Last updated 3:16AM ET
December 15, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
State Rep Ellen Roberts on 2008 Legislative Session
(2008-01-08)
59th District State Representative Ellen Roberts, R-Durango. (Photo: Colorado Legislative Site)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Colorado's 2008 legislative session begins tomorrow.
Southwest Colorado's two representatives are prepared to face what they say will be some tough issues this year.
Today, in the second of two reports, we hear from State Representative Ellen Roberts on what she views as major issues facing lawmakers.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

ROBERTS: I THINK COLORADO TAXPAYERS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO INDICATE WHAT THEIR PRIORITIES ARE.
The first term, Republican 59th District Representative agrees with Democrat Governor Bill Ritter and others that Health Care and Transportation Funding will be major issues facing lawmakers.
And, like others, Ellen Roberts questions how much can be done in this session to address those issues.
ROBERTS: WE CAN'T PAY FOR EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO COME UP WITH SOME SENSE OF IS IT EDUCATION, IS IT HIGHWAYS, IS IT HEALTHCARE.
The biggest obstacle to funding these programs, according Roberts, and others, is the state constitution which they say ties the hands of lawmakers by restricting funding.
Roberts says she remains committed to working toward removing fiscal policy from the state constitution to allow lawmakers to do their job.
One piece of legislation she says she'll carry this session will be a resolution calling for reforms in the constitutional ballot initiative process.
Roberts says she'll also sponsor legislation dealing with Advanced Practice Nurses, which she says could be one piece of health care puzzle.
ROBERTS: WHAT I THINK WE NEED TO GET TO IS WHERE ARE THE INEFFICIENCIES IN THE SYSTEM RIGHT NOW? HOW CAN WE BE MORE COST EFFECTIVE? HOW CAN WE INCREASE ACCESS TO CARE? AND IN THE RURAL AREAS, ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES, WHICH INCLUDES NURSE PRACTITIONERS, MIDWIVES, ETC. THERE'S WAYS WE CAN HAVE THOSE PEOPLE IN LINE, PATIENT SATISFACTION IS OFTEN HIGHER, SO I THINK IF WE HAVE ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES BE A VERY VIABLE PART OF OUR HEALTH DELIVERY SYSTEM, THAT WILL HELP IN QUALITY OF CARE, COST EFFECTIVENESS.
In addition to that measure, Roberts can carry four others bills.
She says she'll sponsor bills to fund help for sexual assault victims, create a youth advisory council to provide input to state lawmakers, a measure to address compensation for attorneys who represent children in social service cases in rural Colorado, and she'll sponsor a piece of probate legislation.
Roberts says education reform is a huge, multi year process.
And she says the state needs criminal justice reform, so we spend less money on prisons.
Roberts, an attorney by trade, is in her second year of her first two year term.
She's clear she intends to run for a second term saying two years isn't enough to accomplish her legislative goals.
ROBERTS: WHEN I STEPPED INTO THIS I HAD A LONGER VISION IN TERMS OF WHAT I PERSONALLY WOULD TRY TO ACCOMPLISH BUT ALSO KNOWING THE STATE OF COLORADO FACES MANY CHALLENGES, WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET THINGS DONE IN TWO YEARS.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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