Jeff Bridges, a consultant who lives in Greenwood Village, is the representative for state House District 3. That area encompasses Englewood, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, a …
Jeff Bridges, a consultant who lives in Greenwood Village, is the representative for state House District 3. That area encompasses Englewood, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, a small part of Littleton and some unincorporated Arapahoe County areas. A Democrat, Bridges served in the 2017 legislative session, and this will be his second. In his younger days, he ran for student-body president at Arapahoe High School.
What is the most important issue for the Legislature to tackle this session, and what needs to be done?
What we need most in our state is more opportunities for hard-working Coloradans to earn a good life. We have one of the strongest economies in the nation, yet too many families feel like no matter how hard they work, they just can’t get ahead. To maintain the Colorado quality of life that’s bringing so many new people to our state, we need to bring down the cost of housing and health care while investing more in education, transportation and renewable energy.
We also need to prepare our Colorado workforce for the jobs of tomorrow … more American jobs (are at risk of being lost) to automation than to offshoring. From cars that drive themselves to software that identifies cancer better than most doctors, we’re facing a massive shift in how most of us work. We can get ahead of that if we rethink our approach to education, job training and benefits like health care and retirement.
What are two pieces of legislation that you plan to sponsor, and why?
We all need to save more for retirement, and putting that money aside should be easy and straightforward. Unfortunately, we can’t all work for a company that offers a 401(k) retirement plan. I’m working on a solution we’ve seen succeed in other states that would also help with unforeseen challenges like a coolant leak or a water-heater failure. This is especially important since nearly half of all Americans say they can’t afford an unexpected $400 expense.
I’m also working on a response to the Social Security number hack at Equifax. Coloradans deserve protection from cyber-criminals, especially as more and more of our data get stored online. I’m working with partners across the aisle on ways to hold companies accountable for security breaches that reveal personal information.
For this session to be deemed a success, what must happen?
Having grown up here in Colorado, I believe in that frontier spirit of working together to solve our common challenges. Gov. John Hickenlooper called the last session the most productive in his tenure. Unfortunately, election years like the one we’re heading into tend to bring out the worst kind of partisanship. As the dysfunction in Washington increases, it’s even more important here at home that we work together to build an even better Colorado.