Hickenlooper visits Ouray for bill signing
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By Sheridan Block
Gov. John Hickenlooper made an appearance at Ouray School on Thursday afternoon to sign SB 13-138 into law.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Steve King (R-Grand Junction) earlier this year, promotes school resource officer programs and provides grant writing assistance for all school districts seeking school safety funding. The bill was passed with unanimous bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House.
"(SB 13-138) is about keeping our schools safe," said Hickenlooper. "For our kids to learn and grow, they've got to feel safe."
King and State Rep. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango) also spoke at Thursday's signing. McLachlan, whose wife is a high school teacher and whose children graduated from public schools, said he felt strongly about the bill. He also said he was pleased that it was something the entire senate and house agreed on.
"The public likes to see government come together when it comes to the safety of our kids," King told the Plaindealer. "I think that parents worry so much about the time they're not with their kids and I think this is one more step to giving parents peace of mind."
The governor's team chose Ouray School because they wanted to find an "all-American, all-Coloradan" school. Hickenlooper said that people always expect events like this to happen in cities like Denver and Colorado Springs, but he wanted to get out into the state.
"The truth is, I'm always looking for a reason to come back to Ouray," he said to a roar of applause.
Student Council presented the governor with a basket of goods that represent the city of Ouray. Kids were invited on stage with the governor as he signed the bill into law. Hickenlooper also spent time before and after the bill signing to speak with students. He gave a group of fourth graders one key piece of advice: "Work hard, be nice and never quit."