Hot Sheet

Senate’s ruling Republicans reach out to rural Colorado as #coleg opens

Author: Dan Njegomir - January 11, 2018 - Updated: January 11, 2018

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(nraila.org)

The Colorado Senate’s majority Republicans are pitching upgrades to the information superhighway — as well as to plain-old paved highways — as a boon to rural Colorado.

A press announcement touting the legislation said both proposals — the first two Senate bills introduced on opening day Wednesday — demonstrated a “commitment to assisting parts of rural Colorado that often feel left behind by the boom times enjoyed by the urbanized Front Range.”

The announcement said Senate Bill 1, “is a tax hike-free roadway modernization package that also could have broad economic benefits, if approved by voters next fall.”

Senate Bill 2’s provisions boosting rural broadband — a complicated measure Colorado Politics’s Marianne Goodland covers in greater depth — is intended to help bridge the digital divide.

SB 2 author Don Coram, a Montrose Republican, had this to say about both measures’ impact on farm-and-ranch-and-wide-open-spaces districts like his:

“In tandem, our first two bills of the session are meant to provide a double shot of economic assistance to rural parts of the state that often lag behind economically … It’s our way of helping to bridge the urban-rural divide so that every part of the state prospers.”

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.