Hardworking Coloradans

I started my career as an entry-level clerk and worked my way to management. I know what it’s like to go without the basics necessities while raising children. I feel that we must help to clear the path to the top to help all Coloradans to be able to work towards their career goals. In today’s economy, hardworking families aren’t always able to get ahead. Nobody is guaranteed success, but I will fight in the State Senate to give everyone a fair shake. Rueben Williams, Small Business Owner: “When it comes to fighting for working Coloradans, Jenise is our Champion. Without her, I do not know if we stand a chance.”

Student Debt

JeniseMay_0126My husband and I have raised four children, putting all of them through college. I understand the sacrifices made by so many Coloradans in trying to attain an education. It is a fact that many young adults are burdened with more college debt in that the monetary obligations are equal or larger to most of their parent’s first mortgages. I have and will continue to take this fight head-on. 1. On the Joint Budget Committee, I voted to increase funding for kids to take college courses while still in high school, reducing the time they spend in college and therefore reducing their costs. 2. I voted to invest an addition $100 million into Colorado’s higher education system and cap tuition increases to 6%. 3. I passed a bill that allows certain 4-year degrees to be offered at the community college level, greatly reducing costs for many students who go into more technical fields. 4. In the State Senate I will continue to search for solutions to the unsustainable cost of higher education in Colorado. Bryan Vogel, Brighton, Student at Metro State University: “Jenise May supported the income based student loan forgiveness program for when I graduate. My family is now in a much better financial position. I can only imagine how much she will be able to help student loan issues as our voice in the Senate!”

Same Pay for the Same Hard Work

samepayColoradans strongly believe in opportunity and fairness. It is unacceptable that women in Colorado are paid 79 cents on the dollar when they do the same hard work as men. This is a question of basic fairness. As a state, we need to ensure women get paid the same when they do the same work. Earning 79% of a fair wage is bad enough, but the gap is even worse for women of color. At the current rate, the gap won’t close for more than 100 years! This is not just an issue of fairness, it’s an issue with real consequences for women and their families. With less pay, women struggle more to pay off student loan debt and over the course of a lifetime, pay inequity results in less income in retirement. Rita Laitres, M.Ed.,SPHR,: “While Jenise has, and will continue to carry the torch for many different causes I care about, one issue that I know is a priority for Jenise is fighting to ensure equal pay for equal work. Addressing inequities in wages is not the first cause she’s championed and rest assured, it won’t be the last. In the State Senate, trust that Jenise May will advocate and lead the battle to ensure equal wages for all.”

Colorado Freedom

JeniseMay_0177In Colorado, we believe that our personal decisions are our own and nobody has the right to impose their worldview on their neighbor. This belief has guided me in all my personal actions, and it will continue to guide me as your State Senator. 1. The Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms. To protect these rights, we must take reasonable precautions to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from threatening and harming others. 2. Women have the right to make their own healthcare decisions. They also have the right to their own support system, whether it is their doctor, family, friends or religious belief. Politicians have no business deciding what’s best for all women. 3. Government also has no place in our relationships. Coloradans should have the same opportunities regardless of who they love. In the State Senate I will fight to protect all Coloradans from discrimination. 4. Freedom of religion is one of our fundamental values. Our diversity is our strength and bigotry has no place in our government or our laws. Karen Middleton, Executive Director NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado: “We need Jenise May in the Colorado Senate. Without her, I fear we will see a loss of freedom for Colorado women and families to make their own personal, private healthcare decisions. All Coloradans deserve the right to make choices for their family, without interference from the government and politicians. We need Jenise's experience, leadership and perspective. She will do a great job for Colorado and Adams County.”

Education

Education is more than just an issue, it’s our future. All children deserve access to high-performing schools. We need to provide future generations with the tools they need to recreate their own version of the American Dream for the 21st Century. I will help level the playing field and provide an opportunity for success to all Coloradans. Here’s a few ways I want to accomplish this goal:

Standardized Testing

Standardized testing policies have to be re-examined to ensure they are effective at tracking student growth, and not just testing for the sake of testing. For example, many test scores are not returned until the next year, at which point they are useless for actually tracking the needs of students. Can you imagine a business evaluating their employee and saving the results for the next year to tell them where they need to improve? At the very least tests results should be available to educators in the same quarter in order to be useful.

Funding

Colorado currently funds schools by a per pupil formula, which has not been adequately adjusted to meet the needs of all students, regardless of zip code. As a former member of the Budget Committee, I voted to invest an additional $750 million directly into the classroom. As your State Senator, I will continue to focus on increasing opportunity for all Coloradans.

Teachers

Teachers need to be appreciated. What they do for our children’s future cannot be underestimated. Colorado consistently ranks in the bottom 10% when it comes to K-12 teacher compensation. It is important that we find a way to pinpoint our best educators to ensure that we are able to accommodate great educators and improve teacher retention here in Colorado. Yvonne Bradford retired teacher: “In my former role as an educator, I know that Jenise understands that administrators, teachers, parents and students must all be heard to create and maintain a quality education system.”

Coloradans over 65

Coloradans work hard to reach retirement and they deserve to receive what they have put in to their retirement. People on fixed incomes cannot afford to absorb increases in cost of living and medical expenses as they age. Without adequate income, and proper protections, many older Coloradans end up relying on their children, who are already struggling to raise their own families, for support. I have a record of supporting the needs of people 65 and older:

Senior Homestead Tax Exemption

During my time on the Joint Budget Committee, we fully-funded the Senior Homestead Tax Exemption, which enables Coloradans who are 65 and older can stay in their own communities without fear of being priced out by increasing property taxes.

Senior Services

In the same year, we increased funding for senior services by approximately $3.9 million for services like Meals-On-Wheels and Old Age Pensions to enable Coloradans to maintain their independence.

Elder Abuse Hotline

I also voted to fund the Elder Abuse Hotline so people who are exploited have a place to seek assistance.

Retirement Plan

Today in Colorado only 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men who are 65 and older receive any type of private pension. Currently 80% of workers in small firms with less than 50 employees lack access to a retirement plan in the workplace. That’s why I supported a bill to create the Colorado Retirement Security Taskforce to make recommendations for providing greater retirement security for hardworking Coloradans. I will fight for passage of this bill so we can begin to tackle this issue. Harvey Lovato, Association of Retired Americans “Jenise and I have had many discussions on issues that matter to retired Coloradans. She gets it. We need her voice in the State Senate.”   To hear real voters about Jenise's commitment to the issues, click HERE.