MILLS VS. ROBERTS: HOUSE DISTRICT 26
Republican Nicki Mills said she lives with the same struggles we all do — earning a living in an area with such a high cost of living. She said her priorities in the statehouse will be, "What I've learned campaigning door to door."
Democrat Dylan Roberts grew up in Steamboat Springs and works in Eagle as a deputy district attorney. "It is an honor to serve the communities where I grew up and live in now," he said.
Campaign donors: Mills took a couple of shots at Roberts' campaign donors, saying 65 percent of Roberts' campaign funding is from outside the district, including large Denver law firms.
Health care costs: Health care providers defending themselves against the cases those law firms bring are among the causes for our area's skyrocketing health insurance costs, Mills said. Both agreed that more competition would help control health insurance costs. Mills suggested allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. She also advocated for multi-employer health plans such as the one sponsored by the Vail Valley Partnership. Roberts pushed six bills through the legislature as a rookie in last year's session. Several took aim at the area's health care costs, including HB 1384, which would bring more competition to the health insurance market by providing a public option, as well as co-op health insurance plans. He also championed HB 1009, designed to rein in "egregious prescription drug prices."
Marijuana and drugs: Mills, the single mom of two teenaged sons, launched a website and Facebook page called "Know Marijuana," to provide information about marijuana's effects. "Parents have a role. It's not just more regulation and law. It's our job to educate our kids," Mills said, also suggesting that enforcement teams receive more support. Roberts works in the DA's office prosecuting drug and marijuana cases. He said that while marijuana is a concern, the opioid crisis has hit the area, and suggested dealing with those who over-prescribe opioids, because "that's where it starts."
TABOR and Gallagher: Mills said she was happy to have TABOR, but Gallagher needs some work. "Taxpayers have rights, and I will defend TABOR. Gallagher, though, has become a thorn in our side," she said. Roberts said the budgetary collision between TABOR and Gallagher is "handcuffing our state budget." Three bills being sent to the state legislature would tweak the Gallagher Amendment. Roberts said he plans to support them all.