Issues

THE ISSUES

Vision For a Better Future

My conservative vision for a brighter future in Colorado focuses on the policies that matter to northeastern Colorado: affordability, good jobs, better education, safer communities, and conservative values.

I hear Coloradans complain that our great state is no longer so great when it comes to raising a family or starting a business. Colorado’s inflation rate in recent years has been the highest in the nation, pressuring families. A flood of new regulations imposed by the far-left Legislature and bureaucrats are killing jobs. Our schools too often stray from the essentials necessary to succeed in the workforce. Lax crime policies are making many communities unsafe.

These failures do not just happen. They are the by-product of bad decision-making and policy by a state legislature and Governor who have too often doubled down on Joe Biden’s failed policies.

American Flags with Vote & American Flag Buttons
We can and must do better

Here's My Vision

Affordability

Reduce the Property Tax Burden:

Lawmakers successfully repealed limits on property tax increases in 2020. Punishing tax hikes on homeowners and skyrocketing rents have been the result. Coloradans may face a 25% increase in property taxes in 2024, according to the Common Sense Institute. This would crush Adams and Weld County families. I will make property tax relief a top priority in the Senate.

Defend the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR):

I support TABOR. Voters should have the right to vote on any proposed tax hikes. I will oppose efforts to characterize tax hikes as “fees” to circumvent TABOR. Likewise, I will oppose Democrat efforts to raid TABOR refunds to increase government spending.

Cut the Cost of Health Insurance:

The Legislature passed a government-run health insurance program known as the Colorado Option in 2021. It’s made things worse. Costs are rising and choices are declining as private insurers flee the state.

Instead, we need to get government and insurers out of the middle of the patient-doctor relationship, enact more consumer-driven care (e.g., health savings accounts), ensure price transparency, promote portability of insurance plans so people can take their plan from one job to the next, cap medical malpractice awards to limit defensive medicine, and fundamentally reform Medicaid, to allow beneficiaries to buy into the private market.

Good Jobs

Rein in Costly, Onerous Regulations:

The Colorado Legislature is making it difficult to start and operate a business. Colorado is losing its competitive edge. “Colorado has over three times as many regulatory mandates as Arizona, adding over 10,000 mandates in just the past five years” (Loren Furman, “Perspective: Colorado Has Fallen Behind in Economic Growth, The Gazette, 1/28/2024).

In the Colorado Chamber’s most recent annual business poll, 46% of Colorado business leaders said they will make future business investments out of state. Punitive regulations are killing good-paying Colorado jobs. I’ll push for a regulatory moratorium and a strict cost-benefit analysis before any new regulations can be imposed and work to repeal onerous regulations currently on the books.

End Corporate Welfare:

The government should not pick winners and losers in the marketplace through corporate subsidies or preferential tax treatment.

We need a level playing field. This is particularly true in the energy industry, where Colorado lawmakers have doubled down on Joe Biden’s anti-energy regulations with punitive state-based regulations.

Better Education

Promote Education Freedom and Choice:
I support education freedom. Parents should be able to choose the best option and opportunity for their kids. School funding should follow the student, not the institution. Underprivileged kids should never be trapped in underperforming schools. That’s why, in addition to charter schools, I support education savings accounts for K-12 education expenses and tax credits for parents and non-parents who wish to contribute to school choice programs.
Get Dollars to the Classroom:

Education spending goes up year after year, but teacher salaries are not keeping up and student achievement has declined. Why? Because the percentage of school budgets going to administration has skyrocketed in the past couple of decades. According to the Common Sense Institute, there are now 7 students for every public school staffer. There were 8.65 students per staffer in 2000. I’ll work to get education dollars to the classroom.

Get Our Education System Back to Being the Best on the Planet:
Schools should focus on preparing kids for the job force: a rigorous reading, writing, and arithmetic curriculum needs to be the priority. Too many schools have gotten distracted from the core mission. Let’s raise standards and expectations for our schools. We need more reading, writing, and arithmetic programs and competitions between schools!
Keep Politics Out of the Classroom:
Political agendas that seek to divide students by race or ethnicity or teach that some students are victims and others are oppressors based on what they look like do not belong in the classroom. Schools that violate that basic principle should be called to testify before the Legislature and held accountable.
Ensure Transparency::
COVID had an upside. It was an eye-opening experience for many parents who got to observe modern-day classroom teaching first-hand for the first time. I strongly support curriculum and financial transparency for Colorado schools. This is a fundamental parental right.
Enhance Career Pathways,

Vocational Options, and College Entrance Rates: More and more students, particularly boys, are steering clear of a four-year college. I want college to be aspirational for kids. A college education still has value. However, college isn’t for everyone. We need to make sure kids and young adults are fully prepared for the workforce, so they can succeed. I will work hard to make Colorado the best in the nation for vocational, trade, and technical education and job training opportunities.

Conservative Values

Defend the Second Amendment:
The Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense is fundamental. I will defend it. I will also work to repeal recent Democrat-passed laws that attempt to limit magazine sizes and that limit gun rights for people without due process.
Freedom of Speech and Thought:

There is a reason that freedom of speech and worship were the Founding Father’s First Amendment to the Constitution: freedom of thought is fundamental. I will vigorously defend freedom of speech. The government should not be in the business of viewpoint discrimination, particularly religious-based views. Likewise, university DEI (so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion) programs favor some students over others based on what they look like or how they think must end.

Protect Life:
I am pro-life. I believe life is a gift from God. I strongly opposed the 2022 law enacted by Democrats that allows abortion, for any reason, up until the moment of birth. Instead, I would like to work toward building consensus on common-sense limits on late-term abortions and ensure taxpayer dollars are not used to finance abortions.

Safer Communities

End Cashless Bail:
The “Defund the Police” movement treats criminals like victims and police like oppressors. How misguided! One of the Defund the Police movement’s priorities has been the imposition of cashless bail. Criminals, including repeat offenders, are often released back onto the streets without serving any time in jail. This must stop. I will work to roll back cashless bail policies in Colorado statute.
Truth-in-Sentencing:
We need to get repeat offenders and violent criminals off the street, but violent criminals get out of prison after serving only 43% of their sentences, on average in Colorado. I believe in truth-in-sentencing policies – that violent criminals should serve almost all of their sentence (say, 85%) before being eligible for parole for good behavior.
Criminalize (Felonize) Fentanyl:

Fentanyl is poison. It makes no sense, but in 2019 the Colorado Legislature decriminalized (defelonized) fentanyl. The consequences have been disastrous and heartbreaking. In 2022 alone, more than 900 Coloradans died of fentanyl overdoses, many kids unaware that they were even ingesting the poison. I will work to criminalize (make a felony) fentanyl. Fentanyl dealers need to be behind bars.

Scott Bright with his 3 dogs
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