State Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, expects a busy session for the state legislature as members deal with issues such as continuing to increase education funding to making sure all state residents benefit from the recession …
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State Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, expects a busy session for the state legislature as members deal with issues such as continuing to increase education funding to making sure all state residents benefit from the recession recovery.
“We are a divided Legislature, with a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives,” he said by phone while on vacation. “But I believe we can get a lot accomplished because the two parties working together won't be something new, as 90 percent of the bills passed by the 2014 Legislature passed with bipartisan support.”
Kagan is entering his fourth and final term in the legislature as the representative of House District 3, which includes Englewood, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village and northern Littleton. He has been reappointed chairman of the Judiciary Committee and will continue to serve on the finance and legislative committees.
He said, as he has always done, he wants to make sure the issues he supports are matters of concern to hard-working Colorado residents and not necessarily those issues supported by special interest groups with the loudest voices and most presence at the state Capitol.
“I want to focus on what I heard from the people I talk to when I was going door to door during my re-election campaign,” he said. “Repeatedly, I had people tell me they heard the economic recovery was underway but they have seen no evidence of it in their lives. So I want to support efforts to share the benefits of the economic recovery to all the people of the state and not just to the wealthy and the big corporations.
He said he is considering authoring or supporting a bill establishing an earned income tax credit.
“The earned income tax credit rewards working people,” he said. “If passed, it would provide refunds of taxes paid so working people get to keep more of the money they earn.”
The state representative said funding for public education will again be an issue for the Legislature.
“The increased revenues enabled the Legislature to provide a substantial increase in funding for education in 2014,” he said. “I believe we want to help Colorado have the best schools in the nation, so I hope we can again increase funding for schools this year.”
Kagan said the Legislature will review a recently created plan to ensure equitable water distribution to all state users. He said the plan is being devised so water will be available for development but not at the cost of sufficient water supplies for agricultural needs.
“We also will be looking at concerns about the safety and proper labeling for marijuana edibles,” he said.
Another issue Kagan expects to face the Legislature is the debate about standardized testing in public schools.
“It appears there are a long and varied list of issues vying for consideration and action during the 2015 legislative session,” he said. “However, I believe we can address and take action on key issues by bipartisan cooperation by both houses of the Legislature.”
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