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CMU and local legislators expand remote legislative testimony to Montrose Campus

Grand JunctionColorado Senator Don Coram and State Representative Marc Catlin joined Colorado Mesa University announcing the expansion of Colorado’s remote testimony pilot program. Remote legislative testimony is now available in the Montrose region through the university’s Montrose Campus. 

CMU was the first institution in 2015 to establish agreements with the Colorado legislature allowing rural communities in the CMU service area to testify remotely during legislative hearings. Remote testimony is currently permitted in a number of hearing rooms at the Colorado General Assembly and at Colorado Mesa University.

“The Colorado legislature influences the everyday lives of rural Coloradans. CMU is pleased to expand our remote testimony agreement to include the greater Montrose area enabling better legislative engagement from people in rural areas,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “We are able to do this at the same time we prepare to expand civic engagement opportunities at CMU.”

Coram made the announcement along with Catlin following the Montrose Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Council’s legislative briefing on Tuesday, February 12, at the CMU Montrose Campus.

“For those of us representing rural areas we know all too well how difficult it can be for working people to travel to Denver to have their voices heard,” said Coram.  “Today we’re proud to announce to constituents in Montrose and the surrounding area that they will have access to our process from right here in the Montrose area.”

Catlin echoed Coram’s sentiment and said that rural Colorado must do all it can to address the challenges that remote communities face when communicating their needs to Front Range lawmakers.

“As rural law makers we are all more effective when the people we represent can speak alongside us during these hearings,” said Catlin. “From farmers and ranchers to commissioners, council leaders and business owners all will have a louder voice in the future through the efforts of our friends at CMU.”

The expansion of rural, remote testimony by CMU was also applauded by local leaders including the areas’ organization representing local governments.

“CMU remote testimony will be an important tool moving forward for Montrose area businesses,” said Montrose Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Council Chair Bob Brown. “Universities and communities working together to increase participation in the legislative process is the sign of a healthy community, and the chamber is proud to have been a part of this important announcement.”

Western Colorado citizens who would like to testify on legislative matters remotely are encouraged to contact Senator Coram at 303.866.4884 or don.coram@senate@state.co.us, and Representative Catlin at 303.866.2955 or marc.catlin.house@state.co.us.

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