Life is sweet for Max Tyler, Colorado House District 23 representative, and not just because he beat Rick Enstrom (Enstrom’s Candies being his …
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Life is sweet for Max Tyler, Colorado House District 23 representative, and not just because he beat Rick Enstrom (Enstrom’s Candies being his family’s business) in last November’s general election.
Tyler, a Democrat, was appointed to House District 23 in 2009 — which includes portions of Lakewood, Applewood, Golden and Green Mountain — and won his election in 2010 to hold on to the seat. Now entering his fourth year at the Colorado state capitol building, Tyler said that he sees a lot of hard work ahead, even with Democrats in control of the House, Senate and the governor’s office.
“We’re going to have a lot of bills on a lot of topics. We’re going to have a lot of tough votes on a lot of tough subjects, some of which will make civil unions look easy,” Tyler said during a recent phone interview.
“What I hear from my district pretty consistently is education and jobs,” Tyler said.
He intends for his first bill of the session to address the latter of those concerns, with a bill that supports small business development centers.
For education, Tyler said he was happy to see Jeffco School’s ballot initiatives 3A and 3B pass.
“I’ll continue fighting for the most education funding we can with the budget we have,” Tyler said, adding that he was excited for a bill in the works “to make education funding more equitable across the state.”
In his commission roles, Tyler will be chair of the Transportation and Energy Committee in 2013, a post he said would be especially busy in the coming months.
He said he had already met with the ranking Republican on the committee to discuss items likely to come up, particularly concerning more public transportation options, and expanded roadway projects. Tyler said Gov. John Hickenlooper’s recent announcement of $300 million in additional transportation funding for the state was a major benefit.
“It’ll create a lot of jobs, about 10,000 jobs over the next few years, and helps keep our roads in better condition,” Tyler said, especially since he does not see CDOT having the funding to build much of anything on its own.
On the issues of energy conservation, Tyler said he was looking forward to pursuing new bills designed to lower Colorado’s carbon footprint, “after years of playing defense.”
Tyler talked about two bills specifically, with one being a tax credit for home owners who make significant energy improvements to existing homes, or who buy high-efficiency new homes. The other bill, likely to start in the Senate he said, would be a proposal to let home owners use a portion of their property tax payments to pay off renewable energy infrastructure costs.
And then there is the issue of civil unions, which Tyler said he still whole-heartedly supports.
“It’s going to be quite a session,” he said.
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