Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs
Pete Lee is wrapping up his third term representing House District 18 in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. He is chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Lee is the House's most active member on measures to spur the state's economy and connect Coloradans to good jobs. During the 2014 session, Rep. Lee sponsored legislation to boost Colorado businesses by expanding the amount of money that a business based in Colorado can raise from a stock offering from $1 million to $5 million.
In the 2013 session he sponsored three key economic development measures: the Keep Jobs in Colorado Act, which gives preferences in state contracts to bidders using Colorado workers and Colorado products; the Economic Gardening bill, creating a pilot program to provide training and advice to mid-size Colorado businesses that can demonstrate significant growth potential; and the public benefit corporations bill to empower corporations to engage in activities that have a positive impact on society or the environment rather than only profit maximization.
In 2011 he passed the Restorative Justice Law, which enables victims and offenders to meet face to face to develop a plan to repair the harm resulting from criminal offenses. The law promotes offender accountability and victim healing to reduce recidivism and break the cycle of crime.
The law is based on Rep. Lee’s experience as a board member and board chair of Workout Ltd., a Colorado Springs-based juvenile justice program that found jobs for young people with legal troubles and returned 80 percent of the teens’ wages to their victims. Using hard work as a teaching tool, Workout has helped more than 10,000 kids and returned $2 million to the community over 30 years. The rearrest rate for these kids has been less than 7 percent.
Rep. Lee has volunteered for many other local community-based nonprofit organizations, including Aspen Pointe (formerly Pikes Peak Mental Health), both the Manitou and Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Councils, the National Alliance of Business, the NAACP, Community Prep School, the Citizens Project and the Youth Transformation Center. He also served on the School District 11 Budget Committee.
Rep. Lee worked for two major multistate corporations -- a meatpacker in Ohio and the Holly Sugar Corporation, a NYSE-listed company headquartered in Colorado Springs. He then spent five years with the law firm of Hill Corrigan Morgan and Krall before setting up his own law practice. Representing small businesses and individuals, he focused on helping small businesses organize, grow and prosper as well as representing indigent criminal defendants.
He graduated from the University of Akron Law School and has a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University. He has also studied business at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rep. Lee and his wife, Lynn, have a daughter, Amanda, and two sons, Robert and Brian, who attend college. In their free time, they hike and ski in the Colorado mountains.