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Lawmakers: Reconsider CSU-P cuts

The Pueblo Chieftain – Jan. 15, 2014
State Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Ed Vigil, D-Pueblo, are urging Colorado State University Chancellor Michael Martin to reconsider his decision to impose a $3.3 million budget cut on CSU-Pueblo.

“Now is not the time to be weakening CSU-Pueblo, but strengthening it,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter. “Now is not the time to be cutting jobs, but creating them.”

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Panel addresses health care questions

The Valley Courier – Oct. 23, 2013
ALAMOSA — “Healthcare is one of those things where people just make things up,” Senator Larry web Health Care and Morning 001Crowder (R) said during a public forum discussing the changes coming to Colorado as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Senator Irene Aguilar (D)… who serves as the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee in the Colorado State Senate, was joined by Senator Larry Crowder, Representative Ed Vigil, and State Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar, in a panel formed to have open discussions and address concerns and questions raised by the public.

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Ground broken for cemetery expansion

The Pueblo Chieftain – Oct. 4, 2013
HOMELAKE, Colo. – One of the hardest things for state Sen. Larry Crowder to do when he was veterans’ service officer stationed at the Colorado State Veterans Center at Homelake was to tell a veteran that when he died, he could not be buried at the cemetery here because the cemetery was full.

Since taking office earlier this year, Crowder, a Republican, and state Rep. Ed Vigil, a Democrat, mustered bipartisan support to expand the historic cemetery at the oldest veterans’ center in the state.

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Legislators address property valuations

CRESTONE-During a recent meeting held at the community center in Crestone, residents questioned Colorado Division of Taxation officials and state representatives about recent property valuation hikes and declines.

Representatives Larry Crowder (R) and Ed Vigil (D), also Division of Taxation officials JoAnn Groff and Cherisse Kjosness were on hand to answer questions and explain the tax revaluation process.

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Ag committee members bridge urban vs. rural divide


Agriculture is Colorado’s number two economic engine, with receipts of more $8 billion in farm and ranch products in 2012. The legislative committee that has the most impact on that industry, the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, saw some of its greatest turnover ever with the 2013 session, with eight new legislators from both sides of the aisle. None work in the agriculture or livestock industries. That led to concerns about a steep learning curve on agriculture issues for those first-year representatives. Those concerns also played a part in the so-called “urban versus rural” divide that some legislators claim took place at the state capitol.

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Inmate count, costs rise

ALAMOSA — Colorado’s overall crime rate is lower now than it has been at any point since the mid-1960s, yet local prosecutors and law enforcement agents say that crime in the San Luis Valley is actually increasing.

So even as state prisons and private correctional facilities close their doors, Alamosa County Sheriff Dave Stong is trying to make room for more and more inmates at his facility. But that’s proving to be a costly undertaking.

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Vigil’s Veterans Cemetery Extension Bill Takes First Step

H-Vigil(April 24) – A bill that will extend the Homelake Military Veterans Cemetery passed the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee unanimously today.

SB13-040, sponsored in the House by Rep. Ed Vigil (D-Alamosa), modifies the definition of the Homelake Military Veterans Cemetery to include three distinct expansion areas: the northwest triangular area, the northeast triangular area, and the north triangular area.

“Our veterans should be granted their last wish to be buried in the Homelake Military Veterans Cemetery,” Rep. Vigil said. “This bill will increase the capacity for the cemetery, allowing more of our heroes to rest in the place they desire.”

The Department of Human Services must develop a phased plan for cemetery expansion by Jan. 1, 2014. The phased plan must be capable of incremental implementation as funding becomes available, and must provide sufficient capacity to conduct 15 interments at HMVC each year. The DHS must complete expansion of the cemetery into the northwest and northeast triangular areas by July 1, 2014, such that burial plots are available in each area.

Two Wildlife Bills Pass House

H-Vigil(April 22) – Two measures dealing with encouraging Colorado’s wildlife passed the House today.

SB13-188, sponsored in the House by Reps. Ed Vigil (D-Alamosa) and Bob Rankin (R-Glenwood Springs), passed by a vote of 63 to one and increases the number of big game hunting licenses to agricultural landowners. This is all to increase the tolerance of landowners for higher wildlife populations and encourage them to see the benefits of wildlife.

“Colorado’s wildlife depends on private land for habitat,” Rep. Vigil said. “Because of this program, landowners tolerate more wildlife and we have more big game animals in Colorado, which means more opportunities for hunters across the state.”

SB13-175, sponsored in the House by Reps. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) and Mike McLachlan (D-Durango), extends the Habitat Stamp Program that provides the bulk of the funding for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Habitat Protection Program and allows the agency to leverage various other funding sources. The bill passed the House by a vote of 41 to 23.

“This successful program helps Colorado landowners keep their land in agricultural production and provides access for hunting and fishing,” Rep. McLachlan said.

The program was created in 2005 and requires anyone who purchases a hunting or fishing license in Colorado to pay for an annual $10 Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp.

“This is one of Colorado’s most important conservation programs,” Rep. Hamner said. “This is uniquely Colorado, and we understand how important it is to keep our land healthy, protect our habitat and continue to encourage agricultural production and recreational benefits.”