DENVER, CO — House Majority Leader Alec Garnett and Rep. Chris Kennedy released the following statements after Rep. Bri Buentello, D-Pueblo, conceded in the race to represent House District 47:
“Bri Buentello is one of the most committed, dedicated and tenacious lawmakers I have ever had the privilege of working with,” said House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “Her experience as a special education teacher, as a mom, as a military family member, and as a proud Southern Coloradan were invaluable to our caucus and the legislature as a whole. In her time at the Capitol, Bri worked overtime, represented her district passionately and always kept the best interests of her constituents in mind. Her voice, her talent and her larger than life personality will be missed in the upcoming session, but I believe and hope that this is only the beginning of a long career in public service for our dear friend Bri.”
“Representative Buentello is a great legislator who made her mark on policies that will positively impact the people of Colorado for decades to come,” said Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “I am proud of the campaign she ran and the vision she offered to the voters of House District 47. I look forward to seeing what lies ahead for Rep. Buentello and am confident she will continue to work for the people of Southern Colorado in the years to come.”
In her two years in the state legislature, Rep. Buentello was one of the most effective lawmakers in Denver, with the governor signing 24 of her bills. Rep. Buentello always worked to support rural Colorado. She sponsored and passed SB20-002, which improved the Rural Economic Development Grant Program to boost rural economies in the state. In passing HB20-1229, she created a scholarship fund to help rural law enforcement departments afford the cost of training new officers.
Rep. Buentello also focused on mental health and the opioid crisis, passing a package of bills to increase access to addiction treatment and services (SB20-028 and SB20-007). She sponsored and passed SB19-228 to help prevent substance use disorders and SB19-001 to expand access to medication-assisted treatment.
In the 2020 session, she sponsored and passed legislation to support Colorado’s military families. HB20-1275 provides in-state tuition for all military families and veterans in Colorado and SB20-069 allows for free state park access for all disabled veterans.
A special education teacher, Rep. Buentello fought for Colorado students. She sponsored and passed SB19-006 to help schools provide high-cost special education services and HB19-1132 to help ensure children have access to healthy school lunches. She sponsored HB19-1192 to ensure a history inclusive of all Coloradans is taught in our schools and HB20-1128, to help teachers have a better awareness of special education issues to help more special education students.