After a busy summer and a fast-paced fall, I am back at work in the 71st Colorado General Assembly.
Things are a little different for me. I am missing a couple of my trusted friends and very good legislators. After 10 years of serving the people of Southwest Colorado, Ellen Roberts decided to go home and be with her family and re-establish her law practice. Unfortunately for her, she did not change her cellphone number. I still have her on speed dial and will continue to get her valuable opinion.
I also wish to thank J. Paul Brown for his strong leadership in House District 59. J. Paul did not stop serving until the last day of the 70th General Assembly. I saw him in Capital Development on the very last day.
I received the approval of the vacancy committee to replace Sen. Roberts on Jan. 7 and was sworn in on Jan. 11 as the senator from Senate District 6. It was almost old home week. Of the 35 senators, only two new were new to me. I had served with the other 33 in the House or Senate in prior sessions. Had I stayed in the House, it would have been a whole new learning curve. Sixteen of the 65 members of the House were new faces to me.
My vacated seat in House District 58 was filled by Marc Catlin. Marc has a background in agriculture and water, along with small business and commercial agriculture lending that will serve him well. I look forward to serving with Rep. Barbara McLachlan and Rep. Catlin in providing the service Southwest Colorado has been provided and expects.
In the Senate, I will be serving on the Agriculture Natural Resources and Energy Committee and Judiciary Committee. I also expect to be named to the Interim Water Resource Review Committee when it is formed. This is a little different from my House committees, where I served six years on Ag, two years on State Veterans and Military Affairs and four years on the Transportation Committee. I would love to be on transportation, but judiciary will be a new experience and allow me to grow and serve you even better.
The Senate is a little different atmosphere than the House. Seems a lot quieter, and less energy in the room. Perhaps it is because of not nearly as many members, or maybe the age difference (a little more mature). That sounds so much better than older. Quiet has not stopped being busy, though. I have committee meetings five days per week.
In the past (in the House), I carried a very heavy workload and would carry 25 to 30 bills. With nearly double the House members looking for a Senate sponsor, the workload may be even greater. I guess when you are the new guy in the Senate and your old friends from the House are comfortable with you, you get the call.
And you get it done.
Don Coram represents Senate District 6 in Colorado’s General Assembly. The district includes Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel counties. Contact him by phone at (303) 866-2955 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.