Commissioners unanimous on putting county representatives in Legislature

Mesa County commissioners voted unanimously Monday to adopt a resolution urging Colorado state legislators to reconsider how legislative seats are distributed throughout the state.

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said the idea to have each county gain a seat of its own in the Legislature received support from a majority of counties at an October meeting of the nonprofit Colorado Counties Inc.

The group proposed asking legislators to draft and pass a bill that would call for a ballot measure to redistribute seats in either the House or Senate to give each county its own representative or senator.

Acquafresca, who announced his candidacy for House District 55 last week, said he would recommend the measure impact house districts because there are already 65 representatives and 64 counties.

Legislative districts currently are drawn to represent equal numbers of voters.

“The legislative decision-making continues to be centered on a narrow Front Range strip where 80 percent of voters reside,” Acquafresca said.

“The other 20 percent are suffering an erosion of our ability to have our needs met and heard.”

Commissioner Rose Pugliese said the prospect of having counties represent seats in the Legislature is a good alternative for counties who voted to become a 51st state, North Colorado, to get more of a voice in the Legislature instead of leaving the state.

“I think this is actually a good step in a more responsible direction,” she said.


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