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2024 Colorado Legislative Preview text over background photo of Colorado's state capitol.

2024 Legislative Preview Highlights Education and Housing as Expected Priorities

Funding for K-12 education, housing and UNC’s proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine topped the conversation during the fifth annual Legislative Preview panel. 

Funding for K-12 education, housing and UNC’s proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine topped the conversation for more than 100 university alumni, faculty, staff and community leaders gathered for the 2024 Legislative Preview panel. 

The 5th annual event highlighted UNC’s active legislative efforts ahead of the upcoming session of the Colorado General Assembly. As in past years, the event featured remarks by members of northern Colorado’s delegation including Sen. Kevin Priola (Senate District 13) and Rep. Mary Young, (House District 50), alongside industry and education lobbyists Anne Bakis, Sandra Hagen Solin and Kayla Tibbals.  

The event was organized by UNC in partnership with Aims Community College, the Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce and Greeley-Evans School District 6 to provide insight into the region’s legislative priorities for the upcoming session and included updates on special session activities.  

Young, a doctoral alumna who graduated from UNC in 2000, was among the first to raise the importance of funding UNC’s proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine. She will co-sponsor a bill in the House this session to enhance the college’s funding mechanism and emphasized the intended outcomes and broad community support for the bill’s passage. 

“We had other universities come together to help us on this bill that will further health care training opportunities across the state,” said Young. “This bill is really about satisfying the critical need for physicians in our state.”  

RELATED: $25 Million Gift, Largest in UNC History, Accelerates Plans for College of Osteopathic Medicine

Attending guest and former state Sen. Tom Norton pressed the panel further on support for the college, allowing Young and UNC lobbyist Kayla Tibbals to highlight that Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer will serve as the bill’s Senate co-sponsor. Kirkmeyer represents Larimer and Weld counties in Senate District 23 and serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Additionally, Tibbals encouraged attendees to publicly support the project.  

“This is a complex proposal but it’s necessary action the state must take,” said Tibbals. “Northern Colorado does not get the attention that it deserves, and this legislation will take a lot of voices. But we need more doctors, and we need doctors that reflect the population of the state.” 

In addition to the bill, Tibbals noted that UNC President Andy Feinstein will head to the state capitol Tuesday, Jan. 9 to meet with the Joint Budget Committee, as UNC seeks to represent the broader interests of higher education.  

Beyond the College of Osteopathic Medicine, focus was paid to K-12 education school finance, transportation and child welfare as regional legislative priorities. Audience questions and comments pulled the conversation toward housing and regional public transportation as areas of particular importance, providing Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Sandra Hagen Solin the opportunity to discuss the intersection of interests and barriers to progress. Comments closed on the challenge of affordable for-sale housing, which all panelists agreed was an important issue for the session.  

 The legislative preview is one of three community advocacy events co-hosted by UNC, alongside Greeley Day at the Capitol and the Legislative Wrap up. Feinstein created the event series to improve community relations and collaborative advocacy at the state capitol.  

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