Friday, January 9, 2009

Senator Gibbs Missed State of the State...But He Had a Good Reason


From Matt McClain
Rocky Mountain News

DENVER— This morning, as Colorado’s General Assembly gathered to hear Governor Bill Ritter’s State of the State address, one lawmaker was conspicuously absent. State Senator Dan Gibbs (D-Summit County), was working to save homes as part of a team of firefighters on Neva fire in Boulder County.

As the Governor presented his annual address, Senator Gibbs was activated at about 10 p.m. to help fight the raging fire as part of the Wildland Firefighting team’s mutual aid agreement with Boulder County. He worked through the morning hours on the front lines of the fire.

In spite of his absence, Senator Gibbs was remembered in the House Chambers as Gov. Ritter acknowledged the thousands of Colorado families affected by the fire in his State of the State address.

Senator Dan Gibbs (D-Summit County) co-sponsored legislation in the 2008 session to establish a Wildfire Interim Committee, which he chaired. This Committee created the four bills which were introduced in the Senate on the first day of the session.

The text of Governor’s address follows:

“Even as I speak, wildfires fed by extreme winds burn in Boulder County threatening homes and other property. The airwaves are full of Coloradans volunterring or offering shelter to the evacuated. And instead of being here in this Chamber this morning, Senator Dan Gibbs is on the front lines fighting that fire. Ironically yesterday, Senate Bill 1 was read across the desk. This bill deals with a host of significant recommendations on your Interim Committee on wildfires and its Senate sponsor is Dan Gibbs. We pray for the safety of Senator Gibbs and all of the firefighters as they battle that blaze and that wind.”