DENVER, CO – Speaker of the House Alec Garnett today announced Rebecca Kisner as the next Chief of Staff for the Colorado House Democrats. Kisner has worked for the Colorado House Democrats since 2019, most recently serving as Deputy Chief of Staff where she steered a monumental bill package that invested more than $2.5 billion in federal relief money to improve behavioral health outcomes, increase affordable housing and promote economic recovery across Colorado.
“Rebecca’s dedication, policy experience, strong relationships and institutional knowledge make her well-suited to serve as Chief of Staff for our caucus,” said Speaker Alec Garnett. “When Colorado received once-in-a-generation pandemic relief funding, Rebecca stepped up to lead the charge on a transformational bill package that will save people money and make Colorado a better place to live. I know I speak for our entire caucus when I say I’m thrilled to have her serve as our next Chief of Staff.”
“The Colorado House Democrats are known for bold policy ideas that make meaningful change in our communities and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together the last three years,” said Rebecca Kisner, Chief of Staff. “Our members and our team worked diligently during the 2022 legislative session to respond to the most pressing needs facing our state, including improving access to behavioral health care and making Colorado a better place to live. I’m honored the caucus has put its trust in me to serve in this new capacity as we continue working for the people of Colorado.”
As Deputy Chief of Staff, Kisner shepherded a 32-bill package that invested more than $2.5 billion of Colorado’s allocation of federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The legislation included multi-faceted efforts to improve behavioral health care access, make housing more affordable, promote economic recovery and increase student success.
Kisner’s career has bridged direct service, policy and advocacy on a range of political issues. A social worker by training, she joined the House Majority staff in 2019 as the Outreach Director where she laid a strong foundation for constituent engagement and supported more than 50 legislative aides in their professional development. In 2020, Kisner became a Policy Analyst focusing on education, criminal justice and election access. She was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff in December.
Kisner succeeds Kelly Watkins, who spent ten years as a dedicated public servant for the Colorado House Majority with the last five as Chief of Staff. Earlier this month, Watkins joined the Biden-Harris Administration as Chief of Staff for the Environmental Protection Agency in Region 8, serving Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, North and South Dakota, and 28 Tribal Nations, working with former Speaker of the House and current EPA Region 8 Administrator KC Becker.