There is no other issue more important to Coloradans than the creation of good jobs. With a state unemployment rate of 4.0% as of December 2014, but an El Paso County unemployment rate of 7.0%, our district is lagging behind the rest of the state. How can we close the training gap and help our local businesses keep hiring and retain valuable workers? I am the House’s most active member on measures to spur the state’s economy and connect Coloradans to good jobs. During the 2014 session, I sponsored legislation to incentivize job training in Colorado’s high-tech sector, and another law to increase the amount of money that a business based in Colorado can raise from a stock offering from $1 million to $5 million.
In the 2013 session, I sponsored three key economic development measures: the Keep Jobs in Colorado Act, which gives preferences in state contracts to bidders using Colorado workers and Colorado products; the Economic Gardening bill, creating a pilot program to provide training and advice to mid-size Colorado businesses that can demonstrate significant growth potential; and the public benefit corporations bill to empower corporations to engage in activities that have a positive impact on society or the environment rather than only profit maximization.
I also worked for two major multistate corporations — a meatpacker in Ohio and the Holly Sugar Corporation, a NYSE-listed company headquartered in Colorado Springs. Ithen spent five years with the law firm of Hill Corrigan Morgan and Krall before setting up my own law practice, where I focused on helping small businesses organize, grow and prosper as well as representing indigent criminal defendants.
I want Colorado businesses to grow sustainably. My legislative goal is to work for an economy that puts people to work in good paying jobs. Our ability to provide public services is directly tied to a vibrant economy with abundant, well paying jobs. That’s why I sponsor pro-business bills — to keep jobs in Colorado and ensure that we are investing in our workforce and our small-businesses. I am committed to economic recovery and job creation.
Small businesses create 70% of all new jobs, so we must have an economic environment that encourages their prosperity. I am skeptical of legislation that imposes additional costs or burdens on business – our low personal, corporate, property and capital gain tax rates and low utility costs are appealing to businesses. I support efforts to preserve and promote our low tax, business friendly environment. I am also a major proponent of “Economic Gardening” measures, which help Colorado companies to grow locally, create new jobs, and hire more Colorado workers instead of simply moving jobs around from state to state as companies come and go.