Serving Our Community...
As we close out October and begin November, I appreciate you taking the time to read this brief update. It is an honor representing you.
Keeping our community and children safe has always been one of my top priorities. Back in March, I wrote to you about the passage of H.R. 4909, the ‘STOP School Violence Act of 2018.’ This bill provided an additional $75 million a year, over the next decade, geared towards school security. More recently, I also wrote to you about my bipartisan introduction of H.R. 6713, the ‘Safe-2-Tell Act of 2018,’ which looks to take Colorado’s ‘Safe-2-Tell Program’ nationally.
Just this past Wednesday, 9News reported on this initiative. Not only am I glad to see this legislation garnering local media attention, but I am even more excited at the possibility of expanding Colorado’s model across the country to keep students, teachers, and staff safe. As I return to Washington later this month, I will continue working in a bipartisan manner to pass this legislation and get it to the President’s desk for his signature.
This week, I also sent a letter to the Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding their proposal to roll back the current emission standards for mercury. Mercury is a trace element contained in the coal burned by power plants and the EPA put in place standards in 2012 to dramatically limit those mercury emissions. The EPA set this standard because exposure to too much mercury can have severe health consequences. Between 2012 and 2016, the utilities that burn coal spent billions of dollars complying with this standard and now all the coal fired power plants in the U.S. have met the new standard. At present, the electric power companies and the environmental community agree that the standards should not be relaxed and I agree too. There are many poorly thought out or excessive regulations the Administration can and should consider eliminating, but this is not one of them. I hope the EPA will reconsider its position on this matter.
Closer to home, as I mentioned in last week’s message, this past week we interviewed the young men and woman who live in this congressional district who hope to attend one of our service academies and then become the next generation of leaders for our military. This is always one of the highlights of the year for me as it is an opportunity to see and hear from some talented young people. This year we interviewed 65 applicants (40% of them women) with the majority seeking to attend the Air Force Academy. The competition is quite intense, since I can only nominate 10 individuals to each of the three main academies (Air Force, Navy, and Army). I want to thank the 34 individuals (mainly veterans and academy graduates) who devoted their afternoon to serving on the interview panels. My staff is now totaling up the scores from these applicants and, at the end of November, I will review their applications and the input from the interview panels. Then I must make the tough decisions on which ones I will nominate.
Finally, I invite you to stay in contact with me via my website, facebook or twitter account. See you around the district!