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Reps talk about new legislative session Print

By Sara Reed This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Fort Collins Coloradoan
January 13, 2008

Uranium mine, health care, transportation hot topics

A proposed uranium mine east of Wellington joined health care, education and transportation as some of the biggest concerns voiced by residents to local lawmakers Saturday morning.

Democratic state Reps. Randy Fischer and John Kefalas and Democratic state Sen. Bob Bacon spent about two hours fielding questions from their constituents on their plans for the upcoming legislative session.

"We don't want to ban in-situ leaching mining," Fischer said in response to concerns about the proposed project. "But we want to make sure it's properly regulated."

Environmental, economic and health concerns related to the mine were voiced during the meeting. Fischer and Kefalas said they are introducing bills to address concerns related to the mine, including regulation and groundwater contamination.

John Brubaker, who retired to Fort Collins in July, said there's more to be discussed regarding the mining, but felt the three legislators had a good start on the subject.

"They're headed in the right direction, but they're not far enough down the road," he said.

Alan Fluharty, a registered Republican, said he wanted to get a sense of what the plan was for the upcoming session and to toss his thoughts to the legislators. During the meeting, Fluharty raised concerns about tax increases.

"I've got the feeling they're willing to listen to the other side," he said. "I think they want to work (with Republicans) to make better legislation."

Sandra Lieb, who teaches college-level literature, asked the three men what they are going to do during the upcoming session to help community colleges.

"We're the invisible people," she said.

Specific numbers weren't mentioned, but Bacon said there could be an across-the-board increase for all colleges and universities.

"I think what we're dealing with in higher education is a lot of infighting," he said.

Kefalas told the more than 60 residents who attended the meeting he was pleased with the turnout.

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