Q&A with Jeff Bridges, state senator

Democrat, Senate District 26

Posted 2/9/21

What bill or bills are you most looking forward to working on in the 2021 session? Within the next 10 years, 75% of all jobs in Colorado will require some sort of post-high school certification. …

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Q&A with Jeff Bridges, state senator

Democrat, Senate District 26

Posted

What bill or bills are you most looking forward to working on in the 2021 session?

Within the next 10 years, 75% of all jobs in Colorado will require some sort of post-high school certification. During my time in the Legislature, I want to make sure every Colorado kid graduates from high school with an internship, industry-recognized certificate, or associate degree so they’re career and college ready. I’m working on a bill this year to align college-level classes taken in high school with certificates identified by our Colorado businesses as high paying and in demand.

After a proposal for a “public option”-style health care program in Colorado was derailed by the pandemic last year, do you anticipate that the proposal will be debated during this session? What’s your opinion on it?

Every Coloradan deserves access to affordable health care, and no Coloradan should ever have to choose between buying groceries and seeing their doctor. Last year, I sponsored and passed a bill that automatically enrolls eligible Coloradans in Medicaid, because we know that the more people who have health care, the more costs will go down for all of us. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues this session to further our goal of ensuring Coloradans have access to quality health care at a price they can afford.

What is the issue on which you feel you have the biggest disagreement with
legislators on the other side of the aisle?

Every bill I’ve ever passed has had bipartisan support, and more than 90% of the bills we’ve passed over the last two years have also had bipartisan support. Here in Colorado — unlike Washington — most legislators put politics aside to do what’s best for the people we represent.

On what issue or issues do you expect the two parties to be able to work across the aisle to accomplish something significant?

We’re lucky to have a state government that’s focused on what matters most to hard-working Coloradans. Right now that’s stopping the spread of COVID and getting Coloradans back to work. That’s an agenda where I believe we can find broad, bipartisan support!

In terms of economic recovery amid the pandemic, what’s the most important step the Legislature can take during this session?

Colorado’s economic recovery will depend on our small and medium-sized businesses who provide the vast majority of good-paying jobs in our state. I sponsored legislation last year to give more than $300 million in grants and loans to business owners, and I’ll continue to work to make sure that those who make it through have the support they need to come back even stronger than before. We need to get our kids back into school, and give our teachers and school districts the support they need to make up for more than a year of severe learning loss.

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