Republican Larry Liston is looking to make the jump from the Colorado House of Representatives to the Colorado Senate. Liston currently represents House District 16, but he is in the running for State Senate District 10.
What is your top issue for the next legislative session, and how do you plan to fix it?
The top issue for me next session is how are Colorado and the legislature going to deal with the current fiscal crisis that we face. Colorado is mandated that we have a "balanced" budget and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our state budget is in a very difficult state.
In the last session which just ended in June, we had to cut some $2.3 billion dollars from our current budget. For FY-21-22, we will have to make even more cuts to our budget, without raising taxes.
So for me, the most pressing problem is our budget. We have to hope for a rebound in our economy to raise more revenue as I WILL NOT support tax increases on individuals or businesses to fund programs that we cannot afford under the current times. We will have to say "NO" to many spending programs.
How can the legislature address the state's housing and cost of living issues?
If the legislature wants to fix the affordable housing situation, a good first step would be to enact meaningful 'Construction-Defect" reforms. Builders in Colorado want to build more affordable units but the Trial Lawyer lobby and the Democrats continue to thwart reform-minded legislation that would encourage the construction industry to build more units without the fear of being sued all the time.
We need to increase the supply of units to meet the current demand. I support the good men and women in the building industries and not the trial lawyers.
Should COVID-19 be handled more at a local level or from a top-level approach in the state?
I strongly support dealing with the COVID crisis at the local level. The decision-makers and elected officials are much better equipped to understand what works for our community here rather than Governor Polis, who is from Boulder.
What he wants to do for Boulder is not what the people of El Paso County, or Limon, or Ft. Collins, or Grand Junction or Pagosa Springs necessarily want or subscribe to. I trust our county commissioners far more than our governor and his Boulder-based advisors.