'Top of the political pile'

Club 20 to meet with state leaders on trip

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— Western Slope public officials, business leaders and residents are scheduled to meet with top state officials - including Gov. Bill Ritter and Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien - during a legislative visit to Denver next month.

"We are thrilled at the incredible lineup of presenters that we've assembled during this two-day event," said Reeves Brown, executive director of Club 20, a Western Slope political advocacy group. "We really are going to the top of the political pile to discuss these important issues with the key decision makers."

Club 20, a 50-year-old coalition, is comprised of representatives from 22 Western Slope counties and is designed to lobby on behalf of regional interests at the state and national levels. The group will visit Denver on Jan. 17 and 18 as part of its legislative visit, an annual event.

On Jan. 17, Club 20 members will meet with Ritter to "discuss a number of issues which are important to the Western Slope," and with Ritter's lieutenant, Barbara O'Brien, to discuss recommendations of the governor's P-20 Education Council. Both Ritter and O'Brien made visits to Craig this year.

The club also is scheduled to visit with the Legislature's leadership, including the Senate president and minority leader, and the Speaker of the House and minority leader.

Later, the club will hear from two different legislative panels about proposed legislation on the distribution of energy impact funds and proposals to reform the state's health care system.

Day two of the trip begins with meeting with leaders from the Denver Chamber of Commerce to hear from a state transportation panel.

They then will meet with state leaders to discuss the expanded role of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Natural Resources director Harris Sherman, Public Health and Environment director Jim Martin, Division of Wildlife director Tom Remington and Oil and Gas commission representatives will participate in the discussion.

The state visit concludes with club members touching on national subjects. Denver mayor John Hickenlooper is scheduled to speak about the upcoming Democratic National Convention, hosted in Denver, and Floyd Ciruli, a nationally-recognized pollster, will talk to club members about the status of national political campaigns.

Jim Griesemer, of Denver University's Strategic Issues Panel, will discuss recommendations for ballot reform.

The public may participate in the Legislative trip, Club 20 reported. A schedule and registration form can be downloaded from the club Web site, www.club20.org, or requested by calling 970-242-3264.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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