Q&A with Jeff Bridges, candidate for Senate District 26

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Party: Democratic

Residence: Greenwood Village

Campaign website: www.bridgesforcolorado.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I am running for re-election because I want to continue the work of making meaningful improvements in the lives of all Coloradans. The relationships we build through campaigns— and the work we've done to establish and grow those relationships over the last four years—allows me to best represent my district in the legislature.

If you're elected, what issue will be at the top of your agenda?

Right now, I'm focused on limiting the spread of COVID and fueling Colorado's economic comeback. When the legislature returned to work this last spring, I passed the Restaurant Recovery Act to help our small businesses survive this period of unprecedented challenge. I also sponsored and passed the country's strongest paid sick leave bill, because Coloradans shouldn't have to choose between staying home when they're sick and keeping their jobs. We'll all be safer if people who aren't feeling well stay home!

What steps would you take to overcome partisan divide?

Here in Colorado we're lucky to have a state government that's focused on what matters most to hardworking Coloradans. Unlike Washington, we actually work together to get things done! In fact, 90% of the bills we passed in 2019 had bipartisan support—and that's true for every bill I've personally sponsored and passed, which includes full-day kindergarten, paid sick leave, and a small business grant program for COVID relief.

How should the General Assembly address budget shortfalls?

Budgets are moral documents that show, in dollars and cents, exactly what we value most. I fought to put our kids and teachers first during this last budget fight, which was one of the most difficult in the last decade. I'll continue to make sure we prioritize funding for public education, especially as our economy comes back strong and we have more room in our state budget.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

Within the next 10 years, 75% of all jobs in Colorado will require some sort of post-high school certification. Let's make sure every Colorado kid graduates from high school with an internship, industry-recognized certificate, or associate degree so they're career or college ready. Most Coloradans will change careers several times in their lives. We need to think about education as an ongoing process, not just something we do for our first 18 or 22 years. And we need a portable benefits program so that as folks change jobs they still have basic worker protections like unemployment and workers' compensation.

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