The Issues

Second Amendment

Rep. Van Winkle knows that owning a firearm is a right guaranteed by the supreme law of the land – the United States Constitution. Restricting citizen’s right to bear arms puts good people in danger and empowers evildoers who don’t follow gun laws.

In 2015, Rep. Van Winkle sponsored a bill to add Colorado to the growing list of states that allow eligible law abiding residents to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights without first seeking an expensive permission slip from government. Colorado law already allows open carry and conceal carry on your property or in your car without a permit, the Van Winkle bill would remove the unnecessary conceal carry “coat tax”.

Also in 2015, Rep. Van Winkle co-sponsored other key 2nd Amendment bills: one to fully repeal the Magazine Ban; another to grant immunity to a business owner who must use lethal force to defend their lives, or the lives of other innocent people.

“owning a firearm is a RIGHT guaranteed by the supreme law of the land – the United States Constitution.”

Jobs & the Economy

Highlands Ranch families continue to work hard to make ends meet. The focus for too long in State government has been on finding new schemes, such as increasing vehicle registration fees or imposing hidden hospital bed taxes, in order to take precious dollars away from families and local small businesses.

Not only does Kevin fight against new job killing tax and fee increases, but is working to roll back burdensome and unnecessary regulations and get government out of the way so that the people of Highlands Ranch can more freely live, work and grow in our great state. As he always says, when you free people from over taxation and over regulation — they will thrive!

Kevin supports the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, and other measures to protect, and boost family finances.

In 2015, he co-sponsored a measure to give small businesses a simple warning (instead of a harsh fine) for violating a new mandate imposed in the last calendar year. Far too often, Colorado small business owners receive costly penalties for being out of compliance with a new rule they didn’t even know existed. A related bill co-sponsored by Rep. Van Winkle in 2015 would have allowed for a legislative review of all rules and regulations issued by state departments upon the public and private businesses every 4 years. Far too often onerous regulations get issued by state departments without private sector knowledge or legislative authority.

when you free people from over taxation and over regulation – they will thrive!

Education

Rep. Van Winkle knows that parents, not bureaucrats in Washington, know the specific educational needs of their children. He is fighting hard to empower Douglas County parents with the ability to choose the most effective education for their children, regardless of what economic class they come from.

In 2015, Rep. Van Winkle co-sponsored a bill to fully repeal Common Core in Colorado. While that bill didn’t pass into law, there were many successes for Douglas County parents. For example, a bill Van Winkle co-sponsored guarantees parents the right to opt students out of standardized testing and also forbids penalizing schools or teachers for low test participation.

Also in 2015, Rep. Van Winkle supported a bill (now law) that begins to move all Colorado High Schools away from the mandated PARCC tests and reduces mandated assessment in High Schools by over 40 hours. It eliminates all state-mandated tests for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students (while still allowing for the 11th grade ACT and related 10th grade practice ACT test for those who want it). A companion bill he supported reduces mandated testing in all K-12 grades.

Highlands Ranch parents, not bureaucrats in Washington, know the specific educational needs of their children.

School Safety

Douglas County has taken great strides to keep our schools safe in recent years, but Kevin knows there is always more that can be done to make sure our kids are learning in a safe environment. To that end, Rep. Van Winkle supported the “Clair Davis School Safety Act” named after the young girl who was killed at Arapahoe High School in December of 2013.

Higher Education

College tuition has increased more than 500% since 1985, vastly outpaced inflation and double increases seen in our health care system. Because of this cost increase, college seniors graduated last year with an average of $27,000 in student loan debt and now are having trouble finding a good job to pay off the debt.

That means when two average college graduates get married, they must start their young family under the burden of more than $50,000 of debt!  This is a crisis and while it’s been caused by several factors, politicians in both federal and state government have played a big role. Rep. Van Winkle is working to stop and reverse the dangerous cycle of tuition and fee increases.

In 2015, Rep. Van Winkle ran a bill to protect Colorado taxpayer money directed to our Colleges and Universities for Colorado students. A new funding model for Higher Education passed prior to Rep. Van Winkle joining the legislature, allows Colorado taxpayer dollars to support out-of-state students, which raises tuition for in-state Colorado kids. While the bill itself didn’t pass, Rep. Van Winkle raised enough bipartisan support to fold it’s merits into the larger Budget Bill for Higher Education.

Rep. Van Winkle is working to stop and reverse the dangerous cycle of tuition and fee increases.

Lowering Living Costs for Highlands Ranch

HOA and Water fees are no laughing matter for the people of Highlands Ranch. Rep. Van Winkle co-sponsored two bills in 2015 to address these very topics.

