State Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Denver, agrees with most legislators that the budget will be the 800-pound gorilla in the room that dominates this session …
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State Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Denver, agrees with most legislators
that the budget will be the 800-pound gorilla in the room that
dominates this session of the Colorado General Assembly.
“The latest financial report indicates that we, in the
Legislature, faces the challenging task of overcoming a severe
shortfall of about $2 billion in order to balance the budget,” the
District 3 state representative said. “It is a severe problem and
probably the first question asked about every issue presented for
consideration will deal with cost and how to pay for it.”
While this is an election year, he said he feels members of both
parties will be working together to deal with the financial
Medical marijuana is another major issue facing the Legislature,
“I know there are a lot of people who are dissatisfied with what
has happened concerning medical marijuana,” he said. “People told
me this wasn’t what they envisioned when they voted for the
constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana that
passed in 2000.”
He said the way the medical marijuana issue has developed is a
“I believe people voted to make it easier for people who truly
needed marijuana for pain management to have access to it,” he
said. “But now all the dispensaries have opened. I know there are
several in my district and many people aren’t pleased about
He said he thinks everyone agrees the people who need marijuana
for medical use should have easy access to it. But he said, if
dispensaries are the way to go, they need to be regulated so they
aren’t dominated by unlawful elements. He said the dispensaries
should also be more low key so there isn’t the blatant advertising
on the store fronts.
As he prepares for the upcoming season, Kagan said one bill he
plans to co-sponsor is aimed at creating transparency in the true
costs of medical care.
He said now it is difficult to determine the exact costs of
tests or what tests your doctor ordered.
“There is a lot of discussion at the state and national level
about controlling the continuing rise in health care costs,” he
said. “I feel there is no way to get that control until there is
complete knowledge of all aspects of the costs. Knowledge is
essential when seeking to control costs.”
This is the first full legislative session for Kagan, who was
appointed by the Democratic Party to fill the vacancy created when
former State Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver, resigned. When he was
sworn in, he announced he planned to run for a full term in the
House of Representatives in 2010, so he will be seeking the party
nomination in District 3 later this year.
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