July 02, 2019

Busy at work legislating for our communities, our public lands, education and much more.

Dear Friends,

It has been a busy few weeks in Congress! We have been voting late into the night to finalize funding for many of the government agencies for next year, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act—legislation introduced by myself and Senator Michael Bennet—passed through Committee, it's first major hurtle before passage and I introduced an affordable housing legislative package. Keep reading to learn a little bit about each of these legislative accomplishments and how they will benefit our communities in the 2nd Congressional District. Now, I'm excited to be back in Colorado for the week for some much needed catching up with constituents and family, and to celebrate Independence Day with many of you!

A MAJOR WIN FOR COLORADO PUBLIC LANDS

The Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, major public lands legislation introduced by myself and Senator Michael Bennet in January passed the House Natural Resources Committee. This is a major step forward for legislation that will fuel Colorado's economy, protect our wildlife and invest in outdoor recreation opportunities across the state. This legislation was crafted by Coloradans for Coloradans, which I am incredibly proud of. Local county commissioners, ranchers and farmers, local businesses, outdoor recreationists and conservationists all contributed to this bold legislation that will preserve 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado.

This bill, the first major Colorado public lands legislation to pass Committee in over a decade, is vitally important to ensure that Coloradans can continue to enjoy the outdoors and the important outdoor recreation activities we cherish in our state, such as hiking, biking, backpacking, hunting and boating.

LEGISLATION TO PROTECT AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES

I introduced two pieces of legislation to protect affordable housing opportunities in our communities. Across the 2nd district, securing affordable housing is a critical priority for many of my constituents. As our communities expand and grow, far too many are being priced out of our city limits and are being forced to live farther away from work.

This legislative package will ensure affordable housing is preserved for Americans across the country by cutting red tape and ensuring the commitment of affordable housing is maintained. I'm proud to lead on these bipartisan and bicameral efforts in the U.S. House and excited to continue to work alongside our local partners on this issue.

IMPORTANT FUNDING FOR THE 2ND DISTRICT

I've been hard at work to ensure that our communities in the 2nd district are prioritized in next years federal funding. I signed countless letters along with my colleagues, and introduced several amendments to ensure final passage of these priorities in the House's appropriations bills.

I was able to secure $1 billon in additional funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). As I sit down with teachers, school board members and education advocates, the need for increased IDEA funding is a resounding request. I am also championing legislation to fully fund IDEA to ensure all children can earn a high-quality education and our schools have the resources they need.

I was also able to secure $5 million for the Affordable College Textbooks Pilot program to help students in college afford textbooks, $49 million for the NASA space grant program, which works with Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder and Front Range Community College here in the district. I also secured valuable funding for our federal labs, a 14% increase for NOAA and a 13% increase for NIST research facility construction. Finally, I secured $1 million in funding for the USDA to ensure they can investigate and halt the harmful act of animal fighting. 

Additionally, I advocated for several programs that are key to our public lands, the innovative research we do in our district, infrastructure, transportation and school safety, including advocating for funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the National Science Foundation, the National Park Service, and infrastructure funds for expansion of rural broadband service.

Each day that I am here, I am fighting to ensure that our communities are the best and healthiest they can be. I'm working to preserve our public lands, lower the cost of health care, increase resources for our students, improve our infrastructure and address the existential threat of climate change.

Thanks for following along! I'd love to hear from you on what issues are most pressing and what is the top concern in your community.

Sincerely,

Congressman Joe Neguse