Mid-legislative session Q&A: Meg Froelich

State House District 3 lawmaker talks about women's issues, climate change

Posted 3/18/19

Meg Froelich, a former Greenwood Village city councilmember, succeeded state Rep. Jeff Bridges in state House District 3 after winning a vacancy vote among Arapahoe County Democratic Party activists …

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Mid-legislative session Q&A: Meg Froelich

State House District 3 lawmaker talks about women's issues, climate change

Posted

Meg Froelich, a former Greenwood Village city councilmember, succeeded state Rep. Jeff Bridges in state House District 3 after winning a vacancy vote among Arapahoe County Democratic Party activists on Jan. 7.

Froelich, a Democrat who lives in Englewood, says she has experience in nonprofit management. A documentary producer, Froelich also has taught social studies at secondary- and higher-education levels.

District 3 covers Englewood, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village and parts of northern Littleton. The seat opened after a similar vote Jan. 5 selected Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, to fill a vacancy in state Senate District 26 left by state Sen. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, who resigned.

Froelich sat down to discuss what she's accomplished and what's yet to come during the 2019 regular session, the four-month part of the year when legislators pass bills. It ends May 3.

Has the session so far met, exceeded or failed to meet your expectations?

So far, we've been able to accomplish a lot of what most of us have been trying to do for a long, long time in Colorado. So it's very rewarding. For me, it has been absolutely fantastic, an honor, a privilege.

To get to know (these) people has really been one of the better parts of the session. I sit next to Rep. Tom Sullivan — his motivations are so pure. He really is, I feel, the collective conscience of the Democratic caucus. In my mind, he's the conscience of the chamber. There's such a diversity of opinion and life stories that people are bringing to the issues that humanize them in a way that takes it to a next level beyond policy.

What are some of the bills you have sponsored so far?

We're coming at the high cost of health care in a couple different angles. I'm thankful that's the mission of the governor, Senate and House.

I have a bill that's trying to … (align) insurance benefits with primary-care physicians a little more fairly ... You go to the emergency room less, you're a healthier person.

I have a bill addressing labor trafficking as part of the human trafficking commission recommendations. It's wage theft, unscrupulous employers. They either don't pay or underpay their employees. They're winning contracts based on low bids based on not paying people, and we don't think that's a good idea. You have good employers and contractors who are missing contracts because they're getting underbid by people who aren't playing by the rules.

What do you plan to sponsor down the stretch?

I come from women's rights and women's issues, reproductive rights. I'm looking forward to promoting paid family leave and all-day kindergarten, which dovetails into education … support of local community schools. I think the Englewood school board is doing a great job. Our community passed a bond, so our buildings are looking great, and our school board is working really hard — our superintendent is awesome. I think the pieces are in place for Englewood to do what's right by its students and families.

I'll be in support of the efforts under those four umbrellas: climate change, health care, education, and women and families.

What is the most important thing the Legislature can do between now and the session's end?

I think we've already done some important things: (the House) already passed the extreme-risk protection order, red flag, bill.

We had two good bills for the LGBTQ community: One was to ban conversion therapy, and one was to help with ID documents for transgender folks. We have two big climate change bills: One addresses greenhouse gases, and one addresses local control of oil and gas, predominantly. That's basically that the communities where oil and gas operations are occurring should have a say in what happens in their communities.

I just think there's sort of a forward-thinking and very heartfelt agenda. I think it's really putting people first over big money at the moment.

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