need to focus on the basics:  quality teachers, individualized instruction, and support for educators.  Colorado has always set the bar high.  We should not doctor a wound without treating the underlying illness.

Our students deserve the best.  No matter where you travel, whether it is an iced latte or an A in Algebra, we crave consistency.   Now is the time to come together in order to support one of the most valuable pieces of our community, our students. 

Representative Navarro’s Amendment Passes the House in Late Night Floor Work – Helping Rural Communities

Denver – Representative Clarice Navarro added a House Floor Amendment to the Colorado State Budget SB15-234 proposal late in the evening during floor work. The Amendment adds a footnote to the Department of Transportation stating it is the General Assembly’s intent that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will work with local communities to study the economic development benefits of improving Highway 50 between the Kansas State line and Salida, CO.  This Amendment positively impacts the following counties:  Prowers, Bent, Otero, Pueblo, Fremont, and Chaffee counties. Amendment J.124 passed with a 46/19 vote and will be added to SB15-234.

Representative Navarro stated, “The lack of action to improve this critical transportation corridor has been a serious hurdle that has impeded economic prosperity for rural communities in Colorado.  I’m pleased this Amendment passed because it keeps the conversation on the table about the importance of infrastructure in this area.  Infrastructure that will improve the economic conditions and stability in an area that has seen some very hard times.”

This Amendment is one aspect of the overall budget that has been proposed by the Joint Budget Committee of the 70th General Assembly.  Representative Navarro has not voted in favor of a budget since she has been in office.  Representative Navarro stated, “Upon initial review of this year’s budget, I can see how much it matters to have a Republican controlled State Senate.  While I’m not pleased with every aspect of the budget, I can see how Republicans have made strides to ensure it is not as abusive to the Colorado taxpayer as it has been in the past.  I still have some serious concerns about the growth in spending.  However, I could not let this budget go through without adding this Amendment. Regardless of my vote in the end, this Amendment is critical.  Denver must remember that rural Colorado matters.”

April 2015 Newsletter

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