Douglas County 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 Douglas County 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 has earned the endorsement of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and Colorado Concern (a non-partisan group fo more than 130 CEOs and business and community leaders from across the state). He was also named the “Legislator of the Year” by both the Colorado Realtors Association and the Independent Electrical Contractors Association and serves as the Assistant Chair of the Tax Simplification Tax Force.
“When people are freed from over-taxation and over- regulation – they will thrive!” – Sen. Van Winkle
Sen. 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.
Sen. Van Winkle co-sponsored bills to fully repeal Common Core in Colorado; guarantee parents the right to opt students out of standardized testing, and forbid penalizing teachers for low test participation.
Sen. Van Winkle also supported a bill (now law) that reduces mandated assessment in High Schools by over 40 hours to give teachers more time teaching instead of administering state-mandated tests.
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, Sen. 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 and has worked closely with the parents of Kendrick Castillo to make positive changes for our teachers and students.
Sen. Van Winkle sits on the very important School Safety Committee and authored two budget amendments that secured $36 million dollars to fund security improvements and more “School Resource Officers” for Colorado schools.
“Douglas County parents, not bureaucrats in Washington, know the specific educational needs of their children.”
Sen. Van Winkle knows that voter fraud undermines free and fair elections. He co-sponsored a bipartisan bill 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 and must be stopped.”
Sen. 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 Douglas County businesses and grocery stores must pass on to you, the customer.
Colorado is blessed with an abundant supply of natural resources and Sen. Van Winkle supports an “all of the above” approach to develop energy that will lower costs while maintaining our beautiful environment for Douglas County 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.
Sen. Van Winkle is committed to supporting common-sense health care reforms that will lower costs, promote quality, and preserve health care choices.
He opposes plans that obstructs the patient-doctor relationship and believes that government bureaucrats have no place interfering between you and your doctor.
For his work in health care in 2020, Sen. Van Winkle was given the prestigious “Hero in Health” award from Healthier Colorado, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving opportunities for our state’s residents to live healthier lives.
He also helped lead efforts to allow and expand telemedicine 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.
“Sen. Van Winkle made this possible and it is truly an innovative option for the elderly, rural Coloradans, or anyone else who may be uncomfortable visiting a doctor office in person.”
Kevin is proud to have earned the full support of every major independent health care organization, include the Colorado Medical Society, the Academy of Family Physicians, Healthier Colorado, the CO Dental Association, and the CO Optometric Association.
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. Sen. Van Winkle is working to stop and reverse the dangerous cycle of tuition and fee increases.
In 2015, Sen. 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 Sen. 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, Sen. Van Winkle raised enough bipartisan support to fold it’s merits into the larger Budget Bill for Higher Education.
Sen. Van Winkle is working to stop and reverse the dangerous cycle of tuition and fee increases.
HOA and Water fees are no laughing matter for the people of Douglas County. Rep. Van Winkle co-sponsored two bills in 2015 to address these very topics.
The first will save Douglas County’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 Douglas County
Also in 2015, Sen. Van Winkle co-sponsored a bill to eliminate several unnecessary regulations put on large Home Owners Associations. Those overly burdensome regulations were forced into law in 2013 and raised the cost of living for the Douglas County area. Thanks in a big part to Sen. Van Winkle’s hard work, they’re now a thing of the past.
Sen. 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, Sen. 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.
Sen. Van Winkle knows that owning a firearm is a right guaranteed by the supreme law of the land – the United States Constitution. Restricting law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms puts good people in danger and empowers evildoers who don’t follow gun laws.
Sen. Van Winkle has sponsored key 2nd Amendment bills, such as granting immunity to a citizen who must use lethal force to defend the lives of innocent people.
Sen. Van Winkle knows that life is a precious gift from God and has co-sponsored several measures to protect babies.
The right to life is the most important God given right of all, because without life, all other rights are meaningless.
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.
Getting from point A to B in the south metro area isn’t as easy as it used to be, and it’s been nearly 20 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 Sen. Van Winkle.
To that end, he co-sponsored a bill 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 bloated programs.
In both 2017 and 2018, Sen. Van Winkle co-sponsored transportation funding solutions that would add billions to roads and bridges – without increasing taxes.
Making transportation a priority in State government again, is a top priority for Sen. Van Winkle.