State Rep. Lang Sias is Walker Stapleton’s pick for lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket for 2018.
BY FREDA MIKLIN
President Myron Spanier treated members to a stimulating and informative program at the Aug. 1 meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club (ACRBC) at Maggiano’s DTC.
In an age of dug-in partisanship, Rep. Mike Coffman turned toward his fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle to do what’s right for our country. His office announced July 25 that he and other members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus have introduced a group of proposed reforms to House rules to increase transparency and promote bipartisanship. “There is simply too much power in too few hands with too little getting done in Congress. There are strong bipartisan majorities supporting solutions on issues from health care to immigration. We need to change the rules to have an open process to vote on them,” said Coffman in a press release. One of the reforms this caucus has proposed, which Coffman touched on in his talk to the ACRBC, is requiring a House committee vote on any bill that has 290 (2/3 of the House) or more co-sponsors, even if the committee chair or the leadership of the House majority opposes it.
Coffman told the friendly crowd how he knew for years about design problems and cost overruns at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in Aurora. He talked about his efforts to get the project on track and finished. Coffman described what he did to get the Army Corps of Engineers to take over construction management in 2015, which improved the situation immensely. Still, when it was finally opened July 21, the VA hospital was more than four years past its original due date and its cost was in excess of $1 billion more than was originally budgeted. Coffman was a leader in calling for replacing David Shulkin, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in part because of Shulkin’s failure to hold key managers accountable for the many blunders associated with this project.
He tackled the subject of immigration, which is both sensitive and complicated. Coffman talked about visiting the border and learning about the myriad of issues that have led to problems, including the separation of children from their parents at the border. It was clear that many immigration problems could be addressed legislatively if the Congress and the president could agree on how to fix them.
Coffman said that his opponent, Jason Crow, was hand-picked by national Democrats and moved to his district to win this race to help Democrats control the House.
Crow’s website indicates that, like Coffman, he is a combat veteran and has served five years on the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs. He is also a practicing attorney at Holland and Hart.
Statehouse district 27, Rep. Lang Sias of Arvada is a former U.S. Navy Top Gun pilot and instructor who flies FedEx planes, “to pay the bills.” He also holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Michigan Law School. Appointed to fill a vacancy in January 2015, he was elected as an incumbent in 2016 by a 14-point margin.
Sias has co-sponsored more than 20 proposed statutes in his four legislative sessions, most of which were bipartisan. He spoke about a recent legislative accomplishment that requires increased transparency by free-standing hospital emergency rooms, a benefit to Colorado consumers.
Chosen by Walker Stapleton to run alongside him in the race for governor, Sias touched on the importance of rural Colorado. He also talked about the 230,000 jobs in the state’s energy industry, which he sees as being gutted if Rep. Jared Polis becomes governor. Sias spoke about the need for school districts statewide to spend less on administration and more in the classroom. He also called for increased focus by our school districts on career and technical education, as well as apprenticeships for high school students in the service industries and high-tech.
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