The first will save Highlands Ranch’s Water District from endless hours of bureaucratic nonsense by exempting a big portion of their operations from water courts (and big legal fees that get passed onto HR residents). This new law will save time, money and water for the people of Highlands Ranch.

Also in 2015, Rep. Van Winkle co-sponsored a bill to eliminate several unnecessary regulations put on large Home Owners Associations such as the Highlands Ranch Community Association. Those overly burdensome regulations were forced into law in 2013 and raised the cost of living for the Highlands Ranch Community. Thanks in a big part to Rep. Van Winkle’s hard work, they’re now a thing of the past.

This new law will save time, money and water for the people of Highlands Ranch.

Election Integrity

Rep. Van Winkle knows that voter fraud undermines free and fair elections. In 2015, he co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to grant the Secretary of State greater authority to prevent people from obtaining multiple voter registrations and voting multiple times. He co-sponsored another bill to require an ID for those registering to vote on the same day as an election, if the clerk has no time to check for voter fraud.

voter fraud undermines free and fair elections

Energy

Rep. Van Winkle knows the high cost of heating our homes in winter and keeping them cool in the summer.   We not only have to pay for rising energy prices directly, but it’s a cost all our Highlands Ranch businesses and grocery stores must pass on to you, the customer.

Colorado is blessed with an abundant supply of natural resources and Rep. Van Winkle supports an “all of the above” approach to develop energy that will lower costs while maintaining our beautiful environment for Highlands Ranch families.  Kevin knows affordable energy is the foundation for continued growth and economic security and believes it is imperative to develop the next generation of energy while continuing to safely use the abundant resources found in Colorado.

Health Care

Rep. Van Winkle is committed to supporting common-sense health care reforms that will lower costs, promote quality and preserve health care choices.

The government run health care system, PPACA, better known as Obamacare, does not put patients first, and instead increases costs and limits patient choices. Rep. Van Winkle opposes Obamacare and any government run health care plan that obstructs the patient-doctor relationship. He believes that government bureaucrats have no place interfering between you and your doctor.

In 2015, Rep. Van Winkle co-sponsored a bill to instruct the State Auditor to conduct a performance audit of the Colorado Health Exchange. Just an initial look into the exchange found $30 million in misspent money last year, the need for millions more to keep the exchange out of bankruptcy and extreme bonuses to its failed leaders.

He also supported a measure to allow for the practice of tele-medicine in Colorado, so prescriptions and other services can be given to patients after simply speaking with a doctor via webcam, instead of requiring an in person visit.

This is truly an innovative option for the elderly, rural Coloradans, or anyone else who may have trouble visiting a doctor office in person.

Religious Freedom

Rep. Van Winkle understands one of government’s primary tasks is to preserve the freedom of each American to follow his or her own conscience. American’s have long believed that government should neither force a person into a particular religion, or to force a person of faith to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. This American value has come under attack in recent years. In 2015, Rep. Van Winkle co-sponsored a 1st Amendment inspired bill that prohibits the government from forcing “speech, an artistic act, or a religious act” that would violate that person’s religious belief.

one of government’s primary tasks is to preserve the freedom of each American to follow his or her own conscience.

Sanctity of Life

Rep. Van Winkle knows that life is a precious gift from God and it must be protected. In 2015, he co-sponsored several measures to protect life, including a bill to prevent abortions when parents simply preferred a boy or girl.

The right to life is the most important God given right of all, because without life, all other rights are meaningless.

Tenth Amendment

Perhaps never before in American history have we seen such a shift in power away from local citizens to bureaucrats in Washington.  The Tenth Amendment underpins the spirit behind the entire constitution – that the Federal Government only has the power expressly granted to it by the people.  Using the 10th Amendment Colorado can lead other states and push back against recent overreaching federal power grab.

Transportation

Getting from point A to B in the south metro area isn’t as easy as it used to be, and it’s been more than 15 years since a major construction project like T-REX, which was built without a single dime of new taxes. Making transportation a priority in State government again is a top priority for Rep. Van Winkle.

To that end, he co-sponsored a bill in 2015 to prevent transportation funding from being raided in order to pay for other programs. For several years now, money aimed at improving our roads and bridges has been diverted to pay for other things, such as the Medicaid expansion, which has seen Colorado enrollment grow from 400,000 to 1,400,000 in the last 7 years.

Making transportation a priority in State government again, is a top priority for Rep. Van Winkle.

Legislation

Representative Kevin Van Winkle has spearheaded and co-sponsored multiple pieces of legislation. View legislation and updates by visiting our Legislation page